Despite suppliers’ best attempts to keep prices high while shifting their inventories, the rough diamond market this week saw downward pressure on prices and a disappointing sixth edition of the annual Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair.
It was Marilyn Monroe who sang the legendary words ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.’ I sometimes wonder how much songs actually impact on our thinking and our decisions. Did the words of this song run through Richard Burton’s mind in 1969 when he bought the 69.42 carat pear shaped diamond for Elizabeth Taylor which he promptly renamed the Taylor-Burton diamond? Or did the song somehow make him conscious of the fact that the value of the diamond would go on to rise considerably in price before it would eventually be sold at auction?
I was recently asked by American jewellery website Sparkle.com for my comments on the record-breaking prices being paid for the world’s most precious diamonds. You can read my comments and the full article here.
Our survey of the market this week has found that while demand for polished diamonds is improving, the number of transactions remains lower than usual for this time of the year. In response to high inventories, we are seeing new buying and selling behaviours in the market – from manufacturers buying run of mine diamonds, to traders self-financing and offering longer payment terms.
All in all, it’s been a turbulent and rather unusual year when it comes to the price of diamonds. Those in the trade know this, but when it comes to the question of how diamond pricing actually works, consumers often remain in the dark. And in a market where consumers don’t have reliable tools to assess a diamond’s price, can we really expect them to confidently buy the highest priced diamond jewellery? This past Christmas, the figures show we couldn’t and they didn’t, but more of that later.