Diamond Sales Forecast Strong in 2018

Mark Bronner Diamonds 2018 ForecastDiamond sales are expected to have another strong year in 2018. The market will likely see a higher volume sales of lower value diamonds. This will increase the overall number of diamonds sold, but may negatively impact the price per carat. This opens up a new facet of the market that hasn’t been touched in the past few years.

Since 2012, diamond sales have faltered due to the declining growth of new economies such as those in India and China. This has trickled down as a decline of investments in polished diamonds, leading to a oversupply. De Beers, the largest diamond producer in the world, ordered a price decrease to maintain market stability. The market began to regain its strength in 2016 and 2017, continuing to climb into 2018. A significant price increase for end users is expected by the end of 2018.

Dominion Diamond, Canada’s largest diamond producer, expects their own 2018 fiscal sales to be between $875 million to $975 million, coming in at a 62% increase over their 2017 sales. Dominion Diamond operates the Ekati Diamond Mine and owns 40% of the DIavik Diamond Mine, both located in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

In addition to natural diamonds, the sales of lab-grown diamonds will continue to penetrate the market in 2018. The younger generation of consumers are more sustainably-minded and are learning about this eco-friendly jewelry option via social media all over the world. As more and more celebrities make bold statements about wearing man made diamonds, this market is waiting for its chance to explode.

In retail, entry-level price points will drive sales of diamonds for the next generation of diamond jewelry aficionados. In addition to the engagement and wedding ring markets, retailers should focus on the trendy, every day diamond wearers who are looking to add a glint of polish to their wardrobe. Jewelry designs should maintain a traditional look with a modern twist. No longer popular are the layered, tiny jewels of seasons past.

One single, bold statement piece is the anticipated trend of 2018. Colors are a huge draw for new consumers. Pantone recently named Ultra Violet their 2018 color of the year, so pieces of in various shades of purple are likely to hit the market in the coming year. A single piece of colored diamond jewelry that effortlessly matches a celebrity’s style will gift them an entirely new audience of social media.

Why Everyone is Talking About Meghan Markle’s Diamond Ring

A widely known motivational quote states “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did really well under pressure.” Many look at this quote for inspiration and upliftment because of its relevance to various situations in life. When the pressure is on, sometimes beautiful things become of it — like diamonds. When you understand the richness of how diamonds form from highly concentrated carbon or an unattractive, invaluable piece of coal, you’re able to relate it to various situations in life.Meghan_Markle_3441-minAlong with the astronomical hype of recently engaged couple Prince Harry and his bride-to-be, Meghan Markle, comes the pressure of royal relationships and public interest. News about the atypical public hand holding, Markle’s background and heritage, and other topics on their royal enterprises make headlines that millions of people read. Within the wheelhouse of royal news lies fascination with Markle’s engagement ring.

In a trio setting, the center diamond comes from Botswana, holding sentimental value as this is where the happy couple spent a great deal of time throughout their relationship. Padding the center diamond are two smaller diamonds that once belonged to Prince Harry’s mother, the beloved and departed Diana, Princess of Wales. The ring was put together by Cleve & Company, Court Jewelers. Designed by Prince Harry himself, this custom ring deserves all of the attention it’s received thus far.

Unlike the infamously known blue sapphire engagement ring that now belongs to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the value of Markle’s ring is unknown. The exact carat size of the custom trio diamond ring has yet to been released. We do know that Catherine Middleton’s sapphire was 12 carats and also once belonged to Princess Diana. While Middleton’s ring is said to be worth over 300,000 pounds but $1 million due to its royal connection, Markle’s ring is said to be around the same value, if not more.

While it is unknown the exact cut of Markle’s glamorously sized diamond, some experts state that it appears to be around a 2.5 carat cushion diamond, using Blue Nile as an example. In terms to the 4 c’s of diamonds: cut, carat, color, and clarity, Markle’s diamond is one most will only ever dream of owning.

The cut of a diamond has the greatest influence on its sparkle — the foremost wish of any woman with an incredible stud on her finger. Granting the diversity among diamond engagement ring budgets, the average carat on a diamond engagement ring is just over 1.0 carat. Nonetheless, Markle’s center diamond is unquestionably impressive.

Millennials Didn’t Ruin Diamonds

Mark Bronner diamonds millennials didn't ruin diamondsBaby boomers love complaining about all the stuff millennials have ruined. From chain restaurants to marriage, countless think pieces detail with great ire how this generation of young adults is destroying all the businesses and traditions the baby boomers have grown to know and love. Diamonds aren’t immune from this: many blame young people’s delayed marriage, moral fiber, and economic woes for the slowed rate of diamond sales.

