American diamond demand drives global sales
American diamond jewellery demand has reached a record high of $41bn (£32bn), according to data published by De Beers Group.
The US consumer demanded exceeded $40bn for the first time in 2016 with a 4.4% increase.
America has recorded five years of consecutive growth in the diamond industry, and its consumers now account for roughly half of all diamond jewellery sales worldwide.
Bridal jewellery accounts for the most sales but a higher value of spend from single women has driven demand. Both single and married women saw an increase in self-purchase trends.
Some 57% of self-purchased diamond jewellery is acquired by married women, while a third is from millennials. Retailers also reported high levels of consumer interest for multi-diamond pieces.
The data showed that consumers are spending more per piece on diamond jewellery, with retailers reporting an increase in the $1,000 (£776) to $4,999 (£3882) category.
Globally, demand for diamond jewellery in 2016 increased marginally in US dollars (at actual exchange rates) to $80 billion (£6.2bn), with demand growth from the US offsetting a contraction in India.
Further marginal growth in US dollar terms is expected in 2017.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said: “American consumers continue to express strong desire for diamonds, but their purchasing habits are changing rapidly.
“However, while US demand drove global growth in 2016, it is increasing demand from emerging markets that is behind the last five years being the strongest on record. Despite some markets facing challenging conditions last year, we see this trend continuing, with improvements in demand from China and India, in particular, emerging in 2017.”