Global Industry Overview: Jewelry, Silverware, and Plated Ware
The jewelry and silverware industry is a prime consumer of precious stones, synthetic stones, and metals, making such goods as rings, necklaces, and earrings, as well as all types of eating utensils made of solid or plated precious metals. Some industry firms also prepare gemstones and settings for use in jewelry and related finished products. For discussion of the industry's raw materials, see also Mining, Gemstone and Mining, Metal.
The jewelry manufacturing industry remains highly fragmented, with most production being done by small companies with a few highly-skilled employees. Several countries dominate the industry, with Italy continuing to be the world leader in terms of gold jewelry design. In the diamond sector, South African company De Beers has major control of the market, although its diamonds are sold to jewelry manufacturers around the world. China has become a major player in the industry and is the leading source of jewelry in the United States. The U.S.-based manufacturing industry continued to be plagued by declines in workforce numbers and market share, with losses attributed to inexpensive foreign labor markets and unfair trade practices in other countries.