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Mar. 2003

Unlike the gold and stock markets, which zigzag with every turn of the economy, the diamond market is surprisingly stable, both in price and in demand. There is a reason for this. In the gold market, you can judge investor sentiment minute by minute. One statement by Bush or Hans Blix can impact trader confidence. That’s not true with diamonds. Nobody charts what happens to diamond prices by the hour, and that is probably for the good.

For the most part, consumers still are anxious about the world situation, whether it’s war abroad or terrorist attacks at home. We may see a surge in buying if things settle down and soldiers come home for the Gulf.

Yet, the current global crisis may also help the industry. As with the mood post-September 11, people are looking for products that express stability and commitment. Which may be why Valentine’s Day was not bad, although in general sales are decent but unspectacular.

What’s selling mostly is one and a half to three caraters: The middle range of stones. The popular qualities are G-H and VS clarity. Most of the goods from India, Israel and Antwerp are finding their way to New York. With people less likely to travel to other diamond centers, the stones are coming here. Once again, people are pinning their hopes on the Vegas show this summer, when hopefully the world’s problems will be at least somewhat resolved.

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