Holiday season begins with better-than-expected in-store and online traffic over Thanksgiving weekend. Average spend +15% to $335 per consumer, driven by older millennials, reports NRF. Cyber Monday breaks records with $6.6B in online purchases, according to Adobe Digital Insights. Optimism continues as stock markets hit new highs (Dow at 23,959). Polished market stable with caution over large stones. Tiffany & Co. 3Q sales +3% to $976M, profit +5% to $100M. Luk Fook 1H sales +15% to $805M, profit +20% to $67M. Christie’s HK garners $94M as oval, 14.93 ct., fancy vivid pink, VVS1 diamond fetches $32M ($2.1M/ct.). Sierra Leone Peace Diamond to be auctioned in New York on Dec. 4.
Fancies: Curved fancy shapes in good demand. Ovals are strongest category, followed by Pears and Cushions. Some squares — Emerald and Radiant — are okay, but Princess still weak. Oversizes selling well. Steady demand for fine-quality 6 to 10 ct. Ovals, Pears and Emeralds, with limited supply. US demand supporting market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Far East demand improving as consumers seek fancy shapes at better prices. Off-make, poorly cut fancies not liquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.
United States: Positive trading environment with dealers and jewelers filling Christmas orders. Sentiment improving after busy Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Tiffany signals strong fashion- and solitaire-jewelry segments, slight weakness in engagement and bridal. Steady demand for 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI diamonds. Fancy colors getting more attention.
Belgium: Market improving with steady European demand. Good demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., G-J, SI diamonds. Nice 1 ct. goods (3X, no fluorescence) selling. High-end D-IF diamonds soft. Dealer margins tight. Rough tenders robust with high prices relative to polished.
Israel: Steady polished trading with dealers filling US and Asia demand. Chinese buyers insisting on no cloudiness in SI stones. Steady demand for 1 ct., I-K, VVS2-VS1 diamonds. Stable demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., D-H, VS-SI RapSpec A3+ goods. Fancy color market positive with good demand for pinks and blues.
India: Stable market but still slightly subdued after Diwali. Foreign buyers looking for goods in Mumbai to fill Chinese holiday orders. Steady demand for dossiers, especially 0.30 to 0.50 ct. and 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI diamonds. Manufacturers shifting to smaller goods to maintain factory operations and garner better margins. Polished production at estimated 60% to 80% of full capacity as workers continue to return from Diwali break.
Hong Kong: Optimistic mood with better activity than last year and positive retail sales growth. Steady weekend activity expected at B2C Hong Kong International Jewelry Manufacturers’ Show, with many dealers attending as visitors rather than exhibitors. Stable demand for 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI, RapSpec A2+ diamonds with reported shortages. Dossiers selling well. Jewelers preparing for Christmas and Chinese New Year season.