Whether it’s the De Beers value-themed advertising over the holidays or a general lack of faith in other investments, timeless diamond jewelry seems particularly timely this year. Retailers across the country report a back to basics trend. Studs seem to be hearty staples that even an economic downturn can’t affect. Diamond jewelry is now back in many people’s pictures, either as a source of income—selling estate jewelry back to a jeweler or qualified buyer—or as a portable investment that’s more resistant to depreciation than stocks or real estate.
Although bridal and basics are the most important categories, retailers say that demand for black and brown diamonds also continues to grow. Affordable styles in black and white, and brown and white, will be on many shopping lists in Vegas this year. Rounds still dominate, of course, but the number two shape is now the cushion, edging out the princess in trend-sensitive stores today.
Bridal, the most recession proof category, is benefiting from a surge in new styles from designers who haven’t done bridal in the past. Rose cut diamond engagement rings and wedding bands from a new 22k gold bridal collection by STEPHANIE ALBERTSON, suggested retail $990 to $4,800, (866) 217-8374, www.stephaniealbertson.com.
Scheherazade Jewelers, Edina, Minnesota
What Moves: “Our best-selling category is diamond studs. The trend hasn’t weakened, even in the face of a downturned economy. People don’t see diamond earrings as being flashy, and if there’s a five or 10 year anniversary involved, women aren’t wavering about wanting diamonds. Rounds are kings here, and cushion has surpassed princess cuts. We stick pretty much to yellow and white. About 80 percent of our studs are mounted in platinum, although we are doing well with Marco Bicego who is a leader in bringing back yellow gold.”
How We Sell It: “Our marketing relies on thorough explanations and good listening. We print the 4C’s on our notepads and logos, and we use the Gemex scope to let customers see and compare stones close up for cut and quality. They trust us when they see us take the time and effort to show them the range of what works for their budget.”
“Jaipur” collection necklace and ring in 18k gold with diamond pavé by MARCO BICEGO, suggested retail $10,570 and $6,030, (415) 249-3800, www.marcobicego.com.