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NDC: Millennials, Gen-Z Definitely Want Diamonds; Is Top Choice After Vacations |  January 20, 2021 (0 comments)


New York, NY—New consumer research conducted on behalf of the Natural Diamond Council found that only vacations beat out diamonds in terms of desirability for both Millennials and Gen-Z consumers.

The research, conducted by 360 Market Reach in the final quarter of 2020, polled 5,000 respondents between the ages of 18 – 39, which spans both generations. Respondents were prompted with nine luxury items to choose from if money were not a concern. The analysis shows diamond jewelry leading as the most highly desired tangible luxury good overall, with vacations (an intangible) being the only luxury spend ranking ahead of diamond jewelry for both generations. The only other categories to come up in the top three were electronics and clothing. The remainder of the nine suggested items include cosmetics, handbags/accessories, perfume, shoes, and watches. 

Respondents also largely attributed their affinity for diamonds to their uniqueness, as 70% agreed natural diamonds are “one of a kind.” Another area of value for respondents was the symbolism diamonds carry for love and connection. 

Both Millennials and Gen-Z will buy natural diamond jewelry for themselves and others as gifts. One in five respondents had made a luxury jewelry purchase within the last 24 months, and half of those included natural diamonds. Half of these natural diamond jewelry purchases were made for themselves, not surprisingly driven by female consumers (72%). The women cited design as the most important value when making the purchase for themselves, after versatility and long-term style and value

Almost 80% of purchasers had bought diamond jewelry as a gift in the last 24 months. This was largely led by men, often gifting significant others. Women said they purchased diamond gifts for their mothers, children, and sometimes their significant other. The leading reason for gifting diamonds across groups was for their lasting value

Related: Natural Diamond Council To Focus Heavily On Retailer Partnerships In 2021

Interestingly, engagement was far down the list of diamond-purchasing occasions. Among women who bought diamond jewelry in the last two years, birthdays ranked as the number one occasion for a purchase, followed by “no specific occasion,” then Mother’s Day, and Christmas/Hanukkah tied with anniversaries. Among men, anniversaries were the top diamond-buying occasion, followed by birthdays, Valentine’s Day, then engagement, and Mother’s Day.

While the majority of diamond jewelry purchases were mostly centered around a life event or occasion, jewelry bought for no specific reason is a category worth noting. Among those who purchased diamond jewelry in the past 24 months, fully one-third did so for no specific occasion, and 24% of respondents said their most recent diamond jewelry purchase was for no specific occasion.

Chart: Natural Diamond Council

The study concludes optimistically for fine jewelry purchasing as 37% of respondents intend to buy fine jewelry in the next 12 months and 27% expect to receive it. 20% of these respondents say they will either definitely or probably purchase natural diamond jewelry specifically and 12% claim they expect to receive it as a gift. 

Social, digital, and independent. These future purchases will largely be affected by social media platforms where Millennials and Gen-Z often obtain shopping inspiration. 

The analysis confirms that consumers very commonly research diamond jewelry before making a purchase. Consumers sought out four to five retail touch points on average beforehand. Most of this research was conducted online, at 2.6 touch points being online and two being in-person. 66% of respondents compared pricing online, 26% looked for social media advice and inspiration, and 24% read articles for tips. 

96% of the cohort is active on social media where 36% of respondents said they would consult social media platforms for ideas and advice prior to purchasing diamond jewelry. 

Contrary to popular belief, Millennials are active on Facebook, vs. other social media platforms. But for Gen-Z, Instagram rules. Chart: Natural Diamond Council

Most of the actual purchases occurred in-store, however, with only 28% made online in the last 24 months. Of the brick-and-mortar retail purchases, most were made at independent jewelry stores rather than nationally-known jewelry stores. 

Natural Diamond Council conducted this survey to track the desirability of diamonds and reinforce the sustainability of the category. Consumer focus on items that carry emotional symbolism and value is heightened during this period as the country continues to endure the effects of the pandemic. The results show Millennials and Gen-Z both have a strong relationship to diamond jewelry where it is an inspirational luxury good, high on their wish lists. 

For a full analysis of the report, visit

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