Diamond jewelry manufacturing
Loose polished diamonds are shipped worldwide, where they are set in jewelry and watches.
The jewelry manufacturers market and sell their goods through a variety of channels. Brand name manufacturers often work independently, but wholesalers are influential players in the business, and trade shows play a dominant role, with the most important taking place in Hong Kong and in Las Vegas in the United States.
Diamond setting is labor intensive, and consequently lower-cost products are produced predominantly in countries like India, China and Thailand, whereas high-end jewelry, where the labor component is less significant, is produced also in centers like Italy and France.
Added value increases considerably at this stage, although it now includes valuable materials other than diamonds, including precious metals, colored gemstones and pearls. Design also is critical component in determining value.
Diamond jewelry retail
The most important half-meter of the diamond pipeline, it is popularly said, is the final half-meter, as the diamond set in jewelry makes its way across the sales counter in the jewelry store. Large jewelry chains account for about 20 percent of the market.
The United States remains the world’s most important retail jewelry market by a large margin, with a 47 percent share in 2016. It was followed by greater China, with a 16 percent share; the Persian Gulf, with a 7 percent share; India, with a 6 percent share; and Japan, with a 5 percent share. The rest of the world, including Europe, accounts for 19 percent of diamond jewelry sales.
As was the case in the jewelry manufacturing stage, added value includes costly materials other than diamonds, although diamonds generally make up the largest component. Marketing and branding are particularly important factors in determining value.
Online sales are precipitating massive change in the diamond and jewelry industries, altering consumer behavior and introducing new operating models. Geographic barriers are falling away and data is being used intelligently to identify individual consumer preferences and predict consumer behavior. Much of this is being fueled by new smartphone applications.