Many global jewelry retailers are reporting that the current state of the global jewelry market is robust and growing following COVID. The growth is being driven by online sales as well as high-end or unique vintage pieces.
“Our customers specifically want luxury goods and are showing less interest in lower-priced inventory,” said Sheahan Stephen, CEO of Sheahan Stephen Sapphires, Inc.
Online sellers are moving much more product than those sellers limited to a local market. “Online business has increased a great deal,” said Vania Motta of B.B. International. Based in Brazil, Motta noted that much of their inventory is exported and is not selling well in their local area.
Christina Helmes, of Germany-based Stephan, credits the pandemic in pushing the company toward expanding its online presence and improving its methods of remote communication, with both employees and customers alike. “We are doing much of our current business through Zoom,” she said.
The sale of unusual and distinctive jewelry has gained traction over the last few years. “Old and unusual items are moving quickly,” said Randy Poli, president of Poli Trading Company. “I am starting to have trouble finding high-end vintage jewelry.”
Mr. Poli also observed that many of his clients are more aware of the “sentimentality” aspect associated with jewelry items. Specifically, that positive memories can be evoked by the mere sight of an item even years after its receipt.
As for why people are willing to spend more on jewelry, Mr. Poli hypothesized that it is partly because the “war for dollars” traditionally waged between the jewelry and travel markets has been unbalanced by COVID. As people are not spending as much money on travel, they are willing to invest available funds in jewelry which will continue to “give joy” to the wearer for years to come.
Deeta Thakural of Deeta Thakural Jewelry is a designer who specializes in distinctive designs. Like Mr. Poli, she says that she has also noticed a “rush in the market for valuable pieces.”
Consumer demand for unique jewelry applies to the pearl market as well. Alexander Collins of Collins Tahitian Black Pearls sells some of the smallest Tahitian pearls available, the tiniest with a diameter of only 6mm. “There is crazy demand for my pearls right now, especially from North American and Asian clients,” he said.
Similarly, Nicolai and Joshua Israileff of ASBA USA, Inc. are also in the business of selling exceptional pearls. They said that “long funky”, and “fun funky fresh” designs are most in-demand and are selling well via Zoom. However, they expressed concerns about an impending shortage of saltwater pearls looming in the next few years. They explained that the pandemic forced many of the expert Chinese pearl farmers working internationally to return to their home country, and many have yet to return to their posts. They say that pearl prices are holding steady for the moment, but a decreased global supply may change that soon.