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For decades, diamonds have been marketed almost exclusively as gifts of love and symbols of marriage. While this universal and powerful motivation will remain the bedrock of the industry, new opportunities are clearly emerging as the position of women in society and the economy evolves.

The first of these opportunities lies with female self-purchase. This has experienced rapid growth as female spending power has increased, and it offers exciting potential for well positioned products.

Self-purchasers are mainly married women, are generally over the age of 35 and have medium to high income levels. While different approaches will be required in different countries – as motivations to buy and preferred jewellery types vary across the key diamond-buying markets – retailers who are able to encourage impulse buying through design, price or emotionally-driven marketing concepts will be likely to see success.

Second, retailers will have increasing opportunities to connect diamonds to a wider selection of life ‘moments’, as women have greater confidence to celebrate all the key occasions in their lives – not just those connected to their relationship. Success at work, memories of a happy holiday or simply ‘just because’ will become increasingly powerful reasons to buy.

Third, diamonds can symbolise a broader spectrum of emotions, and more can be made of the experience of acquisition, as the essence of womanhood is redefined. Alongside commitment and love, diamonds are being bought to represent emotions, such as optimism and pride. And providing younger consumers with more of an interactive buying experience, as well as a narrative they can share with friends, will bring further opportunities.

Fortunately, with a highly symbolic product that lends itself to individuality of both design and experience, the diamond sector is well placed to benefit from the changing face of the female consumer. But a collective effort from all parts of the value chain will be required to capitalise fully on the potential offered by the increasingly multifaceted modern woman.

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