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A major qualitative research survey of key UK retailers conducted by International Jewellery London, dedicated to identifying predominant trends in jewelry buying for the first half of 2005, found that consumers are ‘trading up’ to higher priced items and the luxury sector is witnessing customers buying bigger, certificated stones.

Over thirty jewelers, from the high street through to the luxury sector, were interviewed and the results revealed evidence of changes in traditional consumer spending patterns in the jewelry industry, with ‘bigger and better’ being the message UK retailer jewelers are picking up from their customers.

The industry as a whole has experienced lower footfall throughout 2005 but, despite this, diamonds remain one of the strongest revenue earners for retailers.   This is fuelled by falling demand for traditional stones such as blue sapphires, emeralds and rubies. 

In keeping with the trend towards bright feminine shades in colored stones, luxury retailers report that colored diamonds, especially yellow are becoming increasingly popular. Other hot colors and stones are pink sapphires and, to a lesser degree, brown stones are growing in popularity.

White metals, led by platinum and spearheaded by engagement and wedding rings, continue to dominate higher-end jewelry sales. At the same time, despite a muted comeback for yellow gold, demand for white gold pieces has fallen in both the number of items sold and the overall metal weight.

While demand for silver has followed a similar pattern, some department stores are reporting a rise in popularity of better quality silver items such as the combination of white diamonds and silver and branded, designed pieces.  Retailers also report a resurgence in demand for pearls of all colors, with a trend to multi-strand items that incorporate other precious and semi-precious stones.

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