Crystal Gemstone Market Overview

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Crystal Gemstone Market Overview

The luxury crystal gemstone shopper is likely to be a married millennial woman with a bachelor's or higher degree and a household income of $75,000+. She is socially conscious, seeks meaning and authenticity, and purchases gemstone jewelry to celebrate personal milestones or as an investment. The luxury crystal gemstone is an expression of her individuality and independence.



  • Millennials are the "core" demographic for luxury items. They account for 59% of all diamond-- the most popular luxury gemstone that accounts for 94% of the US gemstone market--jewelry purchases by women aged 18-74 yrs in the US.
  • Bridal jewelry accounts for over a quarter of diamond sales. Self-purchase (buying for oneself) of diamond jewelry, accounting for a third of sales in the US, is on the rise among young women. The share of sales to single women has also grown.
  • One in ten Gen Z women and one in five older millennials have gifted a diamond to someone else, typically their mothers, or else their grandmothers, daughters, and female friends.
  • Women aged 18-20 account for 5% of the diamond jewelry market in the US. "Cohabiting women now receive 10% of the value of the female diamond jewelry market."


  • As women are self-empowering and becoming increasingly independent, they are not waiting for men to gift them jewelry; a third of the diamond jewelry is self-purchased.
  • While "diamond love gifting" accounts for over half (52%) of all diamond purchases--roughly half of the purchases are related to engagements and weddings--"women are increasingly having more say in the choice of diamond jewelry they will wear and are increasingly contributing towards its cost, even when it’s a gift to them".
  • Research by DeBeers suggests that "more and more women are paying for their own wedding or engagement jewelry in the US and are spending significantly more on average than their partners spend."

Marital Status

  • The consumer segments of the US female diamond jewelry market by marital status: married (53%); engaged (3%); cohabiter, will marry (5%); cohabiter, will not marry (10%); and single (29%).
  • The breakup of the US female diamond jewelry market by the value of diamond sold: married (70%); engaged (9%); cohabiter, will marry (4%); cohabiter, will not marry (6%); and single (11%).


  • The married woman consumer segment of the US diamond jewelry market has an average household income of $96,700; the cohabiter, will marry segment has an average household income of $63,700; and the cohabiter, will not marry segment has an average household income of $60,000.
  • Given the aforementioned statistic and the fact that married consumers account for 70% by value of the diamonds sold, and considering that the individuals participating in luxury jewelry consumers surveys earn over $75,000, the typical household income range of a luxury crystal gemstone consumer is estimated to be $75,000+.


  • The median weekly salary of an individual with a bachelor's degree is $1,173. Therefore, the annual median earnings of a bachelor's degree holder is $60,996 (52*$1,173).
  • As the married segment accounts for 70% of the women's diamond jewelry market, and the average household income of the segment is $96,700, the education level of the diamond consumer is likely to be bachelor's level or higher (assuming two earning members in a household).



  • Women are purchasing diamond jewelry for themselves to celebrate personal milestones, an expression of their own selves, and as an investment. Luxury bespoke diamond jewelry is a "sophisticated expression" of their "style, taste, and individuality".
  • Women over 45 are self-purchasing jewelry "just because" they want to, for no particular reason or occasion; for them, it is a "declaration of power and independence."
  • Twenty percent of older millennial women and 10% of Gen Z women have gifted diamonds to their mother, grandmother, daughter, or close friends. "Mother’s Day and Christmas/Chanukah is the main occasions in the US when women buy diamonds as gifts."
  • The most common "partner gifting occasions" of diamond jewelry within marriage are Christmas (28%), birthdays (19%), wedding (18%), wedding anniversary (14%), and Valentine's Day (6%).


  • The millennial generation, the key demographic of the gemstone industry, is idealistic, "me" generation, and expectant. "Younger couples seek out brands that reflect their own values and help them express their own personalities."
  • Millennials and Gen Zs are "socially conscious and value quality and integrity"; they seek ethically sourced or man-made gemstones and demand proof of the same. "For example, the Sarine Diamond Journey report provides full, verifiable traceability of a diamond’s origins, from the mine to the jewelry store, so Gen Zers can be assured of the ethical source of the diamond."
  • Sixty-two percent of affluent millennial women are willing to pay a premium for a socially responsible luxury brand.
  • More and more couples among the younger generations are living together without marriage. They seek "different styles and types of jewelry (not necessarily diamond rings) that commemorate a lifetime of love, the unique individuality of the couple, and their self-expression."

