Los Angeles, CA—Repeated surveys of retailers, suppliers, and even miners in the past few months consistently show that fine jewelry is holding its own in the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns. In fact, the category not only remains solid but also is winning share of wallet from travel and experience spending that is not possible in the face of COVID.
Additionally, the diamond industry has seen an uptick in sales from couples who have been quarantined together and have decided to either make their commitment permanent or who want to express gratitude for the support from their partner. And finally, Zoom meetings are driving a sharp focus on above-the-neck fashion and adornment. Image: Tommy, Kim, and Jerome Heidenreich, owners of Trumpet & Horn, a mostly-online vintage engagement ring retailer with a showroom in Los Angeles.
Business writers and analysts are taking notice. An article in the Los Angeles Business Journal quotes several local jewelers saying they’ve been relatively unaffected overall and that online activity has compensated for in-person sales. While business plummeted during the initial part of the lockdowns in March and April—as it did everywhere—for the jewelers interviewed it has rebounded to essentially normal levels since then, something they all admitted was a surprise. Still, as Jeremy Auslander, a partner in Roxbury Jewelry, told the Business Journal, even with unemployment numbers in the teens, there still are enough people who are employed and have the desire and means to buy jewelry. And Kim Heidenreich, co-founder of Trumpet & Horn, a vintage engagement ring store, told the paper that engagement rings always sell, even in down times.
All jewelers interviewed for the article agreed on something else the industry has been saying: the pandemic has accelerated the trend toward buying jewelry online, and that it’s a paradigm shift that will never fully go away.