By  on June 19, 2016

When the going gets tough, the tough head to Las Vegas. That may seem counterintuitive, but it would explain the 3,000-plus jewelry exhibitors and tens of thousands of buyers who descended on The Strip for the Couture and JCK trade fairs, which wrapped earlier this month. Macroeconomic factors may still be causing a luxury slowdown and retail doldrums, but the fine-jewelry and watch industry’s response is to create product that’s an easy — read: accessibly-priced — sell, or a one-of-a-kind pieces worth six figures or more.

“We have been seeing strong purchasing of jewelry since the [2008] recession as it fits within the ‘memory and experiential’ category of spending,” said Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights for MasterCard Advisors. “High-end has not been doing well, especially as luxury spending has slowed around the world. The price point that is doing well is $500 to $2400, which has seen consistent growth since the recession.” Hence, brands have devised ways to deliver shine, while using less pricy sparkle. Entry-level pieces abounded, featuring both polished and matte precious metals, and the addition of gemstones ranging from a sprinkling to a full coat meant a range of prices — from small earring studs for $900 at Mimi So to a heavy diamond collar necklace pushing $1 million at Coomi.

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