Purchasing Habits and Journey

  • "Buyers of diamonds now engage more actively across a range of channels when they are researching their intended purchase or seeking inspiration — and this applies to all age groups. Over half of consumers in the US say they would definitely look online to browse designs of diamond jewelry".
  • "One-third (34%) of new diamond acquisitions are researched online. For each piece, consumers typically visit the internet three times, starting nine months before purchase." Omnichannel purchasing has resulted in an increase in the average price of diamond jewelry purchased online. "Young consumers are looking for a full range of services, from inventory checking and setting up appointments, to purchasing and returns to be seamlessly available and interchangeable online and offline."
  • The breakup of diamond jewelry purchased by brand: "International luxury DJ brand" (22%), "international designer brand" (19%), other brands (26%), and unbranded (31%).
  • "The combination of changing perceptions of marriage, dedication to living an ethical life bound by values, and shifting priorities in spending has made the adage of an “engagement ring costs one month’s salary” obsolete. For Millennials and Gen Z, the value of a purchase lies in its meaning and authenticity to self, not in the dollar value."
  • "Six in 10 affluent Millennials read user-generated product reviews when shopping for luxury goods, 55% have learned about a product in a store, but preferred to purchase it online, and 18% recommend luxury brand purchases through social network sites, reports the Luxury Institute.

Hobbies/ Interests

  • JTV, Kay, Zales, and JomaShop are the top jewelry and luxury product websites in the US. As over half of diamond jewelry consumers search for jewelry designs online, we used SimilarWeb, a web analytics platform, to understand the website visitor audience interests. The top interests of visitors to the top jewelry websites are jewelry, fashion, shopping, clothing, news, and finance.

Personality and Lifestyle

  • Millennials are an experiential generation that values convenience and dining out and spends time on armchair activism. They are active on social media and share posts as an expression of their individual identities.
  • Affluent millennials are future-oriented, disciplined, and have big goals. They are three times more likely than an average millennial to have entrepreneurial aspirations and are also three times more likely to want to establish a charitable foundation.
  • Affluent millennials are also more open to trying financial products or making investments via brands that are not from the financial industry.
  • As information specific to luxury gemstone consumers was unavailable, we expanded the scope to the key consumer segment of well-to-do millennials.

Research Strategy

We searched research reports, gemstone industry marketing personnel interviews, advertising case studies, and industry associations such as the American Gem Trade Association and American Gem Society; however, we did not find any data specific to the luxury crystal gemstone industry as a whole--most reports we found focused on the diamond industry. As diamonds (luxury crystal gemstone) account for 94% of the US gemstone market, we used the diamond market data as a proxy for the luxury crystal gemstones market. The demographics are not likely to differ greatly for the ruby, sapphire, or other non-diamond luxury gem consumers. The key difference between diamonds and other luxury crystal gemstones is that diamonds are traditionally an "enduring symbol of love"; however, demographic variables such as age (typical of the luxury segment), gender (typical of the jewelry segment), income (typical of the luxury segment), education (correlated to income) are unlikely to differ even for non-diamond luxury gemstones. Also, other luxury gemstones are still relevant to love and marriage, as gemstones such as sapphire (fidelity) and emerald (wisdom and hope) are the most popular bridal jewelry gemstones after diamonds (eternal love).

