News: Mixed sentiment ahead of final shopping weekend before Christmas. Retailers anticipate strong Super Saturday (Dec. 17) traffic as consumers make last-minute purchases. Mastercard reports US jewelry sales -3.9% in Nov., but category well above pre-pandemic levels. China slow but optimism rises for release of pent-up demand after zero-Covid policy lifted in time for peak season. Dealers are being conservative as jewelers are selective and waiting for New Year to buy inventory. Rough market quiet. Petra Diamonds Dec. tender sales -67% to $42M, prices +2.2% vs. Nov. De Beers plans 2023 production of 30M to 33M cts. vs. 34M cts. this year; expected to raise supply to Botswana factories.
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.