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Diamond for U.S. Brides Is Healthy Omen for Diamond Industry

2003: Diamond for U.S. Brides’ Marriage Ceremony

April 2003

Despite the bad economy, Americans still want diamonds and diamond jewelry. U.S. retail sales increased by five percent in 2002 despite prevailing economic uncertainty, continuing unemployment, a declining stock market and global political unrest, J. Walter Thomson’s Diamond Information Center —De Beers advertising agency announced.

The U.S. diamond jewelry market is now valued at $27.4 billion, accounting for well over half the value of diamond jewelry sales through the world.

"What we witnessed in 2002 was that, despite the soft U.S. economy and the overall insecure mood of our country, Americans are still choosing to make heartfelt statements to their loved ones through diamond jewelry," said Richard Lennox, director in charge of the diamond group at J. Walter Thompson. "For the U.S. diamond industry to be able to make such a strong statement in retail sales in 2002, despite a decrease in sales throughout other luxury goods categories, is very encouraging."

Not surprisingly, the all important diamond engagement ring category continue to hold stead despite the sluggish economy, proving once again that the diamond engagement ring is a "cultural imperative" that can withstand economic and geopolitical hardships. 84% or all U.S. brides acquired a diamond engagement ring in 2002, driving demand 2.5% higher than in 2001. The current retail value for the U.S. diamond engagement ring market is now valued at a very healthy $4.3 billion.

Another key driver was the increasing demand for three-stone jewelry celebrating a couple’s past, present and future. Despite being in its infant stages, the number of pieces in this category rose 74% in 2002, especially the three-stone diamond necklace, which nearly doubled its sales. Three-stone rings continue to be strong sellers, especially for anniversary occasions. Their sales were up 9%.


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