Market Comment

March 9, 2023

News: Mixed sentiment amid slow trading. Expectations rising for 2H recovery as US shows signs of improvement despite lingering economic uncertainty. Hong Kong fair demonstrates pent-up Chinese demand, with buyers testing price points. Dealers happy to reconnect with Chinese market after Covid-19 disruptions. Small-stone segment strong; some concerned that recent rough-price hikes outpaced polished, putting pressure on cutters’ profit margins. De Beers Feb. sales -24% to $495M. Sightholders planning larger purchases later in the year. Manufacturers increasing production but still operating well below capacity. Israel Feb. polished exports +80% to $642M, rough imports -10% to $101M.

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: 

Sentiment improving. Demand stable, with scarcities in popular categories. Steady memo calls and conversion to sales. Good orders for 1.25 to 2.50 ct., G-J, VS-SI, 3X polished. Fancies doing well; elongated ovals are best category. Melee hot. Robust bridal segment driving solid retail jewelry business.


Market lacking buzz amid slow US and European demand. Far East improving but still quiet. Good networking opportunities at Hong Kong show spark hope for stronger orders later in the year. Dealers holding large inventories and offering deeper discounts for items that are difficult to move. Rough trading cautious; prices rising at tenders.


Polished trading sluggish. Dealers came back from Hong Kong show disappointed after sales fell short of expectations. Some growth in US orders, especially for specific categories from major jewelers. Dealers of small goods doing well. Fancy shapes moving better than rounds.


Activity stable after Hong Kong shows signaled strong appetite for goods in China. Manufacturers seeing plenty of inquiries but limited transactions. Steady Chinese demand for 0.30 to 2 ct., D-K, IF-I1, 3X diamonds with no fluorescence. US sales improving. Solid interest from local Indian traders for D-H, IF-VVS, 3X stones. Fancy shapes selling well. Rough prices firm on secondary market.

Hong Kong: 

Industry enjoying boost from March shows. Visitor traffic strong after more than two years of disruption. Mainland buyers attended in large numbers but only made purchases if sellers reduced prices. Suppliers offered discounts to encourage sales and raise liquidity. Optimism for coming months as China opens up.