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The War is Over, But Will the Recession Continue?

May 2003

For a long time, many publications — this one included — have said that the economy will improve when the war in Iraq ends. Well, it’s over — far sooner than even the most optimistic predicted — and it’s clear that all the problems of the world are not solved.

America still has major economic problems; the stock market is for the most part still in a funk. And while Saddam Hussein and company may be out of commission in Iraq, there’s still Syria, Iran, bin Laden, and a whole list of terrorists and terrorist supporters. The SARS epidemic may not threaten the whole world just set, but it’s still left people pretty uneasy. So if people were feeling anxious a month ago, then they’re a little less anxious today.

Still, the big news is that, unlike the stock market or even gold (see our story below), diamonds did not soar or dip with every bit of news out of Washington or Baghdad. Diamonds remain a rock-solid investment (though, we admit, one that pays no interest or dividends.) Over the next few months, we can expect many more goods coming to New York, as fewer people will be traveling to Hong Kong and the rest of the Southeast Asian market. This will allow jewelers here to offer consumers a better selection.

The market fundamentals remain good. VVS2 to SI1 are strong and D to H color are doing well. Princess, Asscher cuts and other rectangular or squarish shapes are strong. Pear shapes and marquises have lost a lot of their popularity. Ovals are still fairly good. That’s why De Beers, in their fancy shape advertising, haven’t even felt the need to advertise Princesses, because they are so strong.

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