Market Comment

February 16, 2023

News: China recovery lifts global sentiment. Dealers uncertain about US, but better-than-expected 4Q GDP growth of 2.9% calms recession fears. Valentine’s Day shopping boosts Jan. US jewelry sales 6.5%, Mastercard says. Average amount spent on engagement rings -3% in 2022 amid rising demand for lab-grown and fancy-shape center stones, The Knot reports. Kering notes outstanding jewelry category. Brands increasingly focusing on source verification as pressure builds to broaden Russian sanctions and clarify legal requirements for dealing in Russia-sourced diamonds. Sightholders anticipate stable prices at next week’s sight. Hong Kong 2022 polished imports +3% to $14.8B, exports +1% to $13B.

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: 

Activity slightly down as retailers hesitate to buy large amounts of inventory. Jewelers satisfied with Valentine’s Day sales. Memo houses receiving steady calls. Stable demand for 1 ct., G-H, VS goods (3X, none). Elongated ovals, radiants and marquises hot. Jewelry retail expected to be seasonally slow until start of summer wedding period.


Sentiment more positive than in previous weeks. Dealers seeing uptick in demand. Some buyers testing the market for 1 to 2 ct., D-F, VVS goods after recent price declines. Melee steady. High-end selling well as luxury brands continue solid performance. Rough trading stable ahead of next week’s De Beers sight.


Slow activity amid price uncertainty. Suppliers seeing fewer US orders than expected for January-February. Many attended Dubai show but left disappointed. Buying difficult due to some scarcities and price differences in popular items. Top-quality small stones moving well.


Polished trade improving from January lull. Domestic market and China recovery driving demand. US buyers cautious. Rough market slower than usual for this time of year as concerns rise about manufacturing profitability. Production levels remain low due to slower orders and high inventory levels.

Hong Kong: 

Activity continues picking up after January border opening. More Chinese buyers present and looking for goods, but still not at pre-lockdown levels. Some see opportunity to purchase inventory at current price levels. Steady demand for 0.30 to 0.80 ct. and 1 to 2 ct., D-I, VS-I2 diamonds. Local retail also improving, with Valentine’s Day shopping driving more foot traffic. Rising expectations for Hong Kong International Jewellery Show on March 1 to 5.


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