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.