US Gold Jewelry Demand ‘Relatively Resilient’ in Q4

MajorsFeb 05, 2021

US Gold Jewelry Demand ‘Relatively Resilient’ in Q4

Pent-up demand and money diverted from travel and dining out helped boost demand for gold jewelry at the end of 2020.

The “Shadow of the Dome” ring by jewelry designer Valerie Jo Coulson is made in 18-karat gold with a 14-karat yellow gold band. Demand for gold jewelry was relatively resilient in the U.S. last year, especially in the fourth quarter.
London—Demand for gold jewelry proved to be relatively resilient in the United States last year, particularly toward the end of the year.

According to the World Gold Council’s recently released Gold Demand Trends report for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020, demand for gold jewelry in volume terms was down just 1 percent year-over-year in Q4.

In value terms, demand hit a quarterly record of $2.9 billion due to high gold prices.

The gold price topped $2,000 an ounce in August and finished the year with a cumulative average of $1,769.64. Early into 2021, the gold price remains high, hovering around $1,800 per ounce as of press time.

WGC described Q4 U.S. demand as “relatively robust,” noting that the fourth quarter benefited from pent-up demand from previous quarters.

In addition, money that’s usually spent on travel and dining out, which are severely limited by the ongoing pandemic, was diverted to gold jewelry, which remains on-trend for fashion pieces as well as in bridal.

RELATED CONTENT: Watch Our Webinar on Fine Jewelry Trends in 2021

For the full year, the council said its data shows gold jewelry demand in the U.S. was down 10 percent, driven by the impact COVID-19 had on consumer income and sentiment.

(WGC noted that U.S. demand figures could be subject to “greater-than-normal revisions” going forward, due to varying levels of uncertainty in the data due to COVID-19 disruptions.)

Data from The Edge Retail Academy shows that the number of units of gold jewelry sold dropped 7 percent year-over-year in 2020, though gross sales were up 2 percent and the average amount of each sale rose 10 percent. 

Alexia Connellan designed these convertible, Art Deco-inspired yellow gold “Gatsby” earrings set with yellow diamonds. The earrings can be worn five ways: as a pair of diamond huggies, as tailored yellow circle drops, with a long diamond dangle off the circles (pictured), with a green tourmaline crystal dangle (reverse side, not pictured) and with either of the drops as a pendant on a chain.
Globally, gold jewelry demand was down 13 percent in the fourth quarter and 34 percent on the year.

All markets posted steeper declines than the U.S. 

Precipitous drops in demand in India and China, the two largest consumers of gold in the world, were the main drivers behind the decline. 

The World Gold Council said demand in India fell 42 percent year-over-year in 2020, and was down 
34 percent in Mainland China.

In Europe, gold jewelry demand fell 21 percent and it was down about 30 percent in the Middle East and Turkey.

Overall global gold demand, including use of the metal for technology and as an investment vehicle, dropped 28 percent in the fourth quarter, the weakest quarter since 2008, when the world was the midst of the global financial crisis.

For the full year, demand was down 14 percent to 3,759.6 tons, marking an 11-year low.

Total annual gold supply fell 4 percent year-over-year to 4,633 tons, the biggest drop since 2013.

The World Gold Council said the coronavirus-related disruption to mine production—which was seen in the diamond industry as well—is largely to blame, though it was offset somewhat by a marginal increase in recycling to 1,297.4 tons.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Buccellati jewelry
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Richemont Appoints Van Cleef & Arpels’ Nicolas Bos as New CEO

The announcement coincided with its full-year results, with growth driven by its jewelry brands.

Watches of Switzerland Mall of America store
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Watches of Switzerland’s Fiscal-Year Sales Flat

Looking ahead, the retailer said it sees “enormous potential” in Roberto Coin’s ability to boost its branded jewelry business.

My Next Question webinar series graphic
Recorded WebinarsMay 17, 2024
Watch: Preparing for Trade Show Success

Jewelry trade show veterans share strategies for engaging buyers, managing your time effectively, and packing the right shoes.

Royal Chain gold chains
Brought to you by
Record Gold Prices Have Consumers Undeterred. Here’s Why.

Despite the rising prices, consumers continue to seek out the precious metal.

Cartier ring-tailed lemur brooch circa 1991
AuctionsMay 17, 2024
Piece of the Week: Cartier’s Ring-Tailed Lemur

This little guy’s name is Ricky and he just sold for more than $200,000 at Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction.

Weekly QuizMay 16, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these seven questions.
Take the Quiz
202.18 carat fancy intense yellow diamond The Yellow Rose
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Christie’s Holds 2 Sales Despite Cyberattack

Though its website has been down for a week, Christie’s proceeded with its jewelry and watch auctions on May 13-14, bringing in nearly $80 million.

