Jewellery Industry Statistics 2023
Whether it’s an indulgent treat for ourselves, a sentimental gift for someone else or an inherited keepsake, we love jewellery. From the costume pieces that add a new dimension to your outfit through to the subtle sparkles we wear day to day, the jewellery industry is worth billions.
But what’s the most popular metal for different types of jewellery? What do we do with our old and now unworn items? And just how much is this luxury goods industry expected to grow in the face of a cost of living crisis?
We take a look at this and so much more in our 2023 UK jewellery industry statistics round up.
The Quick Facts and Figures
If you just want the highlights, these are the most important figures we found. You can get all the details further on in this article:
- More than 80% of over 16s in the UK have broken jewellery in their possession at some point!
- Over a quarter of people in the UK leave such jewellery unworn in a drawer or jewellery box
- Almost 1 in 5 sell their broken jewellery on
- Almost 1 in 5 simply throw away jewellery if it gets broken
- The jewellery industry globally is worth $298.4 billion in 2023
- There were over 600,000 searches in Google UK alone in 2022 for “gold earrings”
What do we do with our broken jewellery?
Sometimes our jewellery breaks. And while there are plenty of options for repairing your jewellery or even selling your gold jewellery (even if it’s broken), we wanted to know what the people of the UK are doing with those broken pieces.
So we surveyed 2,017 people (using specialist market research provider, Censuswide)in May 2023 to ask:
What do you typically do with your broken jewellery? (Tick up to three)
- Leave it in a drawer or jewellery box or similar unworn
- Repair it
- N/A – I don’t have broken jewellery
- Throw it away
- Sell it
- Upcycle it
- Give it away
- Not sure
We found, first and foremost, that the majority of people in the UK (and it applies to men and women) have had broken jewellery at some point.
Only 18.79% of people in the survey claimed not to have broken jewellery, meaning a whopping 81.21% at some point have had.
But what do they do with it?
Well the single most popular option (26.03% of respondents) was to simply leave it in a drawer, jewellery box or similar unworn. In other words, over a quarter of people in the UK are leaving potentially valuable jewellery simply gathering dust because it got broken.
23.7% repair it, according to our statistics.
But what surprised us most is how many people simply throw away their broken jewellery. 18% said they do so, which is the same proportion of people who said they sell their broken jewellery.
Here are the answers in full.
|What do you typically do with your broken jewellery? (Tick up to three)|
|Answer||% of people who gave this response|
|Leave it in a drawer or jewellery box or similar unworn||26.03%|
|N/A – I don’t have broken jewellery||18.79%|
|Throw it away||18.00%|
|Give it away||14.23%|
|Other, please specify||0.55%|
We were astounded to find that almost 1 in 5 of us in the UK has simply thrown away jewellery that has been broken!
Throwing Away Jewellery
We wanted to delve into the data from the survey in a little more detail so we began to look at answers broken down by age and gender.
When it comes to those likeliest to simply throw jewellery away, we found some notable differences between men and women and differences by gender too.
|Gender||% Who Throw Away Broken Jewellery|
According to our statistics, women are considerably likelier to simply throw broken jewellery away (over 1 in 5) than men are (1 in 7).
We see differences when we break responses down by age as well.
|Age||% Who Throw Away Broken Jewellery|
|16 – 24||26.87%|
|25 – 34||21.19%|
|35 – 44||19.38%|
|45 – 54||18.85%|
Our statistics show that the younger you are, the likelier you are to simply throw away old jewellery, with those aged 16 to 24 around twice as likely to do so as those aged 55 or over.
Selling Broken Jewellery
On the other hand there are those keen to pocket the cash for their broken jewellery. After all, there’s value in the metal alone for silver, gold and other precious metals.
When it comes to selling broken jewellery, men are significantly more likely to do so as women. In fact, the results here are basically the reverse result of the proportion who throw away.
In other words, women are likely to simply dispose of broken jewellery, where men would like to cash in and sell it.
|Gender||% Who Sell Their Broken Jewellery|
We see variations again by age here too.
|Age||% Who Sell Their Broken Jewellery|
|16 – 24||20.52%|
|25 – 34||19.77%|
|35 – 44||23.75%|
|45 – 54||18.85%|
It’s those aged 35 to 44 who are most likely to sell their broken jewellery items. Almost a quarter do so. While, at the other end of the scale, just 1 in 7 over 55s do so.
Jewellery Repair Statistics
Of course, if you’re still attached to that broken item, there’s every chance you’d rather repair it than let it gather dust or wave it goodbye! So how many of us are repairing our broken jewellery?
Well, repairing it was the second most popular option after leaving it in a drawer, with 23.70% of respondents citing this as something they do.
It’s an area where we don’t see much difference between men and women, with 21.76% of men repairing jewellery and 25.53% of women.
