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Gold Market Grows in 2005
Jewelry Scene

Gold jewelry dollar sales in the U.S. increased by 4.4 percent in 2005 reaching $17.7 billion, the strongest growth for the gold category since 1999. The growth accelerated slightly at the end of the year, with a 5 percent dollar sales value growth in the final quarter.

This marks the 15th consecutive year of gold jewelry sales increases, according to the 17th annual U.S. gold jewelry sales summary conducted by GfK Audits & Surveys and sponsored by the World Gold Council. The survey reports a corresponding increase of 4.4 percent in gold jewelry units sold for the year, while the average price per unit remained constant at $76.01.

"The continuing media coverage of yellow gold's growing popularity in the fashion world and the rising gold price has strengthened awareness for gold in the mind of the consumer and re-kindled the consumer's love affair with the yellow metal," says John Calnon, U.S. managing director of the World Gold Council.

Consumer sales increased in several categories. Bracelets, the leading classification, increased in both dollar sales volume and unit volume by 6.6 percent. With the fashion world embracing long gold link chains and the many new styles and lengths of chains available, it is no surprise that neckwear posted a 4.1 percent increase in dollar sales value, the highest growth since 1995. Earrings have shown positive growth every year and continued with a 5.5 percent increase in dollar sales value.

Non-store retailers led the field in the increase of gold jewelry sales, reporting a rise of 7.1 percent in dollar sales volume (totaling $1.7 billion) and 6.7 percent in units; they account for 9 percent share of the market. Mass merchants grew 5.1 percent in dollar value (totaling $4.1 billion) and 4.9 percent in units. Department stores increased dollar sales volume by 3.7 percent ($3.4 billion) and unit volume by 3.1 percent. Jewelry stores, the largest channel of distribution, accounting for 49 percent market share, reported an increase in sales of 3.9 percent ($8.6 billion) and a unit sales increase of 3.2 percent.

The survey is based upon a retail market audit based on confidential sales reports from a panel of over 7,500 stores from all major gold jewelry distribution channels. The statistics cover all classes of trade for men's and women's gold jewelry where the primary value is gold content, including jewelry that contains accent stones. Copies of the 2005 U.S. gold jewelry retail sales report are available from the World Gold Council, (212) 317-3800.

Signature gold link chain by John Atencio
Signature gold link chain by John Atencio, (877) 802-3501.
Fashionably flat gold link necklace by Nanis
Fashionably flat gold link necklace by Nanis, (800) 443-1479.