Market Comment

April 18, 2024

News: Market quiet during seasonal slowdown ahead of Passover holiday. Steady demand for round, 1 and 2 ct., D-H, SI1-SI2 diamonds. Russia sanctions creating concerns. De Beers sells $445M of rough in Apr. (-18% YOY, +3% from Mar.), boosted by sanctions. Okavango Apr. auction grosses $35M. Petra fiscal 3Q sales -1.5% YOY to $66M. India Mar. polished exports -27% YOY to $1.2B, rough imports -16% to $1.4B. Gold price +10% since Mar. 18 to $2,368/ounce. LVMH 1Q watch and jewelry sales -5% to $2.6B. Chow Tai Fook fiscal 4Q retail sales +12% as young Chinese consumers invest in gold. Watch Martin Rapaport webinar on source certification here. THE RAPAPORT PRICE LIST WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED NEXT WEEK DUE TO PASSOVER.

Fancies: High inventories of Ovals and Pears due to slow sales and imbalance between supply and demand after Indian manufacturers shifted from rounds to fancies last year. Cutters now returning to rounds. Sellers are flexible on prices. Downtrend continues. Sales of Hearts, Princesses and square Cushions low. Longer Ovals, Pears, Radiants and Cushions bringing higher prices. Goods with medium and short ratios harder to sell. Supply shortages supporting prices for Marquises. Well-cut stones hard to find and commanding premiums. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid.

United States: 

Steady demand for and shortages of round, 1 to 2 ct., F-I, SI, 3X diamonds with no fluorescence. Dealers preparing for JCK Las Vegas show (May 31 to June 3). Consolidation continues as Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) reports 3% drop in number of US jewelry businesses in first quarter for total of 22,965. Overall US retail sales beat expectations in March at $710B, up 0.7% from February.


Market quiet ahead of Passover holiday (April 23 to 30). Suppliers receiving calls for goods but finding it difficult to make sales. Buyers showing preference for memo.


Bourse activity slow in lead-up to Passover. Iranian attack and ongoing war impacting sentiment and trading. Reduction in travel affecting sales, as many overseas dealers visiting Israel for holiday usually stop off to buy diamonds.


Trading seasonally slow. Overseas and domestic demand weak. Investors showing preference for gold rather than diamonds. Stable demand for round, 1 to 1.99 ct., G-I, SI, 3X diamonds with no black centers or brown, green or milky (BGM) tints. Slowdown in round, 2 ct. and larger, D-I, VVS-VS goods. Melee market has cooled.

Hong Kong: 

Trading weak due to sluggish Chinese diamond demand and seasonal lull. Mainland real estate crisis continues. Caution for rest of the year as consumers show more interest in gold than diamonds.


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