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Women lead diamond consumer market

Women lead diamond consumer market

Self-image creating new gifting motivations Self-purchase opportunities increase as women celebrate more milestones

Diamonds are still proving to be a girl’s best friend after the line was made famous by notorious actress, Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’.

The blonde vixen had sang the lyrics to ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’, a jazz song introduced by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production of the film, which she goes like, “Men grow cold as girls grow old, and we all lose our charms in the end, but square cut or pear shape, these rocks don’t lose their shape, Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!”

The Diamond Insight Report 2017 unveiled by De Beers recently reiterates this statement as it has realized a rise in the purchase of women’s diamond jewellery.

The report has attributed the emergence of three key trends being; changes to family and personal relationships, women’s increased economic participation and a new perception of femininity to having a direct impact on how and why people buy diamond jewellery.

The first trend is that changes to family and personal relationships are leading to diamond jewellery being bought and given to symbolize a wider range of ‘moments’ in one’s life.

“Women are receiving diamonds on multiple occasions before and after marriage,” reads the report, which continues that alongside traditional relationship milestones, diamond jewellery is increasingly being bought to celebrate occasions such as a new job, a promotion and personal achievements more broadly.

The other two trends, women’s increased economic participation and a new perception of femininity are supporting growth in women buying diamond jewellery for themselves.

“More than a quarter of women’s jewellery bought in 2016 in each of the four main consumer nations (the USA, China, India and Japan), representing more than US$ 18 billion in value, was acquired through the self-purchase route,” continues the report delivered by the De Beers Group of Companies Head of Strategy, Esther Oberbeck on a conference call from Hong Kong.

Oberbeck noted that the female self-purchase sales account for the majority of diamond jewellery sales in Hong Kong.

De Beers Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bruce Cleaver had, in a media release on the Diamond Insight Report 2017, said “…diamonds are among the most powerfully symbolic purchases… The new trends present a major opportunity to build on the existing base of demand.”

It is against this extensive backdrop that Voice Money took the opportunity to engage local diamond jewellery industry dealers and those who have come to appreciate the sparkle of a diamond.

The women talk about these emerging trends and how they reflect on the local context.

“Yes, I believe trends have changed as the report suggests. Men traditionally bought women jewellery but today I personally can buy my own diamond jewelry,” says entrepreneur Lebogang Gaobakwe of Garona Group.

She says her interest in precious stones, not just diamonds, was ignited by her parents.

“I grew up finding my parents wearing precious stones, not just diamonds and so it was only right that I get my first piece of diamond jewellery from my parents,” she says, answering to whether she had realized that people do not get or buy diamond jewellery for traditional romantic memories alone.

Laurelton Diamond Botswana Shareholder and Director, Orefitlhetse Masire reveals that she has also bought herself a piece of diamond jewellery.

“The one I’m wearing was a 30th wedding anniversary gift from my husband,” she notes adding that the price tag that diamonds come at, will never kill her love for the precious stones. “I will get myself either a bracelet, a ring or even a diamond necklace when I feel the need to buy one,” she says.