Positive sentiment as US and Belgium markets close for Christmas. Dealers now focused on Chinese New Year demand. Trade optimistic for 2018, with expectations for global economic growth as US passes most drastic tax overhaul in 30 years. Cutters concerned about tight profit margins ahead of anticipated 1Q rise in rough prices. Graff buys 476 ct. Sierra Leone Meya Prosperity rough diamond for $16.5M. India Nov. polished exports +50% to $1.8B, rough imports +64% to $1.9B. US Oct. polished imports -14% to $1.8B, polished exports -5% to $1.2B. Very strong year for pink diamonds as combined Christie’s and Sotheby’s jewelry sales exceed $1.1B. Rapaport wishes everyone happy holidays.
Fancies: Fancy shapes mixed. Curves better than squares. Ovals strongest category, followed by Pears and Cushions. Emerald and Radiant 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: Positive retail sentiment and steady store traffic. Good demand for jewelry in the mid- to upper price range. New York polished suppliers satisfied with season. Dealers still sending goods out on memo with hope they won’t return. New tax laws will increase disposable income, which is expected to help jewelry sales.
Belgium: Trading quiet with businesses closing for Christmas-New Year break. Some last-minute calls for 1 ct.-plus, I-K, VVS-VS diamonds, which are in short-supply. 1 ct., 3X strong. US and European demand stable. China steady. Rough trading expected to remain quiet through the holiday season.
Israel: Polished trading stable, despite slight slowdown during Hanukkah. Dealers satisfied with US and Chinese holiday sales. Christmas orders complete and polished inventory levels reduced, with little new production available. Focus shifting to China. Steady demand for 1 ct., G-I, VS and for 1 ct., J-L, VVS-VS2 diamonds.
India: Improving sentiment, with better Christmas orders than last year. Steady Chinese New Year orders projected to continue through mid-January. Manufacturers maintaining factory operations with lots of smaller, cheaper rough coming into the market. Rough trading quiet, with cutters concerned about profit at current price levels.
Hong Kong: Positive sentiment, with dealers and jewelers encouraged by Christmas orders. Steady demand for 1 ct., F-H, VVS2-SI2 (3X, no-fluorescence) diamonds. Colored diamonds in good demand and offering better margins than colorless. Large fancy pinks selling well. China retail better than Hong Kong as Chinese tourists cut down purchases abroad in favor of local spending in mainland.