By Joshua Freedman
“Consumers are increasingly turning to branded jewellery in search of trustworthy products with clear origins, according to De Beers’ latest Diamond Insight Report.
Environmental concerns, social movements and the Russia-Ukraine crisis have sharpened the focus on provenance and sustainability. Demand for dependable labels has grown, as has the added value they command over unbranded items.
Two-thirds of all diamond-jewellery acquisitions in 2021 were branded, double the proportion in 2015, De Beers said Thursday in the report, citing a survey of US consumers it carried out this year. In China, some 85% of purchases in 2020 were branded, it added.
Moreover, consumer spending on branded diamond jewellery pieces averaged $3,477, compared with $2,525 for non-branded goods, the company noted.
“There is no doubt that brands do carry a premium,” Esther Oberbeck, De Beers’ senior vice president for strategy analytics and insights, told Rapaport News.
Generation Z is driving this trend, De Beers pointed out. In 2021, three-quarters of that age group’s US diamond-jewellery purchases were branded, compared with two-thirds for Generation X and just over a third for baby boomers. In China, brands represented 79% of Gen Z’s diamond-jewellery transactions.
Meanwhile, more than half of 18,000 US women in a 2022 survey said they would not buy diamonds if they knew they were not ethically sourced, De Beers said. Two in five said that knowing about the products’ positive impact on local mining communities would make them more likely to buy diamonds.
“The signals that the world sends us right now are quite clear and quite unanimous,” added Marc Jacheet, CEO of De Beers’ brands. “The diamond world has been driven by value. That was [based on a description] of what the product is — [the] 4Cs. We believe that the next 50 years are going to be driven by values.””