Skip to main content
Suggested Searches
Quick Links

Diamonds are not forever: The rising trend of other precious stones

emerald earrings

The market for luxury fine jewelry has been vastly growing, with year-end 2021 U.S. jewelry retail sales up 51% at $95.2 billion.* While diamonds have dominated this market for years, we are now seeing that other untreated colored gemstones, such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, as well as pearls growing in demand.


Did you know?

  • 75% of retailers and 92% of manufacturers reported that the precious colored gemstone jewelry category is a higher margin category than diamond jewelry.
  • 40% of younger consumers (23-40) chose sapphire as their favorite gemstone closely followed by ruby and emerald with half of this group already having purchased sapphire jewelry.†
  • Pearl jewelry is particularly strong among the millennial 25-to-35-year-old demographic. 
  • Specifically, 42% of millennials are very likely to request pearl jewelry, as compared with only 19% of 46-to-55 year olds.

Here’s what we have found to cause this shift in demand:


New sourcing opportunities

Historically, gemstone mining was limited to only a few different countries, with Sri Lanka being the largest source for many precious stones. However, with new mines developed in other locations like Zambia and Ethiopia, colored precious gemstones have become a more affordable option for sellers to build their collections.


Millennial market

Not surprisingly, millennials are looking outside the box and willing to experiment with new trends in the gemstone industry. They are seeking more unique pieces to build their jewelry collections, and are turning to gemstones for bridal jewelry. Rich jewel tones have been making a greater appearance in color palettes for wedding parties and venues, with precious jeweled accessories to coordinate. 


Celebrity influence

Gemstones like sapphires, rubies, and emeralds have long been chosen by celebrities and royalty for engagement rings instead of diamonds. One of the most famous engagement rings of all time is a beautiful sapphire ring that has been worn by both Princess Diana and her daughter-in-law Kate Middleton. Pearls have also been more prominent in the fashion industry with designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Givenchy, Dior, Versace, Miu Miu and Chanel showing pearls on the catwalk.


This document is advisory in nature and is offered as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program. It is an overview only and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your insurance broker, or for legal, engineering or other professional advice.

Chubb is the marketing name used to refer to subsidiaries of Chubb Limited providing insurance and related services. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at Insurance provided by ACE American Insurance Company and its U.S. based Chubb underwriting company affiliates. All products may not be available in all states. This communication contains product summaries only. Coverage is subject to the language of the policies as actually issued. Surplus lines insurance sold only through licensed surplus lines producers. Chubb, 202 Hall's Mill Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-1600.

Get a quote
Get a quote

Find an Agent

Speak to an independent agent about your insurance needs.