London—De Beers Group’s latest report on diamonds echoed earlier observations of the 2020 holiday season that despite all odds, it was a good one for diamonds.
In its sixth “Diamond Insight Flash Report,” De Beers said jewelry, particularly classic diamond jewelry, had a solid holiday season.
It outperformed other luxury goods, including apparel, as consumers who have discretionary income found themselves with money left over due to limited spending on luxuries like travel, experiences and dining out.
According to De Beers, these consumers turned to “high-ticket classics,” meaning timeless pieces like engagement rings, diamond stud earrings and iconic models from brands like Rolex.
“Knowing that the global economy was volatile and uncertain and also feeling some guilt about shopping while many suffered, consumers did continue to spend but chose to invest in fewer, better things—their indulgent purchases were also stores of value likely to appreciate over time,” the report stated.
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All three noted consumers’ tendency to gravitate toward “safe” choices, like diamonds, in uncertain times.
Golan said this has happened in the past, with diamond sales increasing after the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan, as well as after 9/11.
The use of the phrase “fewer, better things” is also a callback to another time consumers were under duress. It was one of the taglines De Beers used in its 2008 holiday marketing campaign, a campaign launched in the midst of the global financial crisis.
De Beers said while 2020 was “grim,” the U.S. holiday season was “infused with an optimistic outlook for the new year, influenced by hopes for a new era in government, a new infusion of stimulus money, news of imminent vaccines, and the strong performance of financial markets.”