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Diamonds - 2011 & 2012

Last year we saw diamond prices go up up up and up, and then correct correct and then correct just a little bit more. Now 2012 is off and running and where are we going? Well I guess that depends on which market you are in; in some cases its off and limping. January’s DTC Sight saw downward adjustment in prices, but that was offset with less favorable assortments. At the end of the day it appears to be a wash, but some people are seeing it differently. Estimates put the Sight somewhere between $600 and $800 million, which isn’t small by historical standards until you consider how much goods, have appreciated in price over the last few years. The bottom line there is that there are less goods on the market. It looks like the powers that be are doing what they can to maintain stability in the market. That’s a good thing.

One bright spot for traders in 2011 was the emerging markets in Asia. But China has cooled off and India has just imposed an import duty on polished diamonds. It’s complicated stuff but suffice it to say it hurts liquidity, which results in downward pressure on prices.

And now it’s time once again for a game that we played a lot last year called "Let’s wait and see what the Hong Kong show is like" as though that will set the stage for pricing for the next few months. Perhaps but I prefer to live in the here and now. Buying a diamond today because you think it will go up in price in the future is dangerous stuff. Things are uncertain enough because of precious metal prices and some people want to speculate on diamonds!! I don’t know about you but I prefer to sleep at night.

Anyway as my hero Sargent Esterhouse used to say "Hey, let’s be careful out there".

Stanley Zale
Vice President – Diamonds & Gemstones

AT: 01/30/2012 06:29:53 PM   LINK TO THIS ARTICLE

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