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  • "These facts make the Millennials ‘core’ consumers today for most businesses – including the luxury industry. UBS has estimated that Millennials account for 50 per cent of Gucci’s sales and for 65 per cent of Yves Saint Laurent’s."
  • "Bridal diamond jewellery accounts for more than a quarter of the value of all diamond jewellery acquired by women in the US, China and Japan."
  • "Beyond bridal, the overall share of Millennial demand as a proportion of total diamond jewellery demand among women aged 18–74 in the US, the leading diamond consuming country, is 50 per cent in volume (diamond jewellery pieces) and 59 per cent in value terms. "
  • "Self-purchase of diamond jewellery continued to rise – particularly among younger women – reaching one-third of all pieces acquired. The average amount people spent buying for themselves increased to the level spent on gifted pieces."
  • "Single women increased their average spend on diamond jewellery, buying more pieces with multiple diamonds and a higher number of carats. Sales to single women continued to grow share of sales."
  • "One in 10 US Gen Z women has bought diamonds as a gift for someone else, and this rises to as many as one in five among Older Millennials."
  • "Who do they buy for? Mostly mothers, grandmothers, daughters and female friends (especially for Gen Z). Mothers are the most frequent beneficiaries; about half of American female diamond gift-buyers aged 18–24 buy for their mothers. This tails off among Older Millennials, who start switching to buying for their daughters (Fig. 19)."
  • "Gen Z are closer to their parents than Millennials were at the same age: almost two-thirds of them talk to their mothers about important matters at least once a week, compared with half of Millennials. They also confide more in fathers – but mothers remain the preference for important or intimate conversations. "
  • "Mother’s Day and Christmas/Chanukah are the main occasions in the US when women buy diamonds as gifts. As women get older, the importance of Mother’s Day declines in this respect: only 29 per cent of Older Millennials buying diamonds as a gift name it as the motive, compared with 39 per cent of Gen Z female gifters"
  • "Older Millennial females in the US choose natural diamonds above other precious gems as the precious jewellery they most desire. Among Gen Z and Younger Millennial women, current fashion trends have seen rose gold rise to the top. Most of these youngest consumers have yet to reach the level of affluence that will allow them to increase their active interest in diamonds, but even now diamonds are ahead of all other precious gems (Fig. 11). Diamonds therefore continue to present the greatest opportunity for retailers. "
  • "American women aged 18–20 acquired nearly five per cent of women’s diamond jewellery pieces and four per cent of value in 2017"
  • "This popularity of diamonds is evidenced by the diamond market accounting for 94% of the total value of the U.S. gemstone apparent consumption."
  • "De Beers noted that both generations share values like holding love in high regard, growing up with the Internet, being interested in social issues and prioritizing authenticity and self-expression. They differ however, in matters of trust. Millennials are a less trusting consumer, while Gen Z is more individualistic and optimistic, interested in building their own personal brands. "
  • "Romantic love is still the main driver of diamond jewelry sales, and millennials and Gen Z still want to follow tradition, but they want to do so on their own terms. Bridal sales account for 27 percent of diamond jewelry demand, but diamond gifts unrelated to marriage are still significant, representing 12 percent of the market."
  • "Sixty percent of Gen Z and millennial women in the United States aged 18 to 39 research diamond jewelry designs, quality, pricing and brands before they shop. Younger millennials and Gen Z also turn to social media for inspiration."
  • "De Beers said that Gen Z, in particular, won’t buy in to corporate storytelling. They want to see proof of ethical sourcing or the good that diamonds are doing for communities from which they came."
  • "Today, it’s not only brides who will receive a diamond ring, but often also women in committed relationships who are cohabiting."
  • " Women are increasingly having more say in the choice of diamond jewellery they will wear and are increasingly contributing towards its cost, even when it’s a gift to them. Moreover, as women’s earning power increases, they are also choosing higher value pieces. "
  • "n this report, we focus on women receiving diamond jewellery as commitment or love gifts, and we highlight for the first time how samesex couples have embraced diamonds as part of their own traditions. "
  • "Our research finds some perhaps unexpected signs of changing dynamics in the commitment and love gifting of diamond jewellery. For example, more and more women are paying for their own wedding or engagement jewellery in the US and are spending significantly more on average than their partners spend. The purchasing power of women is therefore as important to recognise in the commitment space as it is in relation to self-purchasing of diamond jewellery."
  • "Another key insight is that gifts of diamond jewellery from men to women before or during marriage now account for more sales than diamond jewellery sold for weddings and engagements. "
  • "They also have a strong sense of permanence and endurance, with 86 per cent of US women seeing diamonds as something that will last forever."
  • " Women in the main diamond consumer markets in China, India and the US see diamonds as the ultimate symbol of love (87 per cent4, 86 per cent5 and 62 per cent6 respectively). "
  • "In the US, more than half (55 per cent) of partner gifting value is for pieces celebrating relationship milestones and expressing love and partnership, whil in China just under half of partner gifting value (44 per cent) is for these reasons."
  • "As discussed earlier, in both China and the US, the value of the love gifting market for diamond jewellery during married life – that is, jewellery received by married women from their husbands – is even bigger than the pre-marriage market. "
  • " In the US, it represents nearly a third (31 per cent) of all sales, compared with only five per cent pre-marriage"
  • "Women buy jewelry creations for themselves to celebrate personal milestones, with most women over 45 saying that it was a treat “just because”. These brilliant and flawless women, like to be involved in the design process and make the key purchase decisions (4Cs) themselves."
  • "The modern woman is independent, confident and she knows who she is and what she wants. Designer diamond Jewelry is a sophisticated expression of just that; it resonates with the wearer’s style, taste and individuality. The freedom of buying diamonds for herself – selecting the size, the shape, the cut and everything in between, really allows a woman to express her individualized taste."
  • "Women are buying jewels for investment purposes: whether it is a one-off piece to add to a collection, an asset to add to a portfolio or an heirloom to perhaps gift a daughter one day. "