Global consumer demand for diamond jewellery hit a new all-time high in 2017, climbing to $82 billion (£61bn).
According to industry insight data published by the De Beers Group, this is a 2% increase on the previous year.
For the fourth consecutive year the US was the main driver of growth, where positive macroeconomics and strong consumer confidence saw demand for diamond jewellery increase 4% to $43 billion (£32bn), representing more than half of total global demand. An increase in self-purchase of diamond jewellery helped drive demand, representing 33% of total US diamond jewellery pieces acquired in 2017.
Consumer demand in Mainland China, the world’s second largest consumer market for diamond jewellery, also returned to positive growth in 2017, reflecting the trend of the broader luxury goods sector. Demand increased 3% in local currency and 1% in US dollars, totalling $10 billion (£7bn). Growth was supported by strengthening macroeconomics towards the end of the year and a 20-year high in consumer confidence. In addition, there was a revival in the Hong Kong market in the second half of 2017, driven by both stronger local demand as well as a resurgence of Mainland visitor shopping.
De Beers Group chief executive officer, Bruce Cleaver, comments: “People around the world are spending more on diamond jewellery than ever before and it’s encouraging to see consumers in the US, the world’s largest and most mature market, leading the way. While new designs and brand concepts played a key role in catching the consumer’s eye, it’s the timeless natural beauty, uniqueness and enduring value of diamonds that continues to resonate with people when looking to celebrate life’s special moments.”
Demand for diamond jewellery in the other main consumer markets of India, Japan and the Gulf saw low single digit declines in US dollar terms, affected by a range of macro-economic factors and regulatory and exchange rate impacts. Consumer demand in other diamond jewellery markets globally increased overall.
The outlook for 2018 demand growth remains positive in most of the main diamond consuming countries, based on solid world economic prospects, positive consumer sentiment and continued investment from the diamond industry in category marketing.