January 2017

Like? Share!

Diamonds in China: The New Diamond Retail Market

The ‘yen’ for diamonds, mainly for engagements, is a Western concept. It began in the US with a genius marketing campaign by DeBeers, and carried on through popular Hollywood culture, until diamonds really were considered a “girl’s best friend”. But recently, other countries whose local customs have never involved diamond engagement rings are now gravitating toward the traditional Western trend. This is particularly true of one country: diamonds in China have become all the rage, with modern day millennial women wanting diamonds for engagement rings and diamond accessories to dress up their outfits. The trend towards diamonds in China is so popular that even men want in on the action.

Diamonds in China: Millennial Women

Millennials are all about independence. Millennial women don’t necessarily wait for men to buy them diamonds, but tend to buy them for themselves. Women aged 18 to 34, defined by DeBeers as millennials, account for 68% of Chinese diamond sales, bringing a market value of $6.76 billion in 2015 alone. This emerging group has the potential to turn the diamond market around. In China alone, there are 220 million potential diamond consumers who are still years away from reaching their peak financial stage of life. By appealing to them now, the market for diamonds in China could help lift the appeal of diamonds, spurring the global market.

Bye, Bye Romance

For Chinese millennials, the concept of the diamond is strongly linked to fashion trends and pride in personal achievement. Experts in the industry believe that companies in China who base their business solely on the idea of marriage and romance will have trouble selling to millennials, and must evolve their marketing in order to improve sales. They may do this by developing brands and jewelry lines that focus exclusively on bridal, while providing a host of other diamond jewelry options that are not connected to getting engaged. Diamond and jewelry retailers are wanting to provide millennial customers with more modern, practical and fashionable designs, in addition to the diamond engagement ring. According to experts, the old notion that marriage – and the diamond – is forever no longer reflects reality.

China Embraces US Cultural Mores

Chinese women are exposed to US broadcasting, and their ideas of romance are different than they ever used to be. While many diamonds in China are sold to women seeking fashion statements, not romance, there is still a robust market for diamonds for engagements – and for this specific market, it seems the bigger the stone, the better. Recently a video made the social media rounds in China showing a man proposing to his girlfriend in public with an extravagant display that included flash mob dancers. The girlfriend at first appears excited, smiling and crying, until her boyfriend opens the ring box. She then covers her mouth and walks away without a word. Reporters who followed up on the video stated that the woman was upset that the diamond was under one carat in size.

Diamonds & Men, Diamonds & Technology

The interest of young Chinese women in diamonds may even be surpassing that of Western women. And, unlike in the West, diamonds in China are not just for women. According to a survey by DeBeers, 67% of Chinese men want diamonds as well. In addition, new mobile technologies enable diamond consumers to view the entire diamond story online, satisfying the Chinese millennial’s need for a hi-tech purchase experience, as well as for diamonds.

In spite of the tough global market conditions for diamonds, this new Chinese market indicates a resurgence for the industry. Now, jewelry retailers in Asia and worldwide must focus on how to advance their market appeal to the new generation of buyers.


Subscribe to the Diamond Blog

Get the latest technology, grading and retail news straight from the source, straight to your inbox.


The State of the Diamond Industry in 2019: Challenges & Opportunities

Today, the diamond industry is more complex and dynamic than ever, and technology has only deepened the challenges faced by industry players at every stage of the diamond pipeline. At Sarine, our technologies scanned more than 70 million diamonds in 2018, enabling us to take a broad consideration of the changes happening now in the […]

3 Retail Technologies & Trends that are Changing the Consumer Experience

Recent years have seen a spike in the number of retail stores that are closing down. In 2017, there was a record-setting estimate of approximately 102 million square feet of retail space that went out of business. Retailers worldwide are facing significant challenges, and the main culprit is the internet. We live in a world that […]

The Sarine Diamond Journey™ Provenance Report Goes to Africa

Recently, it was announced that a leading diamond manufacturer in Africa, Schachter & Namdar, has adopted the Sarine Diamond Journey™ provenance reports for its two exclusive diamond brands – Brilliant Rose and Proudly South African. This announcement comes at a time when diamond traceability and provenance are the fastest-growing issues in the diamond industry. Today, […]

5 Diamond & Jewelry Trends for 2019

We’re already well into the year, but 2019 is shaping up to be a bold one in diamonds and jewelry. Designers are pushing the envelope with new, creative styles, and reaching back to revive retro trends. Whether it’s a new fancy diamond shape, an engagement ring worn on the pinky, or a chunky chain of […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #28

Love is in the air in this edition of SPECTRUM, Sarine’s monthly roundup of diamond industry news and trends. This week, we are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a great piece about how to choose the perfect engagement ring from Good Morning America, and a showcase of 15 gorgeous Valentine’s jewelry gifts, compiled by Business Insider. […]

The History and Future of Lab Grown Diamonds

In 2015, photographer Dillon Marsh undertook a fascinating project to demonstrate visually just how much natural diamond has been extracted from a diamond mine during its entire lifetime. In one dramatic example, a photo of the Kimberley mine in South Africa – also known as the “Big Hole” – is juxtaposed with a CGI rendered […]

The Importance of Diamond Provenance in a Data-Driven Age

In breaking the frontiers of the diamond industry, from manufacturing to retail, technology must strive to reach beyond what it can do today, to the potential of what it can achieve tomorrow. At the same time, technological development that brings true change must be in lock-step with the state of the industry at the current […]

3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Affects Your Life (That You May Not Be Aware Of)

What is “artificial intelligence”? Since the very beginnings of computerization, the concept of artificial intelligence has captured the imaginations of science fiction writers and movie makers. Today, fantasy is already reality, and artificial intelligence, or AI, is implemented in a wide range of everyday applications and devices. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, and as […]

How Technology Has Advanced the Diamond Industry: Sarine Celebrates 30 Years

This year, Sarine is launching celebrations for 30 years in the diamond technology business. When Sarine was established, in the late 1980s, technology in the diamond industry was in its very earliest stages. The kinds of technologies used today by diamond manufacturers and gem labs all over the world, such as inclusion mapping, automated rough […]

How Diamonds Are Produced

After the long natural formation process deep in the earth, the diamond is extracted from the mine in its rough, raw state, and begins on its next journey – to become a polished diamond.   From mine, to jewelry store, to the engagement ring finger of its eventual owner – every diamond undergoes a long […]