Market Comment

February 2, 2023

News: Trading slow for this time of year. US market cautious amid economic uncertainty. China-Hong Kong improving, with reports of good luxury sales during Lunar New Year. Trade hoping for release of pent-up Chinese demand and tourist shopping after Covid-19 restrictions lifted. Polished prices continue to decline; 1 ct. RAPI -0.9% in Jan. Small stones steady. Cutters refraining from large rough purchases. De Beers Jan. revenue -32% to $450M; 2022 sales volume -8% to 33.4M cts., production +7% to 34.6M cts., average price +35% to $197/ct. Letšeng 2022 sales -6% to $189M, average price -4% to $1,755/ct. LVMH 2022 watch and jewelry revenue +18% to $11.5B, operating profit +20% to $2.2B.

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: 

Slight lull in New York trading. Many dealers at the Centurion and AGTA shows. Mid- to high-level jewelers looking for goods but sensitive to price fluctuations. Hot items include diamond tennis bracelets, necklaces, hoop earrings and studs. Elongated fancies are strongest sellers among loose stones, especially clean G-H, SI goods. Consumer confidence down in January due to economic uncertainty, according to The Conference Board.


Busier traffic in the bourses, but sentiment still weak. Some high-end demand after European luxury brands reported strong holiday sales. US orders slow; China and Hong Kong improving. Rough market cautious; less new supply available than usual. Antwerp concerned about long-term implications of Russia-Ukraine conflict as EU mulls sanctions on Alrosa diamonds.


Dealers seeing some market improvement, mainly due to slight uptick in Far East demand. US clients cautious, placing fewer orders than usual for January-February. Diamonds up to 0.30 ct. stable; 0.50 to 1 ct. difficult to move. Buyers are cherry-picking clean goods with the best proportions.


Activity low amid sluggish US demand. China showing gradual recovery, driving interest in 0.30 to 0.69 ct., D-K, IF-I1, 3X diamonds with no fluorescence. Rough market stable following De Beers’ price changes at January sight. Polished production still below capacity due to global uncertainty. Industry leaders welcome Union Budget, which allocates government funds to nation’s lab-grown sector. Domestic jewelry sales solid during wedding season.

Hong Kong: 

Trading and jewelry manufacturing relatively quiet after Lunar New Year festival. Mainland demand picking up following end of Covid-19 restrictions and opening of Hong Kong border. Engagement-ring segment supporting market, with steady appetite for 0.30 to 0.80 ct., D-J, VVS-SI2 diamonds. Jewelers waiting to see strength of recovery before assessing business prospects for the year.