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January 2008

We heard renewed talk about selling diamond futures on commodity exchanges

But, virtually all diamonds are still bought as gifts of love, and for emotional reasons.

De Beers sold a number of its mines in South Africa and lost market share.

But, it is still the biggest company in the market and largely controls how prices are set, and an E.C. decision which prevented them from buying from Alrosa was voided by an appeals court.

Diamond prices increased in the United States.

But, for overseas shoppers, they declined, because of the weak dollar.

There were record prices set at auction, including for flawless and blue diamonds at Sotheby’s and Christie’s this fall.

But, other parts of the market did not set records.

The Internet became a major player in the jewelry market and showed tremendous growth.

But, still less than five percent of diamond sales are conducted online.

More color– and clarity- treated and synthetic fancy colored stones were introduced into the market.

But, this hasn’t hurt the prices of natural fancy colored stones, and the proof is how colored diamonds continued to set records this year at auction.

De Beers continued to go into retail, opening more stores in the United States.

But, other retailers, like Tiffany and Harry Wintson, got involved in diamond mining.

latinum and gold prices hit records, and recorded tremendous gyrations.

But, while the price of larger diamonds increased about 30% over the year, the price of small diamonds has remained stable.

In the aftermath of the “Blood Diamond” movie, the issue continued to get publicity.

But, more than 99% of all diamonds are conflict-free, and for most consumers, it is not an issue, although some buyers like Canadian stones.

 

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