Will women rule the diamond industry?

[Image courtesy - Wallhaven]

De Beers introduced the ‘A diamond is forever’ campaign which influenced people at large to buy diamonds on perception of its rarity, back in 1930s. This placed the diamond ring as a symbol of love and affection and was often used in engagement rings. The purchase of the diamonds back then was mostly carried out by men, as a symbol of affection to his lady love. However, with the changing economic status, the tables have turned and the market is taking a different shape.

Women buyers turning the tables of diamond industry

According to the Diamond Insight Report 2017 published by De Beers Group, women self-purchase is dominating the diamond industry. The termed self-purchasers are mainly married women above the age of 35 with medium and high-income levels. The reason for buying a diamond is now much more than just as a symbol of relationships. Women buy or receive diamonds for various milestones and occasions before as well as after marriage.

Higher earnings by women have increased the number of diamond jewelry being bought by women. Self-purchase route dominated women’s diamond jewelry sales in 2016 in the US, China, Japan and India, representing more than USD 18 billion in value. Majority of the diamond sales in Hong Kong was through female self-purchase.

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said, “While the giving of diamond jewelry as a token of love and commitment continues to constitute the majority of purchases, it’s encouraging to see these additional sources of demand emerge. It’s also great to see women buying more diamond jewelry for themselves in recognition of their achievements, or simply because they want to and they can. The diamond industry now needs to focus on what female consumers are telling us about how they feel about diamonds and make sure that products and buying experiences match their expectations.”

Diamond reflects uniqueness and personal meaningfulness. The increasing achievements by women have persuaded them into buying that define these characteristics, thus stating the increase in self-purchase.

Women manufacturers and designers also marching ahead

The diamond industry is being run by some key players whose families have long been in this business. If you look closely, all of these companies are run by men. It is surprising how ironic it is as the main diamond wearer is women and the designers are old men.

However, the picture seems to have changed and internet has played a major role in supporting the shift. With the help of social media sites like Instagram and Pintrest, emerging female designers get a platform to share their designs directly to the world at large. There has been an observed increase in female jewelers who have turned from just household names to now influential entrepreneurs.

To name a few, Vanessa Stofenmacher launched Vrai & Oro three years ago, Jacquie Aiche is known as the bohemian queen of fine jewelry, Jennifer Fisher is a seller of must-have It pieces, Caitlin Mocium specializes in unique stone clusters,  Andrea Lipsky-Karasz of Tilda Biehn handcrafts modern, architectural designs and many more.

Some of them also support the ethical and non-conflict nature of Lab-grown diamonds, like Anna-Mieke Anderson founder of MiaDonna.

She says, “In 2005, I started doing my research and really uncovered a living nightmare — that buying a diamond can hurt a whole generation of children. I started searching for a conflict-free diamond, and there’s no such thing if it comes from the earth. People shouldn’t be hurt for luxury items, it’s as simple as that.”

A simple reason to the fact more and more women are emerging as designers is given by Vanessa Stofenmacher,

“For so long, what women were wearing was designed by old men who have no relation to what it feels like to wear a piece of jewelry every day. If you go to Kay Jewelers, Walmart, Jared, there’s a distinct generic look and it’s because these elder men are buying and creating jewelry, like heart-shaped pendants, for women. They’re not thinking about who’s wearing the jewelry, and no one told them they should be doing things differently.”

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