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De Beers: Millenials are buying more diamonds than ever before

Posted by: Leo Muller
Date: 5/3/2017

We can learn a lot from “The Diamond Insight Report 2016” published by De Beers. The main point being that Millenials are buying diamond jewellery, and more than ever before.

Bruce Cleaver

We have read a lot about Millenials, and often this has been linked to the decline in diamond sales. But this report sheds a different light onto this. Millenials do buy, and they buy a lot, almost $26 billion in 2015 in the four top markets.

What are Millenials? Well, this is part of the ambiguity, for some reason, it is a trend to give generations a name. People born between 1965-1979 are called generation X, and people born between 1980-2000 are called millennials. For statistics, it would have been more useful to use age groups. E.g. 20-35-year-olds or even finer divisions. Obviously, there are not many 17-year-olds that bought an engagement ring. For our own comprehension, we rather call it “young adults”, because that is what it is about.

Don’t get us wrong: 2015 was a difficult year, sales of diamonds were down compared to 2014, also rough diamonds and also polished. And we felt that all too well.

The main reasons for the decline in jewellery purchases were the economic slowdown in China and India. That is a lot of purchasing power, and any slight decrease affects the global economy.

But what about the next young adult generation? Do they still want diamonds? Yes, they do, but this a hard-working generation. There are lots of financial hardships, and large expenses are done after careful deliberations. Couples tend to get married later on average because of this. The couple does proper research and comes ready to the shop well informed. It is really a generation to be proud of.

Some numbers, global polished diamonds sales: 2010 - 20.9 $US billion, 2011 - 23.0 $US billion, 2012 - 23.6 $US billion, 2013 - 24.5 $US billion, 2014 - 25.2 $US billion, 2015 - 24.7 $US billion.
In 2010, the USA would sell 39% of world's diamonds, in 2015 this was 45%. India’s purchasing declined from 10% to 7%, Japan from 6% to 4%. China grew from 10% to 14%.

The full report can be found here:  http://www.debeersgroup.com/en/reports/insight/insight-reports/insight-report-2016/overview.html

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