Rapaport Magazine


Letter From Editor

By Amber Michelle

Sylvie Collection

Conservative is a word we’re hearing a lot about these days and while politicians duke it out over who is the most conservative, one thing is for sure…consumers are conservative in their spending. They have come out from behind their shields of cautious spending where they only bought the necessities and are now spending conservatively on little luxuries and desires. People have gotten used to the instability of the economy and they are adjusting their mind-set to the new economic reality. And there have been some upticks in the economic outlook — unemployment is slowly getting lower, the stock market, while it is still gyrating, has seen some nice ups and less severe downs and the payroll tax cut has put money in people’s pockets. As a shopping culture, that means that consumers are back out spending…conservatively. Gone are the days of trading up. Now, people are trading down. After all, it is better to have something than nothing. When it comes to diamonds, that means that the average consumer is making compromises that would not have been made in previous years. In engagement rings, that means a smaller center stone. Consumers are spending less by buying lower-color, lower-clarity diamonds. Designers are rising to the occasion by creating fashion pieces that use small diamonds and creative designs to fabricate jewelry that has a lesser total carat weight, but a big look, all the while keeping prices wallet-friendly. Consumers are also buying smaller pieces and adding on as the budget allows. For retailers, according to recent reports, the trend has translated into more sales of smaller items that add up to a satisfying profit. Rapidly rising gas prices could put a damper on this re-emergence of consumer spending, but then again, maybe not. After all, conservative spending means planning for a purchase and there will always be weddings, anniversaries, babies being born and other special occasions that will be commemorated with diamond jewelry.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - April 2012. To subscribe click here.

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