RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, December 5, 2023, Las Vegas… The diamond market continued to stabilize in November as holiday shopping began and lower rough supply reduced midstream inventories. Prices of rounds increased across all major categories for the first time this year.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat stones rose 0.8% during the month. The 0.30-carat RAPI increased 0.3%, while the 0.50-carat category saw the strongest performance with a 1.2% rise. The index for 3-carat diamonds increased 0.1%. However, discounts off the Rapaport Price List remained high.
US dealers’ pre-holiday buying boosted the market. Retailers saw brisk sales over the Thanksgiving weekend. Diamond demand in mainland China remained slow. Hong Kong’s luxury market rebounded as tourists returned.
Rough trading was sluggish as manufacturers sought to reduce rough and polished inventories. India continued its two-month voluntary freeze on rough imports, which is scheduled to end on December 15. Factories in Surat extended their Diwali vacations due to weak demand. De Beers garnered just $80 million at its October sight — the lowest since the peak of the Covid-19 crisis in 2020 — after allowing 100% refusals.
The number of diamonds on RapNet has decreased 4.3% since July 1, reflecting seasonal demand trends and the drop in polished production.
Provenance became increasingly important as the natural-diamond industry competed with synthetics for consumers’ dollars. European Union member states, including Belgium, considered a proposal for banning Russian diamonds amid the war in Ukraine. The other Group of Seven (G7) governments are also likely to introduce sanctions on Russian stones in early 2024.
The Kimberley Process (KP) remained unable to tackle these issues; the November plenary meeting ended without a final communiqué due to disagreements over how to deal with Russia.
Consumers’ preferences for low-budget items will play a role this holiday season. However, as Martin Rapaport said in his November 21 consumer alert, some retailers are overcharging for synthetics. The holidays are off to a decent start, but the outcome for the industry will depend on whether or not consumers choose the real product.
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International: Naomi Elbinger +1-718-521-4976
About the RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™): The RAPI is the average asking price, in hundred dollars per carat, of the 10% lowest-priced round diamonds in each of the top 25 quality categories (D-H, IF-VS2, GIA-graded, RapSpec-A3 and better) offered for sale on RapNet® (www.rapnet.com). Additional information is available at www.rapaport.com.
About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added-value services that support the development of ethical, transparent, competitive and efficient diamond and jewelry markets. Established in 1976, the group has more than 20,000 clients in over 121 countries. Group activities include Rapaport Information Services, providing the Rapaport benchmark Price List for diamonds, as well as research, analysis and news; RapNet, the world’s largest diamond trading network; Rapaport Trading and Auction Services, the world’s largest recycler of diamonds, selling over 400,000 carats of diamonds a year; and Rapaport Laboratory Services, providing Rapaport gemological services in India and Israel. Additional information is available at www.rapaport.com.
Main image: A polished diamond under inspection. (Shutterstock)