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.

Blacklight Responsive Diamonds

Mark Bronner Diamonds Blacklight Responsive DiamondsCertain diamonds have the ability to fluoresce a bright blue color in response to ultra violet light, which is also known as “black light”. This is due to the fact that about thirty percent of these precious gems contain an appropriate amount of Boron that allows them to emit this luminous glow as soon as the compound gets excited by the ultra violet lighting. The exact concentration of Boron present in that specific diamond determines the strength of the fluorescence. The two factors are linearly related, which means that level of radiance expressed by the diamonds changes according to the individual stone. Experts have classified the resulting fluorescence into the following five categories: very strong, strong, medium, faint and none.

 

While some consumers find appeal in this intriguing glow, others are skeptical of the diamond’s quality and color due to the added presence of Boron. The latter belief, however, is a misconception about this naturally occurring reaction. This misconception stems from the historical use of ultra violet light to sort out fake diamonds from real ones. However, what most people don’t know is that most diamonds reflect at least some amount of blue light in response to black light exposure. In fact, the GIA led research on the quality of fluorescing diamonds in 1997. The results confirmed that, despite the glow emitted by these diamonds under black light, the precious gems themselves do not have any inherent color defects or opacities. In fact, those diamonds categorized with strong or very strong fluorescence exhibited higher quality color than diamonds ranked in lower categories of fluorescence while in the table up position. In the table down position, there was no remarkable difference between gems with higher fluorescence versus those with lower fluorescence.

 

Despite the results from the GIA study, diamond buyers still tend to shy away from investing in the stones that respond to ultraviolet light. As a result jewelry merchants have established a separate pricing system for the fluorescing diamonds, one that takes the usual color and clarity of the diamond into account while adding on the stone’s fluorescence valuation. On the other hand, certain consumers are intrigued by this extra quality in diamonds and appreciate the subtle blues hues present in the fluorescing diamonds. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference as long as the precious gems are coming from a trusted and GIA certified vendor.

Diamonds & Instagram

Mark Bronner Diamonds InstagramMillennials (and even me, for that matter) are tired of reading about the industries they’re destroying and bearing the onus of failing markets. From mediocre fast food chains like Arby’s to the severely hurting realm of print media, society has laid the corpse of these businesses at the feet of overeducated, underpaid, debt-ridden young professionals.

The diamond industry, too, has been tossed on the pyre, as young adults have chosen not to spend as much on the precious gems as generations before them have. From the inflated prices to the inherent uselessness to the job prospects, young adults have decided that their money would be better spent elsewhere, either towards paying down loans or investing in their futures.

Of all the figurative death millennials have left in their wake, young adults are well known to shell out more than expected for experiences and moments — much more so than they are for items and trinkets. Meal kits, AirBNB, and gourmet snacks all serve as a testament to this.

And what’s an experience if it’s not shareable? On top of young adults wanting to “do” something, they want to be able to talk about it and take breath-taking pictures of it to put on their social media platforms. A quick search of hashtags like #FoodPorn or #AboutLastNight will make it clear quickly that what young people crave is a good time and priceless memories.

So for diamond and jewelry sellers, the key to reviving the industry is to stop selling items and start selling an experience, a lifestyle, and a persona — and where better to do that than on Instagram.

The Diamond Producers Association wants diamonds to feel more “approachable” and doff the old-timey concepts of marriage in favor of a modern, pop-culture friendly appearance. From their five-year campaign entitled “real is rare” to its warm embrace of such iconic images as Taylor Swift bathing in a tub brimming with diamond jewelry, the DPA understands that the name of the game at this point is relatability and experience.

Of course, that means rethinking the purpose of social media. In the early goings, corporations and sellers believed that they could just push ad after ad onto the platforms and draw attention that way, but as one could imagine, a company following that strategy would lose not only business but followers left and right. The DPA had outlined in its new plan that it intends to remain relevant and post images and graphics not always related to the sale of diamonds, but also to the cultural relevance of diamonds.

From Game of Thrones appearances to young love birds on exotic vacations, the Instagram page peddles an aesthetic and a look rather than an item anymore. As they moderators execute their five-year social media plan, we’ll see whether diamonds are able to find a second wind with young adults and make a second debut as a cornerstone of our culture.

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.