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China Enter the Dragon
When the world’s industrial centre of gravity shifted eastward many years ago, China rapidly emerged as the largest exporter of goods globally.
By: Diamond World News Service
May 4 2011 3:54PM
Reference: 5971  

The Diamond and Jewellery Market: Moving Ahead

How does this relate to the diamond and jewellery market? Mirroring the overall expansion of the economy, this segment too reported dramatic growth rising from US$ 230 million in 1995 to an estimated over US$ 2 billion. From the near zero figure in the early 1990s, today about 10-11 per cent of all families possess diamond jewellery and the figures are expected to rise dramatically on the back of the overall growth and spread of prosperity.

Reports from China indicate that where diamond jewellery was earlier seen only in high end, glittering boutiques in a few major cities, today it is available in many smaller stores in medium and small towns, as well as larger developed rural townships.

Besides the internationally known brands, other big names in the field include Hong Kong based Chow Tai Fook and Chow Sang Sang and local Chinese jewellers like Lao Feng Xiang all of whom have multiple outlets across the country. Chow Tai Fook for example, plans to open over 100 new stores this year and plans to expand into the Tier Three and Tier Four cities through franchisee run stores.

In the largest segment of the jewellery market – bridal jewellery – diamonds have carved out a strong niche in what was traditionally a jade and gold dominated segment. In the bigger cities, diamond engagement and wedding rings are now popular, and this category accounts for an estimated 70 per cent of total sales. Jewellers are going beyond the wedding market – diamonds are already penetrating the anniversaries and other life-stage related jewellery segment – into diamonds for daily wear and fashion needs.

Another category is diamonds as investment. In a recent interview, Hu Shugang, Chairman of the Board of Chinese jeweller Lao Feng Xiang said, "Investment diamonds have become a new darling toy among Chinese investors and collectors.”

As Vishal Mehta told the Shanghai Diamond Conference, “2010 marks the culmination of Chapter One of the relatively young diamond industry in China.”

The stage is now set for the next chapter to be written!

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