Diamonds as gifts best symbolise intimacy, connectedness and love as people seek more meaningful and valuable purchases amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a De Beers study on buying behaviours in the US revealed.
The findings are the first in a series of Diamond Insight "Flash" Reports that the De Beers Group will publish to highlight the evolving consumer perspective and what it means for diamonds in a time of crisis. The new research was undertaken over the past nine weeks at the height of shelter-in-place measures and other virus-induced restrictions.
"As consumers in the US reassess their purchasing behaviour in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, gifts that are meaningful and that retain their value will be the priority as people emerge from lockdown," the group said. "The research demonstrated that lockdown had made many consumers feel grateful for things they used to take for granted, such as spending time with family, and that this would influence their purchasing and gifting behaviour in future."
The study further revealed that 56 per cent of respondents felt gifts especially during the holiday season should be meaningful, over and above being practical, functional or fun.
Diamonds were seen as the top gift to express intimacy, love and connection among both men and women, with the primary desire for purchasing being a reflection of gratitude and acknowledgement during the current crisis.
Ninety per cent of respondents said that choosing gifts that hold their value over time would be an important consideration this holiday season, and more people chose diamonds as the top choice for a gift of this nature from a list of luxury items including designer clothing and accessories, electronic devices, a piece of furniture, or other jewellery.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, commented, “While consumer confidence and spending has been significantly impacted in the US, this research highlights that diamonds will nonetheless have a unique role to play in people’s lives in a post-lockdown world as they seek to celebrate their most meaningful relationships. While it will take some time for the market to recover fully, we hope these insights will assist large and independent jewellery retailers alike to understand the evolving consumer perspective as we move through and emerge from the crisis.”