Letter from Martin Rapaport about the impact of the coronavirus on the diamond and jewelry industry.

March 18, 2020

To Our Friends Around the World,

Our thoughts are with you and your families during these uncertain times. We pray for your health and well-being. As much of the world shuts down, we find ourselves practicing social distancing and isolation. Many of us are working from home, with children at home, giving us a new perspective on family and work. The unprecedented social and economic changes we are experiencing are transforming how we see and interact with the world around us.

Human security, health and family concerns now dominate business issues. Health is more important than wealth. We close our businesses, yet we yearn for normalcy. We want to work. We want to be creative. We want the world around us to be normal – but it isn’t. We ask ourselves, where do we go from here? What should we do?

Fortunately, the digital revolution has created electronic space for us. We can communicate, socialize, shop, buy, sell and trade over the internet. While the coronavirus has created a terrible challenge for traditional business it is creating unprecedented opportunities for everything digital including marketplaces and trading. The coronavirus is hyperactively forcing society into the digital world. The move to digital is no longer linear. We are now jumping to digital at warp speed. The future is happening now.

There are clear implications for the diamond and jewelry industry. For example, even though our New York office is closed and the physical inspection of jewelry is unavailable, our current jewelry.rapaport.com auction is proceeding online. Winning bids are now subject to buyer inspection/approval after the auction. While we are changing how we do business, we are not stopping to do business. That is our most important message. Change, adapt, but don’t stop.

We believe it is vital for our industry to continue to do business. Teams must find ways to work together electronically from home and continue to reach customers. We must find ways to keep the B2B markets alive. We must embrace our digital future and make it work for us.

At Rapaport, we will be doing everything we can to support the market by creating liquidity at fair market prices. We will maintain and expand trading platforms that provide excellent opportunities for motivated sellers and buyers. Most importantly, we will not yield to difficult times. We will act proactively and aggressively to seize opportunities and find better ways to do better business.

Please join me at tomorrow’s webinar, “Coronavirus – Now What?”
Thursday March 19 at 10:00 am GMT (London) and 12:00 pm ET (New York).

To participate you must register at rapaport.com/webinar.

Martin Rapaport

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