Market Comment

September 7, 2023

News: Decline in diamond prices intensifying due to high inventories. 1 ct. RAPI -4.7% in August; 0.50 ct. -8.6% in record monthly drop. Indian suppliers offering deep discounts and willing to take losses. GJEPC pushing for miners to reduce rough sales. Weak outlook for holiday season as synthetics take market share. Low expectations for Hong Kong show amid China economic slump. Industry discusses proposal for keeping Russian diamonds out of G7. GIA lays off 20% of Carlsbad employees. Gem Diamonds 1H revenue -28% to $72M, average price -21% to $1,373/ct. Martin Rapaport Webinar “Warning to the Diamond and Jewelry Trade” on Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. EDT (register here).

Fancies: Market slower than before. Prices falling, 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: 

Consumer market mixed ahead of holidays. Middle America’s spending still weak; high end stronger. 1 to 2 ct. diamonds slow due to competition from synthetics. 3 ct. and larger doing better. Companies can make money on new goods by buying cheap. Slowdown in India has enabled larger buyers to get better payment terms from manufacturers.


Morale low as prices drop and synthetics expand their market share. Demand for 1 to 4 ct. diamonds weak. Future of G7-wide sanctions on dealers’ minds as industry considers ways to sideline Russian goods.


Activity subdued, with dealers limiting their purchases amid slow demand. Prices continue negative trend. August polished exports down 4% year on year at $260.1 million, Ministry of Economy and Industry reports.


Sentiment weak amid muted sales. Polished inventories bloated despite lower production. Industry leaders planning to ask miners to reduce supply. Manufacturers continue buying rough to keep workers busy and maintain relationships with mining companies. Better-quality stones moving but at heavily discounted prices. Suppliers have low expectations for Hong Kong show, as Chinese demand has not recovered. Synthetics a constant worry.

Hong Kong: 

Market steady but quiet ahead of important Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong show (September 18 to 24). Jewelry manufacturers starting to receive some orders, but Chinese economy mostly slow. Local engagement-ring demand supporting market, with stable interest in 1 ct., D-G, VS diamonds. Shortage of eye-clean, non-BGM SIs is pushing buyers toward VS qualities. Consumers purchasing more gold than diamonds.


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