Outlook on Driving Diamond Desirability: Leading the Growth of the Luxury Market

Consumers must be prioritized as being the key driver of success.

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Dear Industry Colleagues,

As we continue to emerge from the challenges of the pandemic and simultaneously celebrate record growth in our industry, I want to take this opportunity to update you on the many initiatives that the Natural Diamond Council is taking to continue the strong consumer momentum through the coming months.

Firstly, I’d like to give a perspective on the current market conditions, particularly in the US and China, but also that we’re starting to see in Europe. As I have since taking on this role prior to the pandemic, I remain convinced that the market for diamond jewelry remains significantly under potentialized. As a luxury industry and other than the major luxury brands, we haven’t prioritized consumers as being the key driver of success. We have been slow to put forward the magic of our industry in a manner that feels relevant and engaging to a younger audience. I’m pleased to say that is changing, and that the speed of change is accelerating. Industry research and the recent results of publicly quoted companies demonstrates that diamond jewelry is now leading the luxury market in terms of growth since 2019.

I’ve read in various places that this could just be a bubble, but I see the positive evolution of the industry being long term. There are many external factors that will continue to be in our favor – “See and Be Seen” fashion trends as a reaction to working from working home and zoom fatigue, the continued growth in weddings planned  through 2022, the federal stimulus package (in the US), all sitting alongside the significant advances that the industry has made in the digital environment. I appreciate that those that have been in the industry for much longer than myself continue to be cautious, but I see now as being the right time for us to make our success permanent.

Which brings me to the many activities that the NDC will be launching in the next two months to build on our success to date.

For those of you that will be attending JCK and Couture in Las Vegas next week (and for those that can’t), the NDC will be sharing all the latest news and product trends through “Live at Couture”. This new initiative allows us to bring the trends and inspiration found throughout our industry to a global consumer audience. We’ll also have a presence at JCK where we’ll be conducting meetings with retailers and industry partners, discussing how we collectively continue to inspire consumers with the Diamond Dream. As this will be my first industry trade event, I’d love to meet as many of you as possible, so please feel free to reach out to me at the email address below.

This week we are launching a new industry campaign “Thank You, By The Way” to engage consumers in the incredible work done throughout the industry to give back to the world. The campaign can be used and adapted throughout the industry as a consistent message highlighting the work done with communities by providing prosperity, healthcare, education and jobs, the environmental protection provided in areas of the world from where diamonds are recovered, and the economic benefits of our industry in countries and regions that depend upon it. The campaign can be adapted to your local needs, simply connect with one of my colleagues and we’ll make it work for you. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the RJC for their support with this initiative.

Also this week, we’re partnering with Vogue India to create our first Diamond Festival. Giving consumers direct access to some of the most influential people in our industry, the festival brings a focus on the innovation and inspiring stories from around the diamond jewelry industry.

In early September, we’ll be breaking our new global advertising campaign featuring NDC’s Ambassador, actress Ana De Armas, for a second year. Continuing to celebrate both the modernity and timelessness of natural diamond jewelry as the ultimate encapsulation of “Moments Like No Other”, the new campaign energetically emanates a ‘Love Life’ spirit. Consumer research among a Gen Z and Millennial audience overwhelmingly confirms that the campaign fuels excitement about going back out into the world and reconnecting with others, and augments desire for the role of diamonds in the creation of new experiences and memories. With the support of our members, the media investment behind the campaign will be significant in the major markets of the world and will build in visibility as we reach the key Holiday and Festival seasons around the world.

The jewelry featured on Ana De Armas has been designed by Malyia McNaughton, a participant in our Emerging Designer Diamond Initiative. Personally, I’ve found it both inspiring and educational to work firsthand with Malyia and her colleagues in the program, to both understand the challenges that they have in entering our industry, but also the magic that they can bring with mentoring and support. The designs from the campaign collection are open for interpretation throughout the natural diamond jewelry industry.

During October, we’ll be launching our first major diamond publication. Whilst both the publication and the launch plan are still under wraps, we look forward to sharing this with you shortly.

We are receiving great support from many of the best retailers around the world. Our Official Partner Program gives retailers access to our advertising campaigns, our digital content and educational materials, and we already have significant plans in place with partners for the balance of the year. If you’re a retailer that hasn’t yet seen the benefits that the program can bring, please reach out to myself or a member of our team.

It’s going to be a busy end to the year, but that’s the way that we like it! The diamond jewelry industry continues to inspire us, and we aim to bring this inspiration to consumers. I wish you continued success throughout this year and beyond, and I thank you all once again for your support.