Market Comment

January 19, 2023

News: Diamond market uncertain. Small polished outperforming larger stones. De Beers cuts prices by estimated average of 10% for rough above 2 ct., raises prices by estimated 10% for below 0.75 ct. Cutters still wary of increasing production. China slow as dealers take Lunar New Year vacation. Chow Tai Fook FY3Q sales -19%; Luk Fook same-store sales -10%. US retail sales -1.1% in Dec., fueling cautious economic outlook. High end robust. Richemont jewelry maisons FY3Q sales +11% to $4B. Kim Kardashian buys Princess Diana’s amethyst Attallah Cross for $197,453 at Sotheby’s. Martin Rapaport issues New Year message. Wishing all our friends a happy, healthy and successful Year of the Rabbit.

Fancies: Fashion driving demand for elongated Ovals, Emeralds and Radiants. Goods with medium and short ratios are weak and declining in value. Slow market for 0.30 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. 1.25 ct. and larger, F-J, VS-SI categories stable. Supply shortages of well-cut fancies supporting prices. Oval is leading shape, followed by Radiant, Emerald, Pear, Cushion and Marquise. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative cuts. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: 

Trading seasonally slow as jewelers assess their post-holiday inventory requirements. Buyers seeking opportunities as prices continue dropping and credit terms become more generous, but finding the right goods is proving difficult. A lot of rejection stones available and selling at deep discounts. Fancy shapes above 3 ct. moving well. Melee segment focusing on VS1-SI, G-J for mid-market; better qualities weak.


Mixed sentiment as dealers try to stimulate momentum after New Year vacation. Stable US demand for cheaper, commercial-quality diamonds. Some European and Asian demand for better-quality stones. Goods below 0.30 ct. selling well; 1 to 3 ct. weak. Large ovals and pears strong, but suitable rough for these categories is hard to find. Small vendors struggling to meet luxury houses’ sourcing requirements.


Market quiet. Liquidity tight and outlook uncertain for first half of 2023. Dealers hoping US post-holiday restocking orders will soon begin and that China will improve. Some new memo calls as well as decent sell-through from holiday season. Buyers hesitant to purchase as prices of goods above 1 ct. continue to decline.


Mood mixed as Chinese demand picks up but US remains sluggish. China’s gradual recovery fueling sales of 0.30 to 1 ct., D-F, IF-VVS1, 3X, no-fluorescence diamonds. Rough sector stable following De Beers price changes. Polished production below capacity amid ongoing concerns about market direction. Domestic jewelry positive during wedding season.


Hong Kong: 

Trading slow as businesses close for Chinese New Year. Jewelry factories already shut. Some Hong Kong businesses still operating amid last-minute holiday orders. Not much travel to and from mainland despite border reopening. China’s December retail sales of gold, silver and jewelry fell 18% year on year to CNY 24.5 billion ($3.63 billion), with full-year figure down 1% to CNY 301.4 billion ($44.64 billion), government reports. Sellers optimistic for rebound after lunar festival.