Wedding jewelry in China is counting on a big market share of jewelry sales, especially driven by diamond jewelry. The use of small diamonds in jewelry is very common, but the use of big diamonds as the main stone usually only exists in wedding jewelry. Since the traditional wedding ceremonies evolved in China, younger generations are in quest of different jewelry from niche brands to custom-made items.
Decreasing Willingness to Marriage from Chinese Gen Z, Increasing Competition for Brands
Wedding jewelry brands in China are facing fiercer competition than anytime before. According to Statista, the number of registered marriages in China kept increasing until 2013 at 13.74 million, but after that, the number continues to decrease with an average rate of 5.6%. This evolution is mainly driven by young generations living in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities with intense daily activities who have less interest in getting engaged or married.
However, weddings are still important for Chinese people, a recent report about opinions on the importance of holding a wedding ceremony among young couples in China shows that about 80% of the respondents said it is very important to have a wedding ceremony. With the decreasing number of marriages and the high importance of wedding ceremonies, wedding jewelry brands are facing huge competition in China.
Most Common Types of Wedding Jewelry in China
In the tradition of a Chinese wedding, wedding jewelry is called “3金” or “5金” which means “3 gold” or “5 gold”. This is referring to 3 or 5 “yellow gold” pieces of jewelry depending on the budget of a family.
- The 3 Gold refers to a ring (not a diamond ring), an earring, and a necklace
- The 5 Gold includes “3 gold” plus a bracelet and a pendant / anklet
Since the new trend of diamond rings entered China with the legendary slogan of De Beers, “5 gold” is not a must anymore, but some families will still keep the tradition. But since the preference for color and material has changed, the “5 gold” is now more flexible and can be replaced by white gold jewelry or platinum jewelry. In the 21st century, the must of wedding jewelry in China has been changed into diamond rings including an engagement ring and a pair of wedding rings.
Strong Demand for International High-Quality Wedding Rings
While the cost of time and money is huge for a wedding, more and more Chinese customers are looking forward to buying high-quality wedding rings for this unique moment. With a trend of comparing with other people, middle-class women are more likely to ask for a diamond engagement ring with at least a one-carat diamond and good quality.
Examples of Materials Preferred for Wedding Jewelry in China
Diamond is definitely the main character of wedding jewelry. As mentioned before, Chinese customers put much emphasis on the weight of diamonds and even created a name called “carat diamond” referring to the diamond of one carat.
In terms of metal used in wedding jewelry, the most popular wedding ring material is white 18k gold, and platinum. They are very often called by the same name “white gold” for the same looking, so explaining it clearly to the customer can reduce a lot of after-sales troubles.
Looking Back to Wedding Tradition in China
Although the difference between different regions may cause a difference in wedding traditions, modern Chinese wedding has something in common. Usually, the wedding date will be decided by 2 families after the engagement with an engagement ring. On that date, the bridegroom will depart to the bride’s home and take the bride to the wedding ceremony. The ceremony will last from one day to a week depending on the local tradition to treat all the relatives and friends of the couple.
Chinese Couples are Pursuing Niche Brands
With the rising of the younger generations (Gen Z), the demand for being unique and showing their personality is getting huge. Young couples are not satisfied with the normal design and normal brands anymore. If they cannot afford the top luxury brands, pursuing niche brands has become the new trend.
Custom-Made Jewelry is Getting Popular
The same appetite for differentiation and uniqueness is driving the Chinese jewelry market. Custom-made jewelry is a very popular concept in China for being unique. In wedding rings, there are usually 2 kinds of customization:
- Customization on the stones and materials used
- Customization on the unique design
The first one means the customer chooses a diamond from the stock of the brand and a design from the database of the brand to make jewelry, this is the most common choice for most customers because this will not cost too much extra expense and can fulfill their demand of unique wedding rings.
The second is usually costing more because in this case, they will communicate with the designer about their concept of the ring and customize the jewelry from a draft, but also makes their ring really unique and fits their story, usually seen as a high standard of a wedding ring.
Unique Concept Adding Value to your Brand
While being unique is the pursuit of most young couples, the unique concept of a brand can also add huge value to the brand if they perfectly catch their eyes. Take the brand “I DO” as an example, they launched a rule that each man can only order a single ring in their lifetime from I DO. Many women fell in love with this concept because this makes a wedding ring from I DO unique, if their fiance buys them the ring from I DO, it makes them feel unique for their fiance. This added huge value to the brand and made it stand out from competitors.
The Expert Tip
I think the example of I DO is worth analyzing to understand the strength of branding and reputation in mainland China. While this marketing move of enabling men to purchase only one ring in their lifetime from the brand can seem risky, this was the best tactical move to make in China. It contributed to their unique positioning, making the consumers feel blessed to be part of the I Do community.
Anaïs Bournonville, Head of Luxury Division at GMA
How to Market your Wedding Jewelry in China?
In jewelry, online sales should account for 64% of total sales in 2026. Launching a brand on e-commerce is so developed in China that no brand can escape from e-commerce platforms such as Tmall, JD, and Taobao if they want to do business in China. You can manage this by simply cooperating with a third party such as Tmall Partners (TP).
However, since wedding jewelry is so important for young couples, this is essential to partner with a TP with marketing skills. Some e-commerce partners are pushing jewelry brands the same way they would promote food and beverage or health supplements. The specificity of the jewelry market involves having strong marketing and customer service in China. Local consumers are willing to make an appointment in the boutique after the first online consultation. Also, there are fairs you should never absent such as the Wedding Expo which will attract a lot of young couples. From the setup of your Tmall store to the presence of sales representatives in Chinese fairs, your local operations must be a combination of online and offline sales.
No Discussion, No Visibility for High Jewelry
Marketing on social media such as Xiaohongshu and WeChat is very important because, in 2022, no discussion means no visibility. Young couples will usually do their research on social media to learn more about wedding jewelry before their wedding. Make sure your brand exists on every social media with rich discussion to gain more visibility for your potential customers.
Get Mentioned on the Chinese Digital Ecosystem
In this field, the key will be to partner with KOC (Key Opinion Consumers) and dedicated blogs and forums. From Zhihu to Sohu, the key will be to have your brand ranked on the related keywords of engagement bands, wedding rings, and other dedicated categories.
Contact us to receive mentions on Chinese social media and jewelry forums