High demand swag: Three new trends driving 2019 platinum jewellery sales

Platinum’s natural white lustre and rarity continue to drive aspirations for the precious metal as it remains in particularly high demand by jewellery customers, mens jewellery shoppers, young consumers, and female self-purchasers, according to the latest report by Platinum Guild International (PGI)

PGI has released the 2019 Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR) which is an annual report based on surveys conducted over 1,000 PGI’s manufacturing and retail partners, in addition to over 1,000 consumers. It provides in-depth analysis of platinum jewellery’s performance in 2018, alongside a forecast for 2019, highlighting the trends that will shape the industry in each of the four key platinum jewellery markets: Japan, China, USA and India.

The survey showed that platinum continues to sit atop global consumers’ precious jewellery metal hierarchy as the metal of highest perceived value, making it the natural choice for jewellery that holds a special place and meaning in consumer lives.

“Three of platinum jewellery’s key markets experienced growth, and all four markets witnessed expanded platinum jewellery offerings as the jewellery industry seized opportunities to go beyond platinum’s stronghold in bridal,” said Huw Daniel CEO of Platinum Guild International.

According to the report, young consumers, men’s jewellery, and female self-purchases will build upon platinum’s pre-eminence in bridal jewellery to drive future demand.

It found that the rising cohort of millennial consumers and the even younger generations are finding meaning in platinum jewellery that embodies their aspirations and captures their memories. But their choices are being expanded into multiple jewellery categories unlike any other time in history.

In an interview with Marketing, Tim Schlick, chief strategy officer at Platinum Guild International, said that consumers are more marketing savvy than ever. Millennials are especially masters in distinguishing between product substance and marketing veneer. Brands have to come up with marketing efforts that are relevant to them.

Japan continues to have the highest per capita consumption of platinum jewellery with a 6th year of consecutive growth, seeing an increase in platinum jewellery retail sales of 1% year-on-year. The key demand driver was heavier rings in bridal, resulting in 4.5% growth by weight in bridal consumption of platinum.  

PGI predicts that continued collaborations with strong influencers – whether brands or individuals – will increase platinum jewellery’s desirability to the affluent and the next generation of consumers, for bridal and beyond.

Meanwhile, platinum jewellery sales by weight in China experienced a fifth consecutive year of decline as the industry continues a necessary structural transition in response to changes in the macroeconomy and retail consumption.

Despite the overall weak sentiment, many leading retailers revamped their platinum offering in 2018, with new and innovative designs, incorporating alternative materials, modular interactive parts, and re-imagined traditional Chinese motifs. These new collections are driving growth in the number of units sold among PGI’s partners, and are re-positioning platinum to be as competitive in both turn and revenue as the highest performing categories in store.

Retailers in the United States report 11% growth for platinum jewellery in 2018. Beyond the bridal sector – which remains a platinum stronghold – self-purchase is a key area for future growth around the world, most notably in the United States.

Despite industry disruptions from government legislation and liquidity issues, India remains the fastest-growing platinum jewellery market with a significant 19% year-on-year increase in partner retail sales.  

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