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Rapaport Weekly Market Comment

Nov 11, 2021 10:40 AM   By Rapaport News
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Polished trading robust; US holiday orders driving demand. Bridal strong ahead of December engagement season, with spike in weddings expected in 2022. Designers using alternative shapes to satisfy consumer interest in unique jewelry. Rough demand steady and prices high during De Beers sight. Alrosa Oct. rough sales -2% to $293M. Lucara 3Q revenue +76% to $73M, profit of $13M vs. loss of $5.4M. Christie’s Geneva sells $59M (93% by lot), with pair of Marie Antoinette diamond bracelets going for $8M. Pluczenik partners with Nungu Diamonds in new South Africa polishing factory. Mountain Province appoints Mark Wall as CEO. Industry mourns the passing of Helene Fortunoff.

Fancies: Market robust. Prices high and stable, supported by supply shortages. 1.20 to 3.99 ct., F-J, VS-SI is hottest category and seeing shortages. Retailers offering broader product ranges as consumers seek alternative shapes. Dealers report increased sales of fancy-shape engagement rings. Rise in orders for Ovals, Pears, Emeralds, Princesses, long Radiants and Marquises. Ovals and Radiants closing price gap with Rounds. Oversizes trading at higher prices than usual. Excellent shape commanding premiums. Steady orders in China helping the market. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and difficult to sell.

United States: New York dealers filling orders and looking for goods. 1 ct. and larger expensive and in demand. A lot of memo calls with strong sell-through. Retail jewelers seeing good holiday momentum. Big brands and department stores enjoying healthy jewelry sales and looking to replenish sold inventory. Jewelry category may capitalize on supply delays affecting electronics and other popular holiday gifts.

Belgium: Sentiment positive, with growing optimism for the holiday season. Good dealer demand for large, expensive diamonds, high-end fancy shapes and luxury jewelry. Geneva auctions upbeat. Shortages in best-quality rounds, fancies and color diamonds. Rough market active during De Beers sight week.

Israel: Dealers busy and focused on supplying US market. Strong demand for round and fancy-shape, 1.50 to 3.99 ct., F-H, VS-I1 goods. Difficult to find better-quality stones above 1 ct. at reasonable prices. Diamonds below 0.70 ct. weakening. Nice, well-cut pears and ovals in short supply and selling at firm discounts.

India: Trading seasonally slow during Diwali break. Jewelers report strong retail sales over festive period. Industry leaders publish draft Diamond Charter to prevent certificate fraud. Polished manufacturer Asian Star sees 2Q sales jump to $157M vs. $67M a year earlier, profit more than doubles to $4M.

Hong Kong: Holiday orders supporting the market, with strong appetite for 1 ct., D-I, VS2-SI2, 3X goods. Sellers staying firm on prices amid solid demand and low supply. 0.30 to 0.80 ct. also moving well. Retail improving as Covid-19 restrictions ease; mainland China consumers continue spending domestically. Polished shipments into China more than triple to $2.32 billion in first nine months of 2021, Shanghai Diamond Exchange reports.
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