Diamond market optimistic, but polished prices continue to soften. 1 ct. RAPI -0.9% in Nov. due to weak demand for D-F, IF-VVS goods. Holiday season driving positive sentiment, with strong growth in purchases via mobile devices. Retailers creating selfie events and experiences to lure customers away from laptops and into stores. Sotheby’s NY garners $53.9M (82% by lot), with sale of emerald-cut, 5.69 ct., fancy vivid blue, VVS diamond for $15.1M ($2.7M/ct.). Christie’s NY fetches $62.6M as Graff ring with two pear-shape, fancy vivid blue diamonds – 3.36 ct., VVS2 and 2.71 ct., VS1 – sells for $12.6M ($2.1M/ct.). Graff buys Sierra Leone Peace Diamond for $6.5M.
Fancies: Curved fancy shapes in good demand. Ovals are strongest category, followed by Pears and Cushions. Some squares — Emerald and Radiant — are okay, but Princesses 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 illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.
United States: Steady trading with positive momentum for holiday season. Dealers filling local and international orders. Shortage of fine-quality RapSpec A2+ diamonds. Large availability of lower-quality goods that are difficult to move. Retailers capitalizing on jewelry-stacking and -layering fashion trend this season.
Belgium: Slight dip in sentiment, with European market lacking usual Christmas buzz. Steady demand for 1 ct., G, VS (3X, no-fluorescence) diamonds. Pointer sizes selling, with good demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., G to J, SI2 to I1 goods. Large-stone demand soft. Rough trading cautious during De Beers sight, following rough auctions with firm prices in November.
Israel: Polished trading stable as dealers fill orders from New York and Hong Kong. Strong online sales through James Allen in November. Good demand for 1 ct., I-K, VS-SI diamonds. Steady demand for unique fancy color diamonds and fancy shapes. New tax law passed by the Knesset calculates diamond trade levy based on profit rather than transaction volume.
India: Sentiment improving, driven by US and Chinese demand. Manufacturers focusing on small stones in sufficient volumes to keep factories operating at required levels. Inventory slowly declining as manufacturing remains below capacity and as holiday orders get filled. Rough demand stable as cutters start to prepare for anticipated rise in first-quarter sales.
Hong Kong: Stable market, with dealers and jewelers reporting better sales than this time last year. Steady demand for 0.30 to 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI (3X, no-fluorescence) diamonds. Dealers gain few orders at B2C Hong Kong International Jewelry Manufacturers’ Show. Jewelers expanding in China again, with rising retail expectations for Chinese New Year.