2014 was a record year for consumer diamond jewellery demand and also a strong year for rough diamond demand.
2015, however, saw a more contrasting performance. While consumer diamond demand remained reasonably strong, rough diamond demand fell.
With the first half of 2016 showing signs of more stable conditions returning, it is clear that volatility in the diamond sector is not a short-term phenomenon, but the new normal.
The sector has shown itself consistently to be resilient – in the face of financial crises, fluctuating demand and increased competition from other luxury categories.
But the pace of change is quickening and, as a sector, we cannot look to the past for solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.
As our research with Millennials shows, tomorrow’s consumers are not the same as yesterday’s. However, they do share many of the same views as older generations. It is perhaps because of this that diamonds are high on their wish list.
Indeed, they spent nearly US$26 billion on diamond jewellery in the four main markets last year, acquiring more than any other generation.
And, perhaps most encouragingly, Millennials are still 10 years away from their most affluent life stage, presenting a significant opportunity for the sector to capitalise fully on a generation comprising more than 220 million potential diamond consumers in the four main markets.
This year’s Diamond Insight Report explores the diamond sector’s fundamentals and the factors that are influencing them. I hope that it will help to provide clarity, direction and, of course, insight, in an ever-changing world.