Rough market cools slightly as De Beers raises prices an average 2% to 3% at $530M June sight. De Beers limiting supply to support prices and align with sluggish polished sales. Hong Kong show begins with rising expectations for Chinese demand, after Las Vegas demonstrated cautious and changing US market. Declining mall traffic and popularity of custom-made bespoke jewelry impacting jewelers’ inventory needs. Christie’s NY Magnificent Jewels auction fetches $26.1M (83% by lot), with Harry Winston buying 18.04 ct. “Rockefeller Emerald” ring for $5.5M ($305,516/ct.). Swiss watch May exports +9% to $1.7B. India May polished exports +4% to $2.1B, rough imports +22% to $1.9B.
Fancies: Ovals and Cushions gaining popularity, overtaking Pears as the strongest shape in the US. Steady demand for Pears in the Far East. Shortage of fine-quality large Pears and Ovals. Emeralds improving and selling better than Princesses. Some demand for big fancy shapes, but buyers extremely picky. Improving demand for Radiant, 3.01 to 9.99 ct., D-I, SI1-SI2 elongated stones. Large price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.
United States: Market starting to experience summer slowdown ahead of July vacation period. Dealers cautious as midstream polished inventory levels rise and retailers limit their orders. Engagement and bridal sales consistent ahead of summer wedding season. Steady demand for 0.75 to 1.25 ct., H-I, SI1-I1 center stones.
Belgium: Positive sentiment despite slow trading. Dealers optimistic for Chinese market ahead of Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair (June 22-25). Steady demand for 1 to 2 ct., D-G, VS1-SI2, RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Good demand for rare fancy-color diamonds. Rough trading slowed slightly as secondary market premiums softened after De Beers sight.
Israel: Market quiet, with many dealers attending the Hong Kong show. Suppliers shifted focus to Far East after Las Vegas show failed to boost trading activity. Steady demand for 1 to 3 ct., H-K, SI3-I1 diamonds. Imperfect stones selling at deeper discounts. Manufacturers concerned about profitability as rough prices firm.
India: Polished trading relatively quiet, with dealers hoping for a lift at the Hong Kong show. Manufacturing levels steady. Suppliers’ inventory levels rising in anticipation of retail program orders for the holiday season. Rough trading softened after De Beers sight due to high prices and declining profit margins.
Hong Kong: Wholesale trading slow but expected to improve during this weekend’s show. Steady Chinese demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., E-G, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds as retailers look to fill inventory for the summer season. Rising confidence in Chinese jewelry retail demand and signs of improvement in Hong Kong.