U.S. Jewelry Sales Boom

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"gold, silver and diamonds are hot consumer commodities this holiday season"

Gold, silver and diamonds are the hottest commodities in the shopping list of U.S. buyers during the ongoing holiday season.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Goldman Sachs, roughly 81 million shoppers hit the stores in the U.S. during Thanksgiving weekend and they helped boost weekly chain-store sales by 3.5% from one year ago. Overall for the week, ending November 27, retail sales at the chains rose by 0.5% from the previous week following two weeks of sluggish sales.

The Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) believes that the U.S. demand is expected to move around 15-20% in the season as buyers in the U.S. have begun stocking gold and silver jewelry for the holiday season.

According to Business Standard, entry-level consumers (price range of $29-$199), retailers have replaced gold with silver. Barring the past two years, when retailers allowed replenishment of stocks and waited for a revival in the U.S. economy, low purity gold (up to 10 carats) was used in diamond jewelry. This year, sterling silver (92.5% silver, blended with 7.5% other metals for strength) replaced gold in entry price-point diamond jewelry.

According to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, the U.S. consumer confidence in November 2010 stood at 54.1 points, up from 50.6 points one year ago. The Index is based upon 100 points in 1985, but the most recent time the measure hit that benchmark was in August 2007.

The group measured its Present Situation Index at 24 points, up from 21.2 points, and the Expectations Index held at 74.2 points compared with 70.3 points in November 2009.

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