According to a study from Gemfields, one-third of U.S. women acquired precious colored gemstone jewelry in the last 24 months.
Further, four in 10 Millennials, or 41 percent, acquired precious colored gemstone jewelry within the past 24 months. Gemfields conducted the study in September, which polled 4,008 U.S. consumers between the ages of 21 and 64 who have purchased or received jewelry containing a precious colored gemstone within the last two years. Although there are studies about diamond sales, Gemfields believes the study — focused just on rubies, emeralds and sapphires — it conducted is the first of its kind. Gemfields is the leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones.
The study found out that for U.S. consumers who purchased or acquired colored gemstone jewelry, on average, 38 percent acquired two pieces, while 15 percent acquired three pieces and 10 percent acquired four or more. Millennials are also more likely to use social media, as well as research jewelry, on their mobile devices than non-Millennials.
Men who buy colored gemstones usually buy for wives or girlfriends, the study found. Women who make the purchases often buy for themselves, at 88 percent, or for their moms, at 22 percent.
The study also found that color and clarity are the two most important purchase attributes, more so than carat weight. The average purchase price for a piece of jewelry featuring a precious colored gemstone is $1,386. For men, the average is $2,048 and for affluents — those over $100,000 in annual household income — $2,499.
Respondents said they wear their colored gemstone jewelry often, with 43 percent of women who own wearing their gems daily. Another 24 percent said they wear them at least once a week, and only 7 percent said they wear their pieces on special occasions.
Sally Morrison, director of marketing and sales for the Americas at Gemfields, said she expects the trend toward purchases of precious colored gemstone jewelry to grow, something she said she’s seen so far via the sales from trunk shows over the year. “Customers are excited about seeing something new,” she said, noting that colored gemstones are both “fashionable and fresh.” Those trunk shows are at specialty retailers and boutiques, such as Stanley Korshak.
Morrison also said that Rare, Featuring Gemfields, a private brand at Macy’s, has expanded to 50 stores from 10. Rare currently focuses on jewelry selections featuring rubies and emeralds. “Gemfields does not yet mine sapphires,” Morrison said, noting that the firms hopes to do so soon.
She also said that colored gems, particularly when combined with diamonds, gives the shopper a “bit more bang for the buck,” which could be one reason why it is gaining in popularity.