Diamonds are beautiful and rare, but their practical uses are limited. Sure, you could argue that diamonds for the purpose of making industrial grade drill bits are useful, but those aren’t the kinds of diamonds found in a retail jewelry store. Since diamond jewelry in itself is not a functional gift, why then do people purchase diamond jewelry?

Diamonds as a Symbol of Longevity

The qualities that make diamonds so valuable in the industrial sector – qualities like longevity, durability, and clarity – are transferred in a symbolic way to diamond jewelry, especially when the diamonds are given as a gift.

The value of longevity, or a diamond’s endurance under tremendous stress, may influence a purchaser’s decision. For example, the diamond jewelry people choose to symbolize their relationships is often an expression of everlasting love and an ability to withstand the challenging times along with the good.

The Buyer’s Mindset

According to the American Psychological Association, desires rule over needs when it comes to consumer purchases. Why a particular luxury item, such as a diamond bracelet, is purchased, is a combination of psychological, cultural, and economic factors.

What this means for diamond retailers, is that sales are made when sellers understand the interplay of buyer motivation and emotion. Once the motivation for the purchase has been determined, the diamond retailer needs to then home in on the emotional aspects of that motivation. Motivations could be romantic between partners, a reward for an achievement like graduating or a promotion, or even to boost an individual’s personal happiness after a particularly difficult time. Because customers naturally attach emotions to luxury purchases, it is important for the retailer to understand what these emotions are in the most sensitive way and then guide the customer to the best possible purchase for their needs.

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Why do People Purchase Diamond Jewelry?

Brent McFarran, in his study Evidence for two facets of pride in consumption: Findings from luxury brands, grouped luxury consumers into two groups: those that use pride as a reason to purchase luxury items and those that purchase luxury items in order to feel pride. A customer may be motivated by pride in either respect and both types of price can be used to drive a sale.

Here are 9 key motivators for retailers to look out for when helping their customers buy diamond jewelry: 

1. I’m worth it

Right or wrong, some people measure self-worth by the size and quality of the diamond jewelry they receive. “If he spends three month’s salary on an engagement ring, then I know I’m really important to him.” This can also be applied to the quality and value of diamond jewelry that a person may buy for himself. Taking into consideration how much a person can afford, often their purchase will reflect the degree to which they believe they deserve the jewelry.

2. Let’s celebrate

When there is a family celebration, or other special events that arise, the elemental nature of the diamond jewelry given reflects both the joy and importance of the celebration. This could be the birth of a child, marked by the mother receiving diamond jewelry from the father, or a couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary, marking 60 years of marriage!

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3. I did it!

Either in recognition of one’s own accomplishment or of someone else’s, diamond jewelry is a natural choice after overcoming challenges and achieving a significant goal. “Yes! I finally got promoted to VP. Now I can buy myself that fancy college ring that I’ve been wanting all these years.”

4. I want something truly special

The rarity of a diamond itself, and its combination of the 4Cs, make all diamonds one-of-a-kind. Presenting a diamond to a loved one can be an expression of this. “Your inner beauty is as unique as this diamond. Please accept this gift as a reflection of all of your virtues.”

5. Reflecting a Diamonds Qualities

Some may buy diamond jewelry for himself or others as an expression of an individual’s dazzling, distinctive, radiant personality. Other qualities that may also be reflected here are: reliability, inner strength, fire and sparkle. “The qualities I see in myself, I choose in the diamonds I wear. I am a vibrant, strong, stable person.”

6. Making the right impression

Generally speaking, when it comes to giving diamonds, this is a male motivation, though occasionally women purchase diamond jewelry with this motivation as well. “These diamond bangles will show her how much I care and want to be there for her.”

7. The Promise of a diamond

It's that moment when a man realize that today is his anniversary and he doesn't have a present for his wife! Only a lavish gift will redeem him, and diamond jewelry is the answer. Demonstrating the investment in her happiness shows that she is at the top of his mind. “I don’t know what to get her and time is running out. Well, I can’t go wrong with a diamond, she’ll love it.”

8. Redemption

Saying sorry, or the need to make a point of how important a person is to you can be well expressed with diamond jewelry. The symbolism of a diamond as a stone that lasts forever and survives adversity to sparkle on, appeals to this motivation. “I am not sure where I stand in her eyes, and I want to let her know how important she is to me. This heart pin with the little diamond in it should express this.”

9. Purely a gift

As diamonds transcend function, giving diamond jewelry means expecting nothing in return. “I’m giving her a diamond and not a household item because I want her to know that she is appreciated by this family for so much more than just the hard work she carries out every day."


The process of buying diamond jewelry is a discovery for both the retailer and the customer. The diamond jewelry retailer should take the time to determine the type of personality, personal motivations and tastes in jewelry for each customer and use this to find the best selection of jewelry for each customer’s needs. This will go a long way to making the sale and will leave the customer with a lasting impression of his individual needs being met, drawing him back in the future.

What are some motivations to buy diamonds that you’ve seen in your line of business? Share them with us here.