Market Comment

May 11, 2023

News: Sentiment weak amid trading slump. Prices declining as dealers try to reduce inventory. Economic caution lingers; US inflation 4.9% in April. Majors and top-tier independents that can adapt to shifting consumer habits are gaining market share and demonstrating strength of US market. GemGenève show opens with hopes that robust high end will raise general activity. Part 1 of Heidi Horten collection auction raises $156M at Christie’s Geneva; cushion-cut, 25.59 ct. Sunrise Ruby ring misses presale estimate at $14.6M. WFDB pledges financial support for Natural Diamond Council. Industry mourns passing of Zvi Yehuda, inventor of Sherlock Holmes synthetic-diamond detection machines.

Fancies: Fancy-shape market slower than before but better than rounds. Elongated Ovals, Emeralds and Radiants are strongest items. Goods with medium and short ratios weak. Demand for cushions declining. 0.30 ct. doing well. Orders low for 0.70 to 1.20 ct. diamonds. VS-SI losing strength, except in 1.20 to 1.49 ct. Well-cut stones seeing supply shortages. Excellent shapes commanding premiums. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative cuts. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: 

Sentiment mixed. The market for commercial qualities is down amid slump in trading levels. High end robust; strong orders from luxury brands. Fancy colors and elongated cushions, ovals and emeralds selling well, as are stones above 4 ct. in D-F, IF-VVS. Some memo calls, but buyers being careful not to increase inventory levels. Dealers are hoping Las Vegas shows will stimulate better trading.


Activity low, reflecting slowdown in US and Chinese demand. Some optimism for GemGenève show as European luxury brands see good sales. Fancy shapes moving better than rounds. Certain fancy colors outperforming colorless stones. Rough market quiet after last week’s sight due to drop in polished demand. Rough dealers’ and manufacturers’ profit margins under pressure.


Trading sluggish; few buyers from abroad in the bourse. Some dealers attending GemGenève with muted expectations. Buyers emphasizing memo supply rather than making up-front purchases. High inventory levels putting pressure on polished prices; expensive rough squeezing manufacturers’ profitability. Slowdown in I1- to I2-clarity goods following recent price declines. Suppliers offering deeper discounts on old merchandise.


Sentiment subdued amid notable drop in trading. US, Hong Kong and China slow. Domestic retail stable and placing orders. Polished production well below capacity as manufacturers focus on reducing large inventories. Most Surat factories closed for summer holidays until mid-May, and many are extending vacation due to weak market. Rough sector cautious.

Hong Kong: 

Slow wholesale reflects global uncertainty. Some Chinese orders for 0.30 to 1.50 ct., D-H, VS-SI goods, but fewer than a month ago. Trading well below pre-pandemic levels. Jewelers have enough stock to satisfy short-term demand. Retailers focusing on Mother’s Day promotions and seeing steady interest in lower-budget items, with colored gemstones and pearls doing better than diamond jewelry.


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