Last week, Mastercard SpendingPulse reported on the increase of jewelry sales in February. Revenue grew 22% for the jewelry category compared to the February of last year, and 24% compared to the pre-COVID period. According to Steve Sadove, Mastercard senior adviser: “despite inflation, consumers are putting the record savings to work … much to the benefit of the jewelry verticals.”
One of the reasons for this surge may be the ever-expanding supply and demand of lab-grown diamonds. Their affordability encourages consumers to add pieces set with larger man-made gems to their style, as they return to the offices after working remotely for some time.
The February figures are the continuation of the trend of 2021. According to Beryl Raff, the CEO of one of the biggest US retailer chains Helzberg Diamonds, there were several times more 2 carat lab diamonds sold last year than 2 carat mined stones. The difference in price pushed consumers to opt for larger lab-created gems and allowed sales reps at their stores to cross-sell and upsell. The key is diversity, as the promotion of fashion jewelry may expand the market and attract new customers, but offers of man-made diamonds for the bridal segment may help close the deals. Raff’s added that the sales of engagement rings with lab-grown diamonds “way outperformed” both their expectations and fashion jewelry segment.
The expectation for lab-grown diamonds are strong even amidst the current world events. With the predictions of mined diamond supply disruptions due to the import ban of Russian rough gemstones, the demand for the lab-growns as the closest alternative at affordable prices may increase even more significantly over the next few months. Labrilliante urges brick-and-mortar retailers to open up their stores for man-created diamonds to grow their sales and always keep their inventory full for their customers.