Diamonds are a millennial’s best friend

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NEW YORK (AFP) – Diamonds are making a comeback in America as more millennials fall for crystals long associated with “eternal” love.
 
US diamond demand hit $40 billion in 2016, up 4.4 percent from the prior year and comprising half of global diamond revenues for the first time since the 1990s, according to global diamond mining and retail giant De Beers.
 
The surge has come despite sluggish economic growth and over-production of the jewels that has depressed prices, said Stephen Lussier, vice-president of marketing at De Beers.
 
The industry has become more bullish in America with the success of a marketing pivot targeted at millennials, those born between 1981 and 2000 who have shown concern for social issues, including the ethics of harvesting diamonds from war-torn countries.
 
Increased demand from this key demographic has lifted sales of diamonds that cost between $1,000 and $5,000. The US, along with China and India, are considered the most crucial components of the $80 billion global diamond market.
 
Gone is the motto “diamonds are forever” that was introduced after World War II and popularised by Marilyn Monroe, who sang “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” in the 1953 movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”.
 
Today’s slogan, “Real is rare, real is a diamond”, positions the crystals as a “symbol of authentic connection and commitment” and an antidote to all things mass-produced, according to industry lobby the Diamonds Producers Association.
 
“We want to change their perception, what they think about diamonds,” said Lussier of De Beers. 
 
De Beers, through its Forevermark brand, provides information on diamond origins and supports the nonprofit group Women for Women International, which provides aide to women in war-torn countries. 

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