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Expensive Jewelry or Affordable Jewelry after COVID-19?

04 Jun 2020

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“Jewelry has the power to be the one little thing that makes you feel unique”. Elizabeth Taylor

2020 is about survival. This COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic has been a shakeup for the world. From filling larders and staying indoors, nothing was more valuable than life itself. This leads to a few uncertainties about future consumerism in luxury buying. Will people continue to splurge on luxury items like high-end jewelry or will they choose to go slow on their spending? Will challenges kill large corporations or will they survive the industry downfall? Will there be a shift in buying from expensive jewelry to affordable jewelry? Well, most jewelers had their ears on the ground and were already witnessing a shift in purchasing patterns of the millennium shoppers. The coronavirus only hastened to recognize and to adapt to the mega shift. Yes, the key to selling jewelry after the COVID-19 will be ‘affordable jewelry that looks expensive’.

To understand these better let’s analyze it from three angles, viz,

- How did the concept of jewelry originate, 

- The psychology behind buying jewelry, and

- The difference between expensive and affordable jewelry.


How did the concept of jewelry originate? 

The art of adorning oneself with jewelry dates back to our Neanderthal predecessors who adorned themselves with eagle talons more than 135,000 years ago. Then came us, the homo sapiens, who derived trophies from a hunt which became pieces to wear such as feathers, bones, teeth, horns, flowers, and claws. It served as a dual symbol of bravery and protection. As time progressed and jewelry-making technology evolved, plant and animal trophies were replaced by precious metals and gems. Jewelry started to be worn as amulets to protect from magic, bad luck, and illness, like pins and broaches to hold clothing together, as sacred emblems for noblemen and clergy, and as crowns and tiara by royalty. By the 19th century, it became more commercially available to anyone who had the buying power.

The psychology behind buying Jewelry

In modern times jewelry has become a fashion statement and a brand voice. The psychology behind buying jewelry is, 

·      Helps to boost self-esteem 

A bejeweled body not only appears beautiful but research has proven that wearing jewelry can increase an individual’s self-esteem. There is a secret link between jewelry and confidence-boosting. Certain accessories only fit certain moods, occasions, and personalities. The right jewelry increases self-assurance.

·      Brings out one’s personality

The choice of jewelry helps to identify one’s personality. For example, extroverts and socially active personalities are seen wearing large dramatic jewelry pieces such as chunky necklaces, large hoop earrings, and elaborate rings associated with attention-seeking. On the other hand, a person wearing simple and minimally decorated diamond studs can be seen as a person who is strong, stable, and stylish. 

·      Is an Investment option

Purchasing an expensive piece of jewelry with the caveat that one could always sell it if they need some extra money, proves jewelry is a safe investment option. Over the years though the prices of precious metal have been volatile, they have gained an overall higher real-time value.

·      Makes the perfect gift for someone you love

Jewelry can be a symbolic holiday gift, can be gifted to mark a milestone, or simply to express a sentiment. After all, a piece of jewelry is a thing ‘forever’. 

·      Fit to become a priceless heirloom

The beauty of jewelry is that it can be worn immediately and become an heirloom later. Jewelry is often passed down from one generation to the next. Heirloom pieces last forever and are highly valued.

The Difference between ‘expensive’ and ‘affordable’ jewelry

‘Expensive’ or ‘Affordable’ are variable and opinionated words. Can USD 1,000 be termed as expensive or affordable for fine jewelry? Many factors go into the price of jewelry aside from the use of precious stones or metals. They are - local v/s branded, handcrafted v/s machine-made, wholesale v/s uniqueness. Customers like jewelry to last and which looks good forever. Today’s jewelry buyers buy fashion jewelry or costume jewelry or imitation jewelry as fashion comes and goes but they continue to add alongside a few staple pieces that are hallmarked, trendy, versatile, and ethical conflict-free pieces of fine jewelry. In an economy where everyone seems to be feeling like there's less and less room in their budget for fine jewelry, sellers need to offer diversity in price. Widening your price range means broadening your target market. 

COVID-19 or coronavirus may be a temporary setback to the gem and jewelry industry but it does not mark an end to fine jewelry. Jewelry has adorned humans for centuries and will continue to do so. At this moment, it is about understanding the changing needs of the buyers and providing what they demand. If the buyer is looking to own fine jewelry that is affordable but looks expensive, let him/her own it!

About Rukshana-

Rukshana is a freelance content and communication strategist based out of Mumbai, India. She mingles her expertise in PR with comprehensive domain knowledge and creative writing skills to assist and propagate business, worldwide. Being a quick learner, she utilizes her diversified digital expertise to provide copywriting and content writing services to create highly profitable brands, products, and services.