An island nation with a population of over 120 million, Japan has been a modern leader in diamond consumption. In the early 2000s, in fact, Japan accounted for 20% of global diamond demand. This is a remarkable number, considering that the traditional diamond engagement ring was never a historical part of Japanese culture. The Western concept of the diamond as a symbol of marriage was only even introduced to the country in the late 1950s with a marketing campaign by DeBeers.
In the years since, economic fluctuations, changing social norms, and shifts in spending habits have all impacted the Japanese diamond market. What are some of the trends and challenges facing the jewelry and diamond industries in Japan as we embark on a new decade? Let’s take a look:
The aesthetic of luxury
According to the CEO of Harry Winston, whose brand just opened its ninth Japanese boutique in Tokyo, “Japan is one of the largest luxury markets in the world.” Japanese tastes in jewelry typically reflect a unique blend of traditional handcrafting and innovative design trends.
And when it comes to diamonds, the key is very high quality, outstanding levels of precision and visual beauty. At Sarine, we’ve seen a strong preference for VVS diamonds of average 0.3 points. The Japanese consumer will choose smaller diamonds that reflect true luxury and quality over larger, bling-y diamonds – every time.