Rock stars: why are men embracing diamonds

James O’Neill makes my WhatsApp feed shine. Her husband, Brian, and a 35-year-old Irish who runs an interior design studio in London sent us snaps of their jewelry collection, including Art Deco engagement rings, tennis bracelets, and Riveras-style cocktail rings. It was commissioned by a Jaipur jeweler who will arrive later in the month. Their unity? diamond.

“What I love about diamonds is that they enhance what I’m wearing,” O’Neill says on the phone. His first work was a diamond, sapphire and ruby ​​ring given by his mother and stepfather on his 30th birthday. “No matter how tired or tired you are, wearing a diamond adds a wonderful touch to your activities and your feelings.”

Today, many young men wear jewelery comfortably — chains, signet rings, and bracelets are urban staples — but for some, diamonds feel a bit too flashy or feminine. ..

But now, glittering stones have proven to be fascinating to the growing pool of male shoppers. Fine jewelery sales generally fell in 2020 (the men’s market shrank by more than 20% to $ 4.6 billion, according to Euromonitor), but demand for London jewelers Shaun Leane and men’s diamonds. Increased 44% year-on-year. With a 50% increase in Shay in LA, Matches Fashion has begun editing 36 glitter designs from 11 brands. Boucheron CEO Helene Puri Ducain calls this category “promising.” Kering’s latest campaign in the Maison of Paris presents a male model with gold and diamond ear clips and thick emerald and diamond pinky rings shining across the ceiling. “We want men to be full of diamonds,” she says.

Shape Pave Diamond Signet Ring, £ 2,940,

Throughout history, men have hung jewels from the Pharaohs of Egypt to the Maharaja of the Russian emperor Patiara. In 1928, Maharaja entrusted Boucheron to turn 7,571 diamonds and 1,432 emeralds into necklaces, corsages, turban pins and more. But for most of the last century, the popularity of diamonds among men has cooled. In recent decades, they have been associated with female engagement rings and super-masculine rappers, and many of the male population feel inaccessible.

Shaun Leane Serpent Trace Spine Bracelet, POA,

Shaun Leane Serpent Trace Spine Bracelet, POA,

But over the last two years, diamonds and pearls have also shined from the necks, wrists and lapels of celebrities such as Timothée Chalamet, Daniel Kaluuya, Farrell Williams, Jared Leto, Eisap Rocky and Harry Styles. For masculinity because they go against traditional gender boundaries. The fact that these A-listers are not afraid of brilliance stimulates confidence in other men. “Harry Styles always wears great jewelery,” says O’Neill. “He’s very masculine, but he’s also super feminine [things] And he is not afraid to push the envelope. “

Still, the customers who follow the leadership of these celebrities are bolder than most. It’s not the “black suit” type guy who wears diamonds, says Poulit-Duquesne. The most popular piece, as confirmed by LA jeweler Lizzie Mandler, is the white diamond-studded signet ring. “I can’t classify them into one type or career, but they all have a solid sense of personal style,” she says, mainly in her 30s and 40s, New York, Los Angeles, Or say about a client who lives in London. “They are confident [enough] Wear something that would otherwise be more feminine. “

While Match’s fastest-growing men’s diamond market is in the Middle East and the United States, Boucheron focuses on young shoppers in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore. The average number of male customers is 35. Poulit-Duquesne believes that the popularity of diamonds in Asia is due to the fact that “gender fluidity is very high.” She cites Boucheron’s best-selling Quatre ring as an example of a contrasting global attitude. The diamond version is most popular with Asian men, but in the west, sun gemstones are preferred.

Daniel Kaluuya wore a Cartier diamond necklace at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021.

Daniel Kaluuya wore a Cartier diamond necklace at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021 © Getty Images

According to O’Neill, weddings are a big market for diamond jewelery brands and explain some of the reasons Boucheron’s main customers are young. The widespread legalization of same-sex marriage may have increased demand for Westerners. “We think so now that more gay men are married.” Why do I go only to wedding rings? Why go to a wedding or engagement ring when it’s usually not very conservative? “

Juan Yarur, a 37-year-old Chilean art dealer, has expanded his diamond cluster in recent months, asked Shaun Leane for a glamorous brooch, and purchased a Gorkonda diamond ring to celebrate his daughter’s birth. “I used to travel non-stop [pre-Covid-19]So now I can spend that money on jewelery, “he says of Santiago’s Zoom. The pandemic has caused him to “narrow” his focus. He buys less, but higher quality pieces, “not so many small chalks”.

Damian Paul, Head of Menswear at Matches, said: Is there anyone who doesn’t want to feel good with a “reach” purchase that can be passed on to children? “

It seems that they are reluctant to get such souvenirs online. Currently, £ 20,000 pieces are regularly snapped from the Matches app. “When you buy luxury jewelery, you have the prejudice of going into a jeweler,” Paul says. “In fact, [purchasing through apps is] A positive way to buy high-value items. “

These pieces are worn as everyday lifts, rather than being paraded only on special occasions. Yarur works from home with glittering fingers and shimmering wrists. [diamond] A piece I own to go to my sister’s house in sweatpants on Sunday. ” What about O’Neill? “I wear [my diamonds] All day, every day, anywhere. I think they are very nice. “

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