As noted above, De Beers felt it could raise prices because demand for diamonds remains strong throughout the world.
A recent press release from the Diamond Information Center showed that the U.S. retail diamond jewelry market grew 6% in 2003, its eight leap in a row. Overall sales hit $29.1 billion, a very nice $1.7 billion increase over 2002. Transactions grew by over 5% and average ticket price grew 1%.
Worldwide retail sales of diamond jewelry increased 7% in 2003. De Beers called this “staggering” given the negative impact of SARS and the war in Iraq. The key growth market was India, which increased by 22%. The Chinese market also increased 8%.