Ultra-wealthy U.S. shoppers ranked Graff Diamonds highest among 22 luxury jewelers in the 2012 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey conducted by the New York-based Luxury Institute. With the top overall LBSI score of 7.98 out of 10, Graff ranked first on brand reputation and product quality considerations, scoring highest in evaluations of materials and craftsmanship.
Graff is also the brand that ''pentamillionaires,'' or those with assets of more than $5 million, are most likely to deem worthy of charging premium prices, according to the Luxury Institute. Graff is followed by the jeweler Asprey (7.82) and Mikimoto (7.77).
LBSI scores comprise respondents' evaluations of each brand's products, customer service experience and reputation. Survey participants reported average income of $682,000 and average net worth of $14.6 million.
The Luxury Institute stated that top luxury jewelers serve an exclusive clientele. Just 1 percent of pentamillionaires have purchased one of Graff's diamonds in the past 12 months, 3 percent have shopped Asprey and 4 percent have purchased from Mikimoto. Tiffany & Co. is the most popular luxury jeweler with 13 percent of ultra-wealthy shoppers making a blue box purchase in the past year and 75 percent plan to buy Tiffany goods in the coming year.
"Quality in craftsmanship and materials are primary considerations for any luxury goods brand, but especially so in jewelry," said Luxury Institute's chief executive, Milton Pedraza. "The top-ranked jewelers also pay attention to delivering an outstanding customer experience to create true brand value and a competitive advantage."