Rapaport Press Release

RAPAPORT... Certified polished diamond prices rose significantly in March, driven by consumer demand in the Far East and India and reinforced by strong dealer trading. Shortages resulting from a lack of manufacturing meant buyers could offer little resistance to higher prices. As a result, a seller’s market emerged.

In the just released Rapaport Research Report entitled “March Madness,” average asking prices on RapNet increased 6.6 percent during March 2011. Half caraters were up 7.3 percent, one carats up 7.7 percent and three carats up 6.9 percent. Prices of small, inexpensive diamonds at Rapaport Auctions continued to strengthen during the month.

During the first quarter, average prices rose 11.5 percent, with half caraters up 11.8 percent, one carats up 15.1 percent, and three carats up 11.8 percent. Average prices on RapNet were 17.2 percent above levels seen at the end of March 2010.

Rough prices continued to rise with De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) hiking prices by an estimated average 10 percent. Spot tender prices also continued to increase supported by strong demand from manufacturers and dealers. There is growing concern about speculation as rough inventories are expanding while manufacturing lags, which has resulted in polished shortages.

The devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan will have an impact on diamond jewelry sales and diminish the country’s global market share. Political risk in the Middle East and financial uncertainties in Europe are expected to increase demand for top quality large goods. At the same time, inflation and a declining dollar may have a negative impact on diamond demand and pricing as governments are expected to raise interest rates to maintain stability.

Additional information about the state of the diamond market is available in the just-released Rapaport Research Report - “March Madness” at www.diamonds.net/report and via email by contacting specialreport@diamonds.net

About the Rapaport Group: The Rapaport Group is an international network of companies providing added value services that support the development of free, fair and competitive global diamond markets. Established in 1978, the Rapaport Diamond Report is the primary source of diamond prices and market information. Group activities include publishing, research and marketing services, internet information and diamond trading networks, global rough and polished diamond tenders, diamond certification, quality- control, compliance, shipping, and financial services. Major activities of the group include the development of markets for Fair Trade Diamonds and Jewelry as well as the creation of diamond futures markets. Additional information is available at www.diamonds.net

About RapNet: The RapNet – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network- www.rapnet.com is the world’s largest diamond trading network. With daily listings of over 715,000 diamonds valued at US$4.7 billion and over 6300 active trading members in over 72 countries, RapNet is the primary international marketplace for GIA and other certified diamonds. RapNet is available in English and Chinese</span


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