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Bridal diamond jewelry, whether for engagements or for weddings, has long been the bread and butter of the diamond trade. But a projected rise in the number of weddings as the "millennial" children of the Baby Boom reach marrying age themselves is propelling this market to ever-greater heights. It's an important harbinger of things to come that over the past several years, a number of diamond jewelry companies have been founded that concentrate largely or exclusively on bridal pieces--a strategy on which they seem to be thriving.
The demographic data seem to be behind these ventures. IDEX Online Research predicts, based on U.S. Census data, that the bridal jewelry market will grow by at least 30 percent over the next 10 years, as the number of marriages per year rises to almost 3 million from about 2.2 million annually over the past decade.
Data collected by the Diamond Information Center (DIC) in 2005 in the United States, and provided to New York Diamonds by spokesperson Tracy Strong, show that there is big money for the diamond and diamond jewelry trades in this demographic bulge. Last year, the bridal diamond jewelry market totaled $6.6 billion, including diamond engagement rings, diamond wedding bands and men's diamond wedding bands. Diamond engagement rings were the most important segment of the market, at $4.84 billion total.
The average price of a diamond engagement ring in 2005 was $2,753, up 5 percent from the year before. Two out of three diamond engagement …