Wholesalers have to keep up with the latest trends in diamond cuts if they want to sell goods.
Wholesalers are well accustomed to the common retailer refrain of “I need it yesterday.” Being able to respond quickly to their clients’ requests is key, and that means they have to keep a finger on the pulse of
bridal ring trends.
“I take my cues from my retail customers and bridal magazines,” says Joseph Ladd, owner and president of wholesaler and manufacturer Ladd Diamonds in Los Angeles, California.
Gaurav Khandelwal (aka “GK”) has found that “retailers are incredibly intuitive, as are end consumers.” These days, “consumers are more precise and have clear ideas of what they want,” explains the sales director of Union Gems, a fine-make diamond specialist in Houston, Texas.
Eric Mor, CEO of New York wholesaler Abe Mor Diamonds, agrees. “People are spending more time online before buying, so they are really sure of what they want,” he says. In addition, with the younger generation looking to social media for their style choices, it’s important “to be aware of the trends among different demographics.”
ROUNDS: THE FOREVER FAVORITE
Styles may change, but rounds still top the list of most popular bridal cuts. Generally, rounds account for more than 50% of bridal sales, with some wholesalers reporting as much as 70%.
“Rounds are classic. They are ubiquitous,” says Khandelwal. He attributes their popularity to the “symmetry of the shape and the flexibility it offers in terms of design — and importantly, its availability.”
FANCIES: LONG GOING STRONG
That said, fancies are holding their own in the bridal market, with ovals leading the way.
“Ovals have the quickest turnaround,” says Mor, citing the popularity of “any elongated stone.” After ovals, his best sellers include elongated emerald, radiant and cushion diamonds. Stones of 2.50
carats, 3 carats and larger sizes — in both rounds and fancies — are selling faster than they did before the
Covid-19 pandemic, he adds.
“The elongated fancy shapes are still the overarching trend in the industry,” affirms Khandelwal. “Ovals are coming into fashion because they make for a visually impressive diamond that is both larger in dimensions and less expensive than rounds.” He’s also been seeing a lot of elongated stones with hidden halos on social media.
He ranks emeralds, elongated cushions and pears as his top sellers after oval diamonds. “While emeralds are always part of our inventory, it is interesting to see their strength,” he remarks.
“Ovals give the perception that you are getting more for your money because of the ratio,” observes Ladd, who points to elongated cushions, radiants and emeralds as the shapes driving his business.
IN WITH THE OLD
“Although it has been around forever, suddenly people are discovering marquises, especially in 1.50 carats to 3 carats,” says Ladd.
The marquise has also drawn the attention of younger clients. “The 20-somethings look at the marquise as a stone they haven’t seen before and think it’s cool,” says Mor. He also cites antique cuts such as old miners and old Euros as gaining momentum among young people who prefer more understated, “less blingy” stones.
FADING FROM FASHION
Of course, some diamond shapes are harder to move. Mor has found that “squarish” cushions, which were “quite hot in the last few years,” have become a much harder sell, while princess cuts have been in decline for some time. Ladd, for his part, sees little demand for Asscher and heart shapes.
“Asscher has always been a slow seller,” agrees Khandelwal, and “princess cuts are notably absent now, especially when you compare it to years ago in the 2000s.”
Image: Marquise cut diamond. (RDI Diamond)