Martin Rapaport has called for more effective marketing of diamond jewelry and a $1 billion global campaign promoting natural-diamond engagement rings.
Speaking at the 18th Paris Gemmological Rendez Vous on September 9, Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, said current generic marketing efforts did not go far enough. Miners, supported by brands, must step up to the plate to reach out to consumers in a fast-changing society, he added.
The campaign would need to appeal to the emotional and ethical values of natural diamonds, and should embrace recycling in a more environmentally sensitive world, Rapaport said at the one-day conference, organized by the French Gemological Association (AFG).
“Why do people buy diamonds? They are a symbol of committed love and a store of value,” Rapaport told a packed audience of industry leaders and gemologists.
Rapaport highlighted a tightening gap between rough and polished diamond prices, squeezing the profitability of manufacturing. “We need a bigger pie,” he observed, referring to a need for more tailored global marketing to drive consumers to spend more on diamond jewelry.
Rapaport voiced concerns over the potential impact of the US-China trade war on the global economy. India, the world’s biggest supplier of polished diamonds, is unlikely to benefit in the near term from increased diamond-jewelry sales to the US market in the wake of reduced competition from tariff-hit China, he noted.
Image: Man proposing to his girlfriend. (Shutterstock)