The overall UK value sales of jewellery grew by 1.2% from £4,098m in 2014 to an estimated £4,146m in 2015, according the annual Jewellery Retailing report by research firm Mintel.
Precious metal jewellery sales were strong in 2014, rising 3.7% from £3,357m in 2014 to an estimated £3,400m in 2015. This is the result of women buying more precious metal jewellery for themselves.
According to the report 55% of women aged 16-24 buy precious metal jewellery for themselves, compared to 45% who buy costume jewellery for themselves.
Alice Goody, research analyst at Mintel, says: “Young women aged 16-24 are the biggest self-purchasers, driven by the trend for charm bracelets and stacking rings. The fact that these collectible items often come in the more affordable precious metal types such as silver and rose-gold plate encourages women to keep adding to their jewellery collections.”
The report also highlights the continued interest in personalised jewellery. Mintel states that 11% of Brits who have purchased or are considering purchasing jewellery are interested in being able to personalise the jewellery that they buy. This rises to 24% of male 16-24-year-olds and 21% of female 16-24-year-olds.
Goody continues: “Consumers have indicated that having a unique design is more important than being fashionable when it comes to precious metal jewellery; perhaps suggesting there are concerns that fashionable jewellery is subjective to trends and may lose its appeal once the trend has passed. This finding may work in the favour of retailers that are enabling customers to personalise or design their own unique jewellery such as through 3D printing.”
Furthermore the report found that 50% of consumers have bought jewellery online in the past five years. For precious metal specifically, 34% of buyers have bought online.
Mintel forecasts that the jewellery market will increase by 9% to £4.5 billion by 2020.