We can all to relate to that payday anticipation. You know exactly what you’re going to treat yourself to this month. Have you been saving for a new outfit? Tickets to an event? Booking a holiday? Nowadays, it’s becoming increasingly popular that women are treating themselves to diamonds. According to a 2016 report by De Beers, 50% more self-purchasing women are buying diamond-only jewellery. And what’s more, these figures especially favour economically-sourced diamonds. This isn’t always for the purpose of wearing the jewellery, diamonds are a tempting investment item for many women.
Of course, jewellery carries value in ways other than expense. The emotion connected to jewellery is pertinent. Even our least materially expensive jewels can be richer in meaning and value. But the way women consume material goods has rapidly evolved alongside their social progression. The number of women now in managing director roles doubled in the past decade. Women choose to prioritise financial independence and career success. Therefore, buying diamond jewellery may be something to mark and celebrate a woman’s professional achievements. Maybe you’ve just got a promotion? Want to buy a heirloom to gift your daughter one day? Or you’re looking to invest in a diamond for fashion entrepreneurial plans. As women become more and more economically independent, we can afford to buy diamonds, just because.
The appeal of jewellery goes beyond material worth. For example, women are looking for unusual designs, vintage 19th century jewels, jewellery that resonates with their style and tastes. Why do you think fashion entrepreneurs such as Virgil Abloh, Alessandro Michele, chief creative director at Gucci, and Tigerlily are launching fine jewellery lines? There is a market for the female buyer. Exclusive designer jewellery is the next big trend. It’s a glamourous culture to be in, on par with shopping for haute couture gowns. Diamonds emanate luxury, which is why women want to be involved with the design process and experience until the purchase.
And what does one gain after buying a diamond? Other than the gratification of hard work or success. You literally receive an item that lasts forever. All of your personal or professional triumphs are symbolised through an object synonymous with beauty and opulence. If that’s not enough incentive to invest in the precious jewel, I don’t know what is.
In an article published by Vogue, titled ‘Women-To-Women Jewellery’, a trend in women’s buying is identified. Women’s power within the fine jewellery market is established by three key traits: ‘(1) changes in the stores to make them more appealing to female customers; (2) normalising the concept of women buying for themselves; and (3) a focus on serving female customers with busy lives’. Is it thus apparent that the process of buying diamonds is just as important as the jewellery products themselves. Women want to be part of a ‘diamond experience’. This could mean having an influence on bespoke designs. Or simply trying and selecting from an array of diamonds within the comfort of a luxury store.
High fashion houses have catered their fine jewellery lines specifically towards the working woman. For example, Chanel's pearl and camellia collection consists of 50 pieces of which half are adjustable in design. One necklace allows the wearing to add or remove a cluster of diamonds, transforming an everyday necklace into a statement evening piece. The working woman may not have the time to alter her outfit from day to night, and therefore the luxury Chanel ranges bestows both glamour and functionality into the modern woman’s life.
Fine Parisian jewellery company Chaumet have also commented on the social changes within the diamond industry. Chaumet ambassador, Bertrand Bonnet Besse, after reflecting on the fact that in the 1950s, the diamond industry was exclusively a man’s world, states:
“Today we have female customers who choose and buy their own pieces. A lot of the women buying a tiara today will send around seven special orders a year, buying them for themselves with their own money. A diadem is an object of power for them.”
It seems that in this day and age, buying diamonds is innately linked to empowerment for women. Women have always been involved in the selection process. Look at Elizabeth Taylor - she used to go on ‘diamond walks’ with her third husband, Mike Todd, where they’d stop of at luxury jewellers for her to pick out the most lavish diamond jewellery. The difference is today, women don’t need men to sustain their luxury tastes.
Of course, the quality and craftsmanship of the finished jewellery product remains the most important factor when buying diamonds. Even so, this social trend whereby women are using diamonds to celebrate achievements, to invest their money in, or simply as a treat, is a trend worth celebrating. Not only does it provide insight into the new ways women shop, it also measures the economic advancement and positive social plight of women. To all the women buying themselves diamonds - hat’s off to you. Work hard, look fabulous, and one day, a sea of bejewelled women will mark the social equality that every women works for.
Celebrate you with diamond jewellery.