Market Comment

February 22, 2024

News: Seasonal lull in US retail sales, with shortages supporting prices of rounds. Good demand for 1 and 2 ct., F-I, VS2-SI2, RapSpec A3+ goods; VVS weak. US dealers resisting India’s price increases. Rapaport US Diamond Protocol gaining support ahead of Mar. 1 implementation of G7 sanctions. Stable pricing expected at next week’s De Beers sight. De Beers 2023 rough sales -40% to $3.6B, with underlying loss of $314M, average price -25% to $147/ct. De Beers testing lower prices for Lightbox synthetics. Petra fiscal 1H sales -10% to $188M, loss of $11M. Lucara 2023 revenue -17% to $177M, loss of $20M; miner signs new HB deal. Chinese market preparing for Hong Kong show (Feb. 29 to Mar. 4). GIA opens Dubai lab.

Fancies: High inventories for Ovals and Pears due to slow sales and imbalance between supply and demand after Indian manufacturers shifted from rounds to fancies last year. Sellers are flexible on prices. Weakest size is 0.50 to 0.70 ct. 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 in short supply and 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.

United States: 

Retail market seasonally quiet. Some jewelers report slow Valentine’s Day. Dealers struggling to find nice goods at the right price. US buyers and Indian sellers preferring to walk away from deals rather than compromise on prices. Steady demand for round, 2 ct. and larger, F-I, VS1-SI2, RapSpec A3+ diamonds.


Reduction in Indian supply supporting polished sector. Good market for round, 1 to 2 ct., F, VVS-VS diamonds due to shortages. Dealers preparing for upcoming Hong Kong show, with focus on networking and securing future sales rather than immediate business. Rough market stable ahead of De Beers sight.


Market quiet amid slow US and Chinese sales. Prices up since late 2023, but dealers unsure whether to sell or wait for chance to get higher prices. Steady demand for 1 to 2 ct., VS2-SI2, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Weak demand for diamonds with fluorescence or black center, even at low prices.


Manufacturers gradually increasing polished production. Overseas demand sluggish. Domestic sales supporting market, with appetite for round, 0.30 to 0.90 ct., D-G, VVS1-VS2, RapSpec A3+ diamonds. Select goods in short supply. Cutters still keeping factories busy with synthetics.

Hong Kong: 

Wholesale market quiet following Chinese New Year vacation. Jewelry manufacturers expected to resume operations next week. Retail activity has picked up, with gold selling better than diamonds during employee-bonus season. Suppliers receiving inquiries ahead of March Hong Kong show. Steady demand for 0.50 to 1 ct., D-I, VVS-VS, 3X diamonds.


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