But where we do see differences in responses is across age groups.
|Age||% Who Repair Their Broken Jewellery|
|16 – 24||29.85%|
|25 – 34||31.64%|
|35 – 44||27.81%|
|45 – 54||20.13%|
Almost a third of 16 to 34 year olds repair their broken jewellery, while just 17.59% of those aged 55 and over do so.
Jewellery Market Size – How Much is the Jewellery Market Worth?
So, we know many of us will happily treat ourselves or our loved ones to jewellery. But with values ranging from a few pounds for costume jewellery right up to thousands upon thousands when it comes to precious metals and stones, we were curious about how much the jewellery market is worth globally.
|Jewellery industry size ($ Billions)|
Globally, the jewellery industry is worth $298.4 billion in 2023, with $4.64 billion of that coming from the UK, $60.42 billion from the USA and $76.77 billion from India.
Globally, the market dipped in 2020, as many did at the height of the Covid pandemic. But recovery has been strong. And globally the jewellery market in 2023 is worth over 6% more than it was in 2019.
Growth in the UK has been notably prevalent, with a 17% increase between 2019 and 2023.
Most Popular Metals for Jewellery
So what’s our favourite precious metal for various types of jewellery? Well, to gain insight into this we decided to take a look at searches in Google for keywords relating to gold, silver and platinum jewellery.
Using kwfinder.com, we looked up the estimated number of searches in Google UK each month going back to January 2020 for each of the following search terms:
- gold earrings
- gold necklaces
- gold rings
- gold bracelets
- silver necklaces
- silver earrings
- silver bracelets
- silver rings
- platinum rings
- platinum earrings
- platinum necklaces
- platinum bracelets
You’ll find the full monthly breakdown in our data spreadsheet available at the end of this article. In terms of month to month trends, searches peak in the run up to Christmas annually, unsurprisingly.
We then added up all the monthly searches to get annual totals for each of the search queries we looked at and found:
|Keyword||Searches Google UK in 2020||2021||2022|
Gold trumps both silver and platinum in terms of demand (based on search data) for earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets in the UK.
Most Popular Jewellery Brands
We used kwfinder.com again to find out how many people search for various jewellery brands per month in Google UK (based on an average of the last 12 months ending April 2023).
We found the top 100 most popular jewellery brands in the UK (based on search) are:
- Pandora (1.6 million searches per month in Google UK)
- Cos (319,000)
- Hermes (307,000)
- Swarovski (297,000)
- Gucci (287,000)
The full data table is below (with some important caveats in the closing methodology statement).
|Brand Search Term We Used||Average Monthly Search Volume in Google UK (Last 12 months)|
|& Other Stories||256000|
|Tiffany & Co||142000|
|Van Cleef & Arpels||21600|
|Astrid & Miyu||12400|
|edge of ember||6600|
|Sophie Bille Brahe||1000|
|Alice Made This||560|
|tada & toy||250|
What’s Your Jewellery Worth?
If you happen to be one of those 18% of people selling your broken, unwanted or unworn jewellery, it’s often worth knowing how much typical jewellery items weigh. So here are the typical weights of various items:
|Item||Typical Weight (in Grams)|
|Men’s Gold Ring||2.5-5|
|Woman’s Gold Ring||2.5-5|
|Women’s Gold Necklace||5|
|Thin Mesh Bracelet||5|
|Medium size mesh Bracelet||15|
|Thick Mesh Necklace||30|
|Men’s Gold Chain||20-30|
|Women’s Gold Chain||10-20|
How much you might get by selling your old gold jewellery depends on the carat and the weight (plus the current value per gram).
Jewellery – an Unwavering Industry?
There are items of jewellery (made of shells and bone and similar) that exist going back to prehistoric times. And in 2023, it’s an industry worth almost $300 billion.
So we don’t anticipate this thriving luxury goods market will be going anywhere soon. That said, a cost of living crisis can always affect goods like these, so we’ll be observing with interest what happens in the next 12 months.
Methodology and Data
You can find a copy of all of our keyword research and survey data at https://bit.ly/jewellery-statistics.
For our survey
For our keyword research, we used kwfinder.com which estimates the number of searches in Google in any given territory over a specified time period. We looked specifically at UK searches. This tool takes its data from Google’s ad tool but should still be regarded only as an estimate.
It’s also worth noting that the number of searches does not necessarily equate to the number of unique searchers. One person could search more than once, for example.
For keyword research relating to the most searched jewellery brands, we looked up brands based on the following sources:
- Google Knowledge graph
We acknowledge that these lists are non exhaustive but were a good source of information for the most popular.
It’s also worth noting that not everyone who searches for one of those jewellery brand terms is necessarily looking for the brand itself. For example, those searching “Pandora” could be looking up the Greek myth of Pandora. Many of these brands also sell non jewellery items (Gucci, for example).
If you have any questions about our methodology or would like an exclusive comment, please contact us by email on press email address.