NEW YORK — As jewelry collectors flock to the United States, the demand for new jewelry is expected to continue to grow, and as sales continue to soar, there is more competition for precious gems and diamonds.
In the past year alone, the New York Jewelers Association, the industry’s top trade group, has said that prices for jewelry in New York have nearly doubled since 2009, when prices were at the height of the recession.
New York jewelry has also seen a sharp uptick in demand.
In February, the trade group reported that the average buyer spent $1.6 million on jewelry last year.
And that demand has been driven by the arrival of new arrivals like the popular “Queen Elizabeth” earrings.
“We have been getting a lot of requests for earrings, and that’s been a really big demand,” said David Levenson, chief executive of the New Yorker Jewelers Club, which represents more than 300 New York jewelry companies.
The New Yorker Club estimates that about two-thirds of its members are looking to buy earrings and bracelets, with jewelry up 25% in the last three months of this year.
They also have been ordering earrings from China, the biggest buyer of earrings in the U.S.
In recent years, there has been a big surge in interest in jewels in the United Kingdom, where demand for precious stones has been strong for decades.
In fact, a survey by the Royal Mint found that demand for diamonds and gems in the country is at a record high, as well.
While some of that demand is coming from the U!
S., demand for gems is rising as well, Levenston said.
Demand for gems has been on a steady rise in the past several years, with the number of diamond mines in the British Isles jumping from 3,000 in 2001 to almost 40,000 now.
Levenson said he expects jewelry demand to remain strong in the next few years as the economy recovers and consumers look to diversify their lifestyles.
For instance, he said, jewelry demand will likely be driven by a growing middle class, and consumers are buying items like necklaces, bracelets and earrings that are intended to go with a particular style.
That includes people who are wearing jewelry to have more style, and people who want to show off their love of fashion, he added.
More: New York jewelers association report says prices for jewelers jewelry have nearly tripled since 2009