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Are Americans Buying Less Jewelry?

Let’s hope not…for obvious reasons. What we do hope is that they’re buying smarter jewelry (like eco-friendly diamonds alternatives such as moissanite). The days of blowing your wedding budget on an engagement ring are changing. More people (the millennials, in particular) see the value option of a custom design ring where the couple chooses the material and the price.

But other factors come into play when looking at jewelry sales dropping. According to the Wall Street Journal:

…jeweler Tiffany & Co. on Thursday said sales at existing stores fell 8% in the second period, extending a string of declines. But unlike Signet, which counts on middle America for the bulk of its sales, Tiffany is heavily dependent on foreign tourists, who have been buying less because of the strong dollar.

“We believe that macro market and political uncertainties are likely playing a role in restrained consumer behavior,” Mark Aaron, Tiffany’s vice president of investor relations, said Thursday.

And let’s not forget the effect of the Kaye diamond swap scandal. A jeweler’s reputation is everything. And when one is tarnished, sales are bound to drop, even though the executives at Signet say differently:

People aren’t buying as much jewelry at Signet Jewelers Ltd. , but executives said it wasn’t because of concerns that some diamonds at its shops were swapped with lesser-quality stones.

Instead, they pointed to a host of other reasons for the unexpected 2.3% drop in sales at established stores and a weak outlook: the prolonged oil slump, the divisive U.S. election, even the Brexit vote.

The retailer, which also owns the Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared chains, cut its earnings and sales targets for the year, sending shares down more than 14% to $82.65 in Thursday morning trading.

Our advice always remains the same: choose a jeweler you trust (like one that’s been in business over 100 years…hint, hint) and stick with a budget that works for you. You can have your dream ring at the price you decide!