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Global sales for diamond jewellery reached a record high in 2013
Global sales for diamond jewellery reached a record high in 2013

Diamond jewellery demand reaches record high

Global demand for diamond jewellery reached an all-time high last year, according to a new report that provides a number of insights and forecasts for the diamond sector.

De Beers Group’s inaugural Diamond Insight Report stated that global diamond jewellery sales in 2013 increased 3 per cent to US$79 billion (AU$88.4 b), compared with 2012. While this result was said to have been largely driven by the Chinese market, it was noted too that the US region – the world's largest diamond jewellery market – performed “particularly well” during the period.

The current diamond jewellery retail sector was also described as being “highly fragmented”. On one hand, retailers had reportedly faced pressures from a weak economic environment and strong competition particularly from branded luxury goods, experiential categories and ecommerce companies.

On the other hand, retailers were said to have experienced higher margins and return on invested capital due to “growing middle classes and increasing consumer appetite for diamonds” – although it was noted that these factors had also started to come under pressure.

Philippe Mellier, De Beers Group chief executive
Philippe Mellier, De Beers Group chief executive

In addition, the report warned that while overall diamond supply was expected to increase over the next few years, it would plateau by 2020, with production levels likely to then decline “unless major new discoveries are made in the coming years and rapidly developed”.

Considering the future
Analysis showed that globally, online channels were becoming increasingly important both for jewellery sales and as a research tool for consumers.

According to the report, US online diamond jewellery purchases in 2013 increased by 30 per cent compared with 2011, and about four out of 10 consumers conducted online research prior to making a purchase.

“Online, including mobile usage, can be expected to grow in importance for diamond jewellery retailers everywhere, be it for research purposes before a purchase or as a sales channel (pure or hybrid, via web sales with store pick-up),” the report stated.

De Beers also highlighted the need for further investment in branding in order to maintain consumer interest.

“Investment in branding, marketing and raised retail standards will help ensure that consumers, particularly among new generations and new markets, do not drift away from the diamond jewellery category in favour of competing categories, such as travel, coloured stones, electronic accessories or designer fashion,” the report advised.

“Consumer demand remains the one true source of value for the diamond industry,” De Beers chief executive Philippe Mellier said. “With demand forecast to increase further from 2013’s record levels, the opportunity for growth is clear. But this must not be seen as cause for complacency. The industry will continue to lose ground to other categories if it does not invest significantly in production, marketing and technology.”

The Australian retail market was not explicitly mentioned in the report.

The Diamond Insight Report 2014 is the first in a series of reports that De Beers Group intends to publish annually. It is based on the company’s own diamond industry data as well as other industry sources. The full report can be accessed via

(L-R) De Beers
(L-R) De Beers' Stephen Lussier, Philippe Mellier and Bruce Cleaver at the launch of The Diamond Insight Report

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Tuesday, 17 September, 2019 08:08am
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