Stephen Lussier, Forevermark Chairman and Executive Vice President, Consumer and Brands, De Beers Group, and Sachin Jain, Forevermark India Managing Director, discussed current diamond market trends and informed about De Beers’ upcoming activities around the 2030 Building Forever sustainability goals at a virtual press briefing held on 7th July.
Lussier said that across the entire luxury segment, diamond jewellery was the star performer in H1 2021. Forevermark sales grew 50% year on year from January to May this year. Jain reaffirmed that H1 in India had a phenomenal start.
Regarding the current diamond trends, Lussier noted that bigger diamonds are witnessing strong growth at the consumer end. “We were surprised by the speed and strength with which consumers returned to spend on diamonds. Retailers sold everything they had. Demand remains strong and inventories are historically low and there is a pull on the manufacturing side,” he noted.
Lussier elaborated on the reasons why consumers were spending more on diamonds: One, the psychological impact of going through a lockdown experience had led more men to gift diamonds to their partners as a gesture of appreciation. Two, solitaire ear studs and diamond necklaces were the top sellers as self-purchasers rewarded themselves for making it through the pandemic.
“As India’s vaccination drive builds up, we expect to see a desire for diamond jewellery and need to capitalise on it,” Lussier noted.
Lussier also spoke about the long-term sustainability goals of De Beers. “The younger consumers today want to associate with brands that are contributing positively to the world. Sustainability is the key and we, at De Beers, want to make sure that our brand and diamonds, as a generic category, are seen as making a positive impact. In our Building Forever initiative, De Beers will want to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.”
Lussier commented that Forevermark will be shortly rebranded as De Beers Forevermark to associate more strongly with its parent company’s sustainability efforts (Building Forever) among consumers.
The Code of Origin programme will shortly be announced in India officially, wherein 14 retailers and 7 sightholders will be brought together, to instill a sense of positivity and goodwill around diamonds among consumers. Sustainability will be a mega trend for the next 10 years, Lussier noted. Smaller diamonds under 8 points will also come under the Forevermark guarantee to increase transparency, he added.