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U.S. Jewelry Prices Rise 1% in September

Index Follows Reports Jewelers Increased Prices in 2Q

Oct 18, 2015 4:49 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for jewelry rose 1.3 percent in September from the previous month despite the recent slump in diamond and precious metals prices. The CPI’s reading of 166.20 was down 2.7 percent from a year earlier.

The data follows reports that U.S. jewelers increased prices in the second quarter of 2015. Signet Jewelers reported that the average transaction price at its U.S.-based Sterling division rose 4.2 percent year on year during the quarter that ended August 2.

“We're seeing our average selling price of engagement rings going up, and believe part of that is due to consumers getting engaged at an older age,” Mark Light, Signet’s chief executive officer, said in the company’s second quarter conference call. “We're selling a higher average bridal engagement ring, and we think that's something that'll continue going into the future.”

Tiffany & Co. also reported a shift in its sales mix to higher-priced, relatively lower-margin products during its second quarter that ended July 31.

Still, input costs softened in September with the Rapaport Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat, GIA-graded diamonds down 3 percent (see Rapaport Monthly Report). The price of gold fell 2.3 percent during the month, while platinum slumped 10 percent and silver was basically flat for the month.

The CPI for watches fell 1.6 percent during September and was down 2.2 percent from a year earlier.
Tags: consumer price index, cpi, diamonds, gold, inflation, Jewelry, platinum, Rapaport News, silver, watches
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