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Diamond Trade Records Cautious Growth in 2018

1 ct. RAPI Rises 0.7%

Jan 3, 2019 5:00 AM   By Rapaport
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RAPAPORT PRESS RELEASE, January 3, 2019, New York… The diamond trade ended 2018 with greater uncertainty than at the beginning of the year.

Diamond prices softened in the second half amid fears the US-China trade war would impact discretionary spending. Sentiment softened as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6% for the year, with concerns that investors would experience a negative wealth effect. Tighter credit in India and rising demand for lab-grown diamonds contributed to the trade’s caution.

To stimulate growth, the industry must amplify its efforts to modernize and navigate the changing consumer landscape, according to the latest issue of the Rapaport Research Report.

Addressing some of the challenges has helped improve diamond-market conditions. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds rose 0.7% in 2018. Good US and Chinese demand in the first six months buoyed the index to its first annual growth since 2011. The 1-carat RAPI fell 2.6% in the second half as weak currencies in India and China slowed trading. 

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
December 2H 2018 FY 2018
RAPI 0.30 ct. -3.9% -9.9% -1.1%
RAPI 0.50 ct. -1.6% -3.4% 2.6%
RAPI 1 ct. -1.2% -2.6% 0.7%
RAPI 3 ct. -2.2% -4.6% -3.7%
© Copyright 2019, Rapaport USA Inc.

Suppliers that streamline inventory to shorten their turnaround time for delivery, and that can satisfy selective demand and jewelers’ memo requirements, will have a better chance of surviving. The industry must also improve its compliance with banking and reporting standards, and move toward a more corporate structure. Upgrading the jewelry-shopping experience, with traceable provenance of the diamond journey, and raising the outlay on marketing will further stimulate growth.

These changes became necessary after the 2008 financial crisis. The industry has been slow to react in the decade since, losing market share to tech, as well as Instagram-friendly sectors such as travel and beauty.

To mitigate the uncertainty, the trade must intensify its efforts to engage with consumers. It can do so via improved omni-channel platforms and storytelling across the distribution chain to ensure a better performance in 2019 and beyond.

To learn more about the Rapaport Research Report and to subscribe, click here.

Rapaport Media Contacts:
US: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
International: Alex Shine +1-718-878-5138
Mumbai: Prashant Bhojani +91-97694-66855

About the Rapaport Research Report: The Rapaport Research Report provides subscribers with in-depth analysis about key themes affecting the diamond market. It also presents exclusive analytics on diamond prices for a variety of categories, based on sales and inventory data from RapNet® – The Diamond Market.

About the Rapaport RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™): The RAPI is the average asking price in hundred $/ct. of the 10% best-priced diamonds, for each of the top 25 quality round diamonds (D-H, IF-VS2, GIA-graded, RapSpec-A3 and better) offered for sale on RapNet® – The Diamond Market. has daily listings of approximately 1.6 million diamonds valued at approximately $7.4 billion. Additional information is available at

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, with over 15,000 members in 97 countries and daily listings of approximately 1.6 million diamonds valued at approximately $7.4 billion; Rapaport Laboratory Services, providing GIA and Rapaport gemological services in India, Israel and Belgium; and Rapaport Trading and Auction Services, the world’s largest recycler of diamonds, selling over 500,000 carats of diamonds a year. Additional information is available at

Image: A loupe and polished diamonds. (Shutterstock)
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