What do Chinese millennials want? De Beers hopes to boost market for N.W.T. diamonds – by Mitch Wiles (CBC News North – November 17, 2016)


With slower economic growth in China and millennials marrying later in life, the diamond industry is looking closer at what millennials want, how they purchase, and why. According to the 2016 Diamond Insight Report from De Beers, total global diamond jewelry sales fell from $81 billion US in 2014, to $79 billion US in 2015.

The report defines millennials as people born between 1981 and 2000. Chinese millennials represented 68 per cent of that country’s total diamond jewelry purchases. There are 421 million millennials living in China.

Tom Ormsby, head of external and corporate affairs for De Beers Canada, highlighted findings of the report in Yellowknife on Tuesday, at the 44th Annual Geoscience Forum. De Beers operates the Gahcho Kue diamond mine 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

“In the last number of years when the Chinese economy was moving like a machine, everyone was feeding it whatever it could take, but then of course it contracted. It slowed down… Everyone’s pipeline backed up,” Ormsby said.

“Understanding how people in China and India will be purchasing diamonds really is important.” According to the report, millennials in China and India have come of age in a more dynamic economic environment than previous generations, and generally aspire to achieve greater wealth, but also value self-expression and individualism, similar to the same generation in the United States.

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