Rapaport Magazine

Positive News from JCK

India July Market Report

By Zainab Morbiwala

The JCK Las Vegas 2012 show, highly anticipated by the Indian gems and jewelry industry, featured 65 leading Indian exporters as exhibitors and an appearance by Nirupama Rao, the Indian ambassador to the U.S. In recognizing the importance of the diamond industry to the country’s economy — and the record
$8 billion in Indian diamond and jewelry exports to the U.S. in 2011 — the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry designated the JCK show as an official “India show.” 

“There was a healthy interest from buyers at the show in designs from Indian manufacturers,” said Rajiv Jain, chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). “The U.S. market is showing extremely positive signs of revival. Europe, though, is still cool in its demand for gems and jewelry.”


Ariez Tata, managing director, Nascent Jewellery Pvt. Ltd., agreed with Jain that “The
JCK show in general was very upbeat for all jewelers. There was enthusiasm from the large retailers and there was optimism from all the participants. It is very evident that the U.S. market wants to consume more. It always has been a consumer market but the buying power is not up to the level it was in previous years. If jewelry manufacturers and brands are able to create product that fits the U.S. customers’ current requirements, then there is a market to be explored.”

Kalpesh D. Vaghani, partner, Kapu Gems, also praised JCK. “This is one of the most important shows and it offers a perfect opportunity to penetrate further into the U.S. market,” he said. “This year, there was a healthy number of customer footfalls and we had many serious inquiries. Overall, it was a positive and constructive experience. Fancy shapes and rounds in VS to SI were in good demand and we also witnessed a healthy movement in
VVS goods. In addition to inquiries from the U.S. retailers, we also had some healthy discussions with customers from Hong Kong, China and other Far Eastern countries.”


The constant fluctuation in the dollar exchange rates is a concern to Indian dealers. “With the fluctuation in the dollar rates, customers’ attitudes are affected,” said Vaghani. “They are trying to be in a cautious mode. There is speculation going on because of the high prices in the rough market currently, plus the polished market is also witnessing steep prices. There is a mismatch in demand and supply. The increase in the prices of rough along with polished diamonds is due to the lack of a proper organized channel for the supply of rough diamonds, which results in unwanted markups for the rough goods. There is scarcity of nice goods and better-quality goods.”

In VVS, all goods are moving well in the international market in D to I colors and in VS to SI. Goods in certain price ranges are moving slowly because customers are still reluctant to purchase at high prices. As for the domestic market, in G to K colors, VVS to VS is moving and there is a demand for stones between 1 carat and 2.99 carats.

From a retailer’s point of view, Tata reported that “As far as cuts and clarity are concerned, India’s domestic market is consuming lower grades and lower colors, and this has boosted what the diamond industry calls ‘slow-moving goods.’ India being so diversified, we do see more acceptance of these goods in the north. In the south of the country, the major criterion are clarity and color and therefore the preference is normally for better goods.”

Commenting on what can be expected in the coming months, Tata shared, “The consumer still wants the ‘flash for cash’ look, and when gold alone cannot provide that, because of its high cost, less expensive alternatives in the form of colored or semiprecious stones are being substituted.”


No matter how tense the political relationship between India and Pakistan, when it comes to art and culture — and matters of business that have the potential to be mutually beneficial — the two countries can seem very close. Leading a 12-member delegation, Sanjay Kothari, vice chairman of GJEPC, recently visited Pakistan and both countries have signed a seven-point agenda to explore a long-term partnership and leverage the $12 billion gem and jewelry sector in Pakistan.

The agenda is a laundry list of areas in which the gem and jewelry industries in both countries plan to cooperate with each other. Included are: an improved duty structure between the two countries, an exchange of students and faculty, direct import of gemstones from Pakistan, export of India jewelry to Pakistan, the participation of a Pakistani contingent in hosting a country pavilion at IIJS Signature 2012, an Indian contingent at Pakistani shows and joint trade shows and conferences by the two countries, in such venues as Dubai and Singapore.



  • Overall demand in the domestic market is very low.

  • Softness in rough and polished prices has been observed.
  • The SI category remains in demand but there is much less demand for IF, VVS.

  • Market activity is negatively affected by the unstable rupee-dollar exchange rate, as well as the liquidity crunch.

  • Lower demand and uncertain prices dampen optimism for the global market.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - July 2012. To subscribe click here.

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