Fine Jewelry Trends in 2023 & What Consumers Think of Them
As times change, so do the trends and technologies of the diamond jewelry space. One of the biggest shifts we’ve witnessed? Shoppers' thoughts about lab-grown diamond jewelry.
Last year, our curiosity got the best of us. Itching to learn exactly how consumers’ personal values, along with their knowledge of lab-created diamonds in general, influenced their shopping habits, we reached out to hundreds of Jean Dousset email subscribers who volunteered to share their valuable thoughts. (We’ll refrain from divulging our findings here — but the results were definitely juicy. See for yourself!)
Fast forward to today: As part of our ongoing efforts to stay ahead of the always-evolving industry curve, our team has been as inquisitive as ever to uncover the truth about fine jewelry trends in 2023. This time around, we surveyed over 200 random Jean Dousset email subscribers residing in the United States and covered all the bases — digging into their shopping preferences, social media usage, and beliefs regarding both lab-grown and mined diamonds. Before we hop in, here’s a quick demographics breakdown:
• 79% of participants identified as female.
• Our respondents were diverse in age: 34% were 25-34, followed by 35-44 (32%) and the 55+ age group (18%). About 13% of participants were 45-54, and only 3.7% of them belong to the 18-24 cohort.
• The vast majority of participants were in a romantic relationship, either dating (27%), married (35%), or planning to tie the knot soon (19% said they were engaged). 15% of respondents said they were single… for now, at least.
• Lastly, our respondents were also diverse in income. The vast majority of participants (62%) reported their annual household income to be between $100K and $300K. Roughly 21% make $400k+, and only 15% made under $100k.
What do engagement ring purchasers value most in their shopping experience?
Some of our findings rang familiar — for instance, quality, craftsmanship, style, appearance, value, and customer service continue to be top-of-mind characteristics for luxury jewelry consumers, ultimately transcending today’s fine jewelry trends.
Why do consumers buy luxury products in 2023?
Interested in uncovering the major purchase drivers for engagement ring shoppers right now, we also asked respondents why they buy luxury products. Their reasoning? Above all, they value high quality (88%) and design/aesthetics (80%). Here’s the breakdown of fine jewelry trends in 2023:
With that said, most shoppers keep to a budget — even if they are in the market for luxury products. When asked, “How much do you spend annually on fine jewelry (i.e. jewelry priced at $500+)?” many participants (about 41%) said they spend up to $1,000. Another 45% said they spend between $1,000 and $5,000.
How popular are lab diamonds among engagement ring purchasers?But not everything about shoppers’ behaviors remains predictable. Our poll regarding fine jewelry trends in 2023 revealed that only 36% of shoppers would say “yes” to purchasing a lab-grown diamond engagement ring, while this year’s data demonstrates that a whopping 75% of shoppers would opt for lab-grown jewelry. Talk about a changing tide.
Do customers know lab diamonds are an alternative to natural diamonds?
At Jean Dousset, we love to hear how open-minded consumers are becoming, considering that lab diamonds are widely regarded as a more budget- and planet-friendly option — not to mention we genuinely believe lab diamonds are the future. They are just as “real” as earth-mined (natural) diamonds, after all. Yet, when it comes to fine jewelry trends, there still seems to be a knowledge gap on lab diamonds in the consumer space.
Case in point: 40% of this year’s survey participants who already own a natural diamond engagement ring reported that they didn’t even know lab diamonds (which are chemically and optically identical to their natural counterparts) were an alternative to earth-mined diamonds.
Are purchasers open to talking about their lab diamond engagement rings?
From a marketing standpoint, one approach to closing the lab diamond knowledge gap is by gaining insight into how open (or closed) shoppers are to disclosing whether their diamond is lab-grown or earth-mined.
Even though stigmatizing misinformation surrounding lab-created diamonds endures — thus preventing purchasers from speaking truthfully about their lab diamond jewelry — the Jean Dousset team was happy to hear most shoppers are totally open to affirming their beautiful lab diamonds. When asked the question, “When speaking to people other than your spouse, would you share that your engagement ring is lab grown?” 64% of respondents said “yes” and only 36% said “no.”
Still, despite such honesty, most respondents (62%) said they don’t personally know anyone who’s purchased a lab-grown diamond engagement ring. Keep in mind that many people probably know someone who’s purchased a lab diamond ring, but simply don’t realize it, as 36% of shoppers said they keep their lab diamonds a secret.
Where are engagement ring purchasers shopping?
As fine jewelry trends are constantly evolving, so are consumer opinions and the places they choose to shop. Gone are the days of exclusively perusing fine jewelry in brick-and-mortar showrooms — nearly 68% of respondents said they prefer purchasing fine jewelry both online and in person, while 12% said they actually prefer shopping online. About 20% still prefer doing things the old-fashioned way (aka in person).
Beyond showrooms themselves, engagement ring purchasers can be reached at every corner of the digital space — from social media to TV. Here’s a breakdown of where shoppers hang out online:
However, awareness is still one of the biggest barriers to shoppers pursuing a lab-grown diamond engagement ring; for instance, many survey respondents who already purchased engagement rings in the past admitted they didn’t even know lab diamonds were an option. With that said, there’s a huge market appetite for lab diamonds, not only in the engagement ring space but in the fine jewelry space at large. Lab diamonds have proven their potential to become the focal point of fine jewelry trends in 2023, and we can’t wait to see where the future of diamonds takes us.
The verdict? Well, when compared to last year’s survey results on fine jewelry trends, it’s crystal-clear that overall awareness of lab-grown engagement rings in the consumer space has surged, mostly thanks to major improvements in the market penetration of lab diamonds.