The U.S. retail diamond jewelry market experienced its ninth consecutive year of growth, racking up $26 billion in 2000 and growing about 6% over 1999.
The figures, compiled by the Diamond Information Center, showed that sales increased in several categories, including the diamond engagement ring category, which now boasts a value of $4 billion.
Richard Lennox, the director in charge of the DIC, said the millennium year played a significant role in the strong sales of 2000 and helped balance out fourth quarter slump.
The millennium, along with an economic boom, encouraged women to buy more significant diamond products and brought new customers into retail stores, according to the DIC.
Lennox named the three stone diamond anniversary ring and the diamond line bracelet as two products whose strong marketing is expected to continue driving sales through 2001.
Solitaires and earrings also remain among the strongest categories.