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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Aug 26, 2021 10:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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Las Vegas shows open with positive sentiment but fewer exhibitors and light traffic. Serious buyers attending. Dealers hoping JCK will signal start of holiday buying after 3Q slowdown. Polished inventory rising but shortages remain. Difficult to find top-quality diamonds. Rising expectations for holiday season, but retail growth starting to decelerate. Jewelry ranks among top-selling categories for Macy’s in 2Q. Rough market stable during De Beers sight. Prices softening on the secondary market. Gem Diamonds sells Ghaghoo mine for $4M. De Beers introduces Code of Origin program for jewelers to sell De Beers-sourced diamonds; extends Lightbox lab-grown offering to 2 ct.

Fancies: Market robust. Prices firming across most sizes and categories amid shortages and growing fancy demand. Retailers offering wider product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Dealers seeing increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Ovals and Cushions closing price gap with Rounds. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Excellent cuts popular and commanding premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: Optimistic mood at Vegas shows. Dealers looking for goods but difficult to find at profitable price. Antique jewelry strong. Buyers looking for unique pieces. Less emphasis on memo as jewelers need goods. Jewelry retail upbeat amid positive consumer sentiment, despite Covid-19 concerns.

Belgium: Trading getting busier as dealers return from vacation. Suppliers eyeing activity at JCK and looking for signals on pricing and US demand; some sent goods to the show even though they couldn’t travel. Rough market steady but buyers cautious about price levels.

Israel: Bourse activity light due to fourth Covid-19 wave. Fewer suppliers than usual at Las Vegas fairs amid travel restrictions and uncertainty about shows’ effectiveness. Dealers looking for goods and trying to close deals before Jewish holiday period begins on September 7. Scarcities and steady demand supporting stable prices.

India: Market stable, with US orders driving activity. Suppliers frustrated they can’t attend Vegas shows but sending US representatives and goods. Far East demand softened in August. Steady polished production expected until November 4 Diwali break. Suppliers filling orders but some categories difficult to find. GIA backlog remains, with Mumbai turnaround of over four weeks. Rough buyers more cautious due to high prices.

Hong Kong: Polished trading improving slightly but still below usual levels for this time of year. Good demand for 0.50 to 0.70 ct., D-H, VS-SI1. Buyers compromising on size and shifting to smaller dossiers due to high price of 1 ct. and larger. Local retail stable, with lower-budget jewelry moving better than before. Some concern about potential China slowdown.
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