As it turns out, though, millennials are more respectful of tradition than the generation before them. Forbes reporter Rachelle Bergstein writes, “only 11% of 25- to 34-year-olds saying that they ‘did not have an engagement ring.’ In comparison, a whopping 39% of the 55 and over group revealed that they did not seal the deal with a diamond.”

Moreover, a few different indicators are showing that sales had actually improved over the past year. Demand in the US has risen in the past year, even as demand in India and China have shrunken. As I’ve written, more of that is coming as a result of shoppers buying for themselves, not necessarily for a loved one. 

While the diamond market certainly looks different, it’s still alive and well. Delayed engagements are still engagements, and diamonds bought for oneself are still diamond sales.

Diamonds Aren’t Forever

mark bronner diamonds diamonds aren't foreverAs we all know, a huge selling point of diamonds has been the old refrain, “Diamonds are forever.” Countless songs and ad campaigns have heralded sentiments along these lines for decades. Fiscally, this proves untrue, as the price of diamonds is artificially inflated. But what about chemically and physically? Do diamonds really last forever?

Diamonds are made from compressed carbon molecules that have been pressurized by the weight of the earth for hundreds of years. According to gem curator Dr. George E. Harlow at the American Museum of Natural History, ancient diamonds form eight-sided crystals during their billion-year creation process. Since the earth is constantly shifting and changing, the crystals may incorporate other other minerals or get a little squished as they make their way towards the surface of the planet. As such, the bonds in the gems dissolve and reform many times throughout the process, and tiny cavities can form, causing the diamonds to take on blue or pink hues.

Once the diamonds reach the surface of the Earth, they’ll remain exactly as they are. Diamonds are incredibly stable at low temperatures. So, yes, diamonds are forever, but only after the Earth is done making them.

Falling Marriage Rates Hurt Diamond Sales

mark_bronnder_diamonds_marriage_and_diamond_salesIt seems like we’re blaming millennials for everything these days, and the latest one is the dip in jewelry sales, particularly precious gems like diamonds. I’ve already discussed in-depth that a part of the problem is an economic one — young people today have more debt and fewer good jobs than those from 20 years ago and simply can’t afford to pay the exorbitant prices that De Beers is charging.

Another part of the problem I’ve already discussed is the moral one. Study after study has demonstrated that young people are willing to spend more money on products that align with their moral leanings and abstain from spending where the establishment’s morals conflict with their own. From ethically produced clothing to clean foods, the young workforce talks with its wallet and makes its opinions on labor practices and clean food clear as a bell. As such, many young adults take great issue with the culture of forced labor, child labor, colonialism, and monopoly that fuels the diamond industry.

However, diamond executives are blaming another habit of young people for their hemorrhaging businesses: delaying marriage. A combination of sexual liberation, economic troubles, and uncertain future prospects has now pushed the average age of marriage up from the 20s to the 30s for many of today’s young adults.

As of April 2017, loosely one third of the millennial generation still lives with their parents. This is a bit of a chicken-and-egg conundrum — some say that young people move in with their parents because their marriage and cohabitation prospects are limited, while others posit that the act of living with one’s parents limits one’s dating pool, as many prospective mates associate that living situation with poverty and loser-dom.

Not only do these changing norms hurt the engagement ring and wedding ring market, but also the jewelry industry as a whole. From anniversary gifts to Valentine’s day presents to mother’s day, the vast majority of diamond-buying occasions have to do with marriage and a family, both of which are being delayed in the lives of today’s young adults. Even among those who do choose to marry, many are eschewing the grandiose marriage proposal in favor of a more frugal and/or unique option.

Perhaps this delay in marriage and childbearing age will result in a boom in the diamond industry 10 years down the road, but some other significant changes in the economy, purchasing preferences, and the social climate may continue to impede the growth of the diamond markets for young adults.

The Cubs’ New Rings

mark bronner diamonds the cubs new ringsThe Chicago Cubs have a fancy new ring to display. Having recently won the World Series, the Cubs have earned themselves custom rings — and the designers pulled no punches after the team finally broke a 108 World Series drought.

The rings boast 214 diamonds each and three carats of rubies for the classic red in their logo. Jostens, the design agency in charge of the rings, confirmed in a press release the exact specs of the prizes. The rings are made of 14 carat white gold and designed to commemorate the players, Wrigley field, and the legend that sent the Cubs on their drought in the first place. The press release states, “Overall, the ring contains 214 diamonds at 5.5 karats, 3 karats of genuine red rubies and 2.5 karats of genuine sapphires.”
In all, the team will hand out 1,908 rings to its players, administrators, investors, and board members. Players have already commented that they love the ring and all its bling and sentimentality, although it is awkward to wear. As fun as all the celebrating has been, the Cubs say they’re ready to get to work on earning another one.