The Meghan Markle effect: sale of yellow gold in the U.S. jumps after her engagement to Britain’s Prince Harry

Market intelligence from the World Gold Council suggests that celebrity purchases typically influence jewelry sales. There is also a shift in consumer preference from yellow and white gold to rose gold.

As per a report from the World Gold Council, the Meghan Markle effect has boosted the sale of gold jewelry in the United States in the first quarter of 2018. Jewelers say further gains are expected in the near future.

Demand for gold jeweler in the U.S. peaked during the first quarter to an all time high since 2009, said the World Gold Council. Sellers have attributed the demand to American actor Meghan Markle, who married Britain’s Prince Harry last Saturday.

According to press reports, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, favors yellow gold.

“Around that time (of the engagement), we started seeing more sales of yellow gold and the last couple months it’s increased more,” said David Borochov, of R&R Jewelers. “Yellow gold jewelry sales have risen about 30 percent this year.”

He went on to add, for the last 15 years, platinum, silver and white gold were the metals of choice for jewelery for couples tying the knot. However now, rose gold has become a top favorite with white and yellow gold considered as being outdated.

As per Borochov, his white gold and platinum sales hover around 70% to 80% while his yellow and rose gold sales were typically 20% to 30%. He now expects to see an increase in rose gold sales.

“We saw an increase of about 20 percent (in yellow gold jewelry sales) from the beginning of the year,” said Nerik Shimunov, CEO of NY-based Crown Jewelers.

Crown Jewelers specializes in custom jewelry pieces for celebrities.

In November 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan told the BBC that yellow gold is Meghan’s favorite. In fact, her engagement ring is set in yellow gold.

Sales of gold jewelery increased by 10% after Meghan’s engagement in November “primarily because of the surplus of white gold,” said Daniel Levy, while noting that there is however a growing consumer trend to yellow gold.

According to Alistair Hewitt, director of market intelligence at the World Gold Council, celebrity purchases influence jewelry sales.

As per the Council’s research, 22% of U.S. women buying jewelry or luxury fashion were inspired by newspapers and magazines, while 11% said their purchase habits of jewelery or luxury fashion were influenced from celebrities.

“It would not be surprising to see the coverage of the royal wedding – including the choice of engagement ring and wedding band – influence shoppers’ behavior,” said Hewitt.

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