Market Comment

August 31, 2023

News: Polished prices down amid slow retail demand in US and China. Conference Board reports 7% drop in US consumer confidence for Aug. Prices on Pears Price List now same as rounds in seven categories. Fluorescent diamonds seeing deep discounts. De Beers Aug. sales -42% to $370M at smallest sight since Dec. 2021. Melee moving better than larger goods. Petra prices up 1% to 2% for under-2 ct. rough at Aug. tender; prices of 2 to 10.8 ct. goods fall 14%. Okavango Aug. sales -55% month on month to $49M. Signet 2Q sales -8% to $1.6B, profit -48% to $75M. G7 and industry discussing tighter restrictions on Russian diamonds. Rolex dealers concerned about business as brand buys retailer Bucherer.

Fancies: Fancy-shape market slower than before. Prices dropping, but less sharply than for rounds. Longer Ovals, Pears, Radiants and Cushions bringing higher prices than shorter stones. Goods with medium and short ratios weak. Prices of square Cushions falling amid low demand and high inventories. Marquise prices holding up following drop in supply. 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 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 hard to sell.

United States: 

Sentiment weak. Memo popular, as market is uncertain and high interest rates make outright purchases more expensive. Melee moving better than larger stones amid supply shortages. Fancy shapes selling better than rounds. Outlook for holidays weak due to tightened consumer budgets.


Dealers returning from vacation. Market as slow as it was before they left. Low expectations for coming months.


Sentiment weak as prices continue to drop. Many concerned slowdown will worsen. Traders pinning hopes on Hong Kong show (Sept. 18-24), but expectations muted due to sluggish Chinese demand.


Market sluggish. Polished production remains at reduced levels. Manufacturers selling goods at lower prices to raise liquidity. SI2 weak due to competition from synthetics. Large inventory of bad SIs in the market. Local demand supporting sector as wedding season begins, with VVS diamonds popular in country’s south.

Hong Kong: 

Muted expectations for upcoming show. Exhibitors reporting fewer pre-event inquiries than usual. Steady demand for 0.80 to 1 ct., D-G, VS, 3X diamonds with no fluorescence. Consumers focusing on lower-priced jewelry and buying gold as an investment. Chinese economy weak.


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