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April 2018

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Which Diamond? How the Diamond Buyer Decides

There are millions of polished diamonds in the world. Yet at the end of the day, each diamond buyer will eventually find the diamond that is just right for them. If you think about it for a moment, it’s almost like choosing a romantic partner. Given the sentimental association between love and diamonds, it’s a fitting analogy.

But buying a diamond is also a purchase process. Certainly it is one of life’s more emotion-driven purchases, but there are practical and financial forces at play as well. So, how does it happen that a couple, or individual, come to the decision to buy a specific diamond, out of so many options available to them? Let’s break it down to try and understand.

Why People Buy Diamonds

The first thing to understand is why people buy diamonds to begin with.

Engagements & Non Bridal Occasions

Of course, the most popular reason people buy diamonds is to mark an engagement. Engagement rings have been the leading diamond trend since the mid 20th century in the West, and more recently spread to China and India as well. Diamonds and diamond jewelry are also a popular anniversary gift or gift to mark the birth of a child.

“Mangagement”

There’s a new trend hitting the engagement ring market. It’s called “mangagement”, and it’s the growing practice of buying diamond engagement rings for grooms as well as brides. We discussed the up-and-coming mangagement trend in this recent blog post.

Self-Marriage

While we’re in the area of ‘wacky and weird’, there’s another new phenomenon called self-marriage, and it’s when a person gets married to…themselves. Although rare, it seems that even self-marriage, like traditional marriage, involves the purchase of a diamond ring.

Single Women Buying Diamonds for Themselves

Another popular diamond buying trend is women buying diamond jewelry for themselves. This is due to a number of factors. Firstly, many more women in their 30s and 40s are single. Secondly, these women often have successful careers, and can afford the luxury of purchasing diamond jewelry. Thirdly, cultural changes, such as gender equality and rejection of traditional social mores, have created a kind of backlash to the idea that a woman needs a man to buy her diamonds.

Married Women Buying Diamonds for Themselves

Married women are even buying themselves diamonds and jewelry, not just single women. According to this article, the number of women buying non-bridal jewelry has tripled in the past 10 years. The writer laments that this is not a good thing. After all, if buying diamonds is a shared act, expressing love in a gift given to another, what does it mean if a woman is bypassing her man and buying a diamond for herself without him?

Investment

Of course, there is the least sentimental or emotional reason of all that people buy diamonds, and that is for investment. In a recent interview, Hong Kong jeweler Ronald Abram, clearly outlined the lack of emotion when buying an investment diamond. “…If you’re purchasing [it] for an investment, then you should be more pragmatic in your acquisition, just like with any other investment.”

Impulse Buying Vs Diamond Research

According to the recently released The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, the average spend on an engagement ring in the United States in 2017 was $5,764. For most couples, this is a once-in-a-lifetime, big ticket expense. Combined with the high emotional value of an engagement ring, most diamond ring purchases for an engagement are not an impulse buy. When buying an engagement ring, grooms spend an average of 3 months researching before the purchase.

Do people every buy diamonds on impulse? In some instances, yes. For example, cruises are a notorious place for buying diamonds and jewelry on impulse. Typically, people overspend on diamonds in impulse buy situations. Cruise ships tend to be 25% more expensive than regular stores.

In India, changes in the economic status and social position of women has encouraged a very interesting trend – married women over the age of 35 who are purchasing diamonds on impulse as gifts for themselves. According to this report, smart marketing and branding by diamond sellers can help drive these lucrative impulse purchases.

All factors considered, whether it’s a diamond bought by a groom for his bride after months of painstaking research, or a woman impulse buying a diamond for herself on a cruise vacation with her girlfriends, the question still remains – what made the buyer choose the specific diamond? And the answer is two-fold – it’s the diamond report, which contains all the technical, informative data about the diamond, combined with an intangible sense of emotional attachment felt by the buyer for the diamond itself.

What if a Diamond Report Could Create Emotion?

Diamond reports have typically been thought of as a dry, technical descriptor of the diamond. In the best case, the report comes from a trustworthy lab, and correlates strongly with the features of the diamond. In the worst case, the report is inconsistent, out of date, or considered unreliable by the customer.

Every diamond is unique, created as a rough diamond under specific geological conditions, cut and polished according to a particular one-of-a-kind plan. Every diamond has its own light performance, which directly impacts the way the diamond appears to the naked eye. And every diamond has its own clarity and color grading that determines its true value and visual beauty.

If this information is displayed in an intuitive, interactive digital report, one that can be accessed on any mobile device, and shared on social media and chat apps; if the diamond data contained in the report is backed by reliable, artificial-intelligence based diamond grading technology – then you’ll be going a long way to delivering the ideal purchase conditions that support both the rational and emotional aspects of the diamond purchase.

 

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