Women Still Go for Gold

Even though jewelry sales, especially women’s self-purchases, have suffered in the economic downturn, a recent study shows that the underlying desire for fine jewelry is still strong.

In fact, gold jewelry ranked in the top three most popular items for women’s discretionary spending according to World Gold Council’s 2008 survey, What Women Want: Global Discretionary Spending Report, conducted by an independent research firm, GfK. The survey of 1,068 American women, aged 16 to 65, demonstrated that gold jewelry has continued to maintain its appeal for U.S. women, despite a squeeze on spending power, a volatile and rising gold price and increased competition from other consumer goods, which was already evident in April when the research was conducted. Gold ranked below only “short breaks” and “increasing savings.” Gold outranked spending choices like a “meal at a nice restaurant” or “beauty/spa treatment.”

According to the survey, the relatively high recent price of gold has actually increased its desirability. Women who noticed the increasing price over the past year were most likely to agree that the current price reassured them of the value of their gold jewelry: 68 percent of consumers who noticed a price increase said that it reassured them that “What I buy and own is valuable” while 67 percent said “gold jewelry is a good investment.”

The survey also showed that while the ownership of gold has increased among those interviewed in the U.S., with 94 percent owning gold jewelry compared to 90 percent in 2005, the main competition for consumer discretionary spending does not come from other fine jewelry. Rather, it comes from other “must have” accessories such as mobile phones and other personal electronic goods. Ninety-six percent of women surveyed own mobile phones or personal electronics, up seven percent from 2005.

According to the survey, gold has a perceived longevity, purity and value that set it apart from other luxury goods. It is differentiated from other jewelry by its relatively transparent investment value. At the same time, gold’s aesthetic qualities are acknowledged as versatile and suitable for everyday wear. In contrast to gold jewelry, which has clear financial value, other luxury consumables were viewed as having short-term aesthetic appeal and therefore lacked the investment value and the longevity of gold.
Sarah Perlis Ring

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...