The Allnatt yellow diamond
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Sotheby’s Withdraws 101-Carat Yellow Diamond from Auction

Despite the absence of “The Allnatt,” Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction totaled $34 million, with 90 percent of lots sold.

Header image w logo.jpg
Brought to you by
From Registration to Return: 10 Tips to Protect You Before, During and After a Tradeshow

Tradeshow risks are real. Get tips to protect yourself before, during and after and gain safety and security awareness for your business.

National Jeweler columnist Lilian Raji
ColumnistsMay 16, 2024
The PR Adviser: What the Designer Should’ve Done

Lilian Raji gives advice to designers on how to make the most of great publicity opportunities.

Mothae Diamond Mine Lesotho
SourcingMay 16, 2024
Lucapa to Shed Stake in Lesotho Diamond Mine

The mining company wants to divest its 70 percent holding in the Mothae Diamond Mine in an effort to streamline its portfolio.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsMay 15, 2024
Squirrel Spotting: Why Retailers Struggle to Fire Brands

Why do so many jewelers keep lines that are not selling? Peter Smith thinks the answer lies in these two behavioral principles.

The Argyle Phoenix red diamond
AuctionsMay 15, 2024
Red Diamond Breaks Records at Phillips Geneva

The “Argyle Phoenix” sold for more than $4 million at the auction house’s second jewels sale.

Jewelers of America 20 Under 40 2024 recipients
Events & AwardsMay 15, 2024
See Who’s in JA’s 2024 ‘20 Under 40’ Class

The annual list recognizes young professionals making an impact in jewelry retail.

David Mann jewelry store
IndependentsMay 15, 2024
David Mann Jewelers in Upstate NY to Close After 35 Years

Owner David Mann is heading into retirement.

Brilliant Earth Logan Hollowell jewelry collection
FinancialsMay 15, 2024
Brilliant Earth’s Sales Fall Flat in Q1

While overall sales were sluggish, the retailer said its non-bridal fine jewelry was a popular choice for Valentine’s Day.

Rough diamonds from De Beers
SourcingMay 14, 2024
Anglo American Confirms It Is Looking to Sell De Beers

The mining giant also wants to offload its platinum business as part of an overhaul designed to “unlock significant value.”

The Yellow Rose and the Allnatt yellow diamonds
AuctionsMay 14, 2024
2 Huge Yellow Diamonds Are Heading to Auction

Christie's is selling one of the diamonds, moving forward with its Geneva jewelry auction despite the cyberattack that took down its website.

Instappraise Trifold Brochure
GradingMay 14, 2024
Instappraise Adds Trifold Brochure to Appraisal Offerings

Retailers can customize and print the appraisal brochures from their store.

White, pink, and blue lab-grown diamonds from Lightbox
Lab-GrownMay 13, 2024
Lab-Grown Diamond Brand Lightbox Cuts Prices by 25 to 40%

The move follows a price-drop test run in Q4 and comes with the addition of a “quality assurance card” from GIA for some loose diamonds.

Christie’s New York
TechnologyMay 13, 2024
Christie’s Website Brought Down by Hackers, Watch Auction Postponed

The site has been down since Thursday evening, just ahead of its spring auctions.

Madeleine K. Albright’s Patriotic Leopard Brooch
AuctionsMay 13, 2024
Madeleine Albright’s Jewelry, Pins a White-Glove Sale at Freeman’s | Hindman

The late former U.S. Secretary’s collection went for quadruple the sale’s pre-sale estimate.

Zachary’s Jewelers Mother’s Day Jewelry Contest winners
IndependentsMay 13, 2024
Zachary’s Jewelers Names Mother’s Day Jewelry Contest Winners

Three fifth graders’ winning designs were turned into custom jewelry pieces in time for Mother’s Day.

Kimberly Adams Russell
IndependentsMay 10, 2024
Frank Adams Jewelers Names New CEO

Kimberly Adams Russell is taking over the role from her father, David Adams, marking the third generation to hold the title.

Birth of Venus necklace
CollectionsMay 10, 2024
Piece of the Week: Carina Hardy’s ‘Birth of Venus’ Necklace

As a token of womanhood, this necklace depicts when Venus was born from the sea.

Lauren K Mosaic necklace
TrendsMay 09, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: Shine Bright, Moms  

Show your mother some love with a piece of fine jewelry.

Kyle Edward Fine Jewelry
IndependentsMay 09, 2024
Kyle Edward Fine Jewelry to Close Salisbury Store

The company’s Easton location will remain open.

Jewelers Board of Trade logo
MajorsMay 09, 2024
JBT Elects New Chairman

Brian D. Fleming of Carla Corporation was elected to serve a one-year term in the role.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy