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January 1999

The Diamond Registry Bulletin Celebrates it’s 30th Year

In looking back over the last 30 years of publishing the Diamond Registry Bulletin, we find not only our own history but that of the industry as well. Some of the comparisons point up dramatic change, some show the truth of the old saying, “the more things change the more they stay the same” and, we would particularly like to note, quite a few show that, while there are no gurus in the market, you’ll always read about it in the Diamond Registry Bulletin first!

Then : Diamond Registry Bulletin December 1969

“Paris – Flawless gems continue to rise in price. A one-carat gem recently brought $1,600 as a wholesale price.”

“Tokyo– new Diamond Exchanges are being planned in Tokyo and Hong Kong.”

Then : Diamond Registry Bulletin December 1969

“Million Dollar Diamond – Cartier of New York successfully outbid a representative of Mrs. Richard Burton for a perfect 69.42 carat stone at Parke-Bernet. The final bid of $1,050,000 easily shattered all records for a single piece of jewelry.”

Then: Diamond Registry Bulletin February, 1973

“C.S.O. Sales of diamonds by the Central Selling Organization soared to $848,930,037, during the year 1972, compared with total sales of $624,816,604 for 1971.

Then: Diamond Registry Bulletin December 1974

“Consumer spending – There is no question that consumers confidence in the economy is at a low point.”

“Both the Index of Consumer Confidence (The Conference Board) and the Index of Consumer Sentiment (Michigan Survey Research Center) have hit historic lows.”

“Real disposable income has also declined during 1974.”

Then: Diamond Registry Bulletin December 1974

“London– Rough prices for smaller stones, producing melee and full cuts (to .18 ct.) were raised by the Central Selling Organization by 8-10%. This proves again that the De Beers stockpile of smaller stones is running low…”

 Then: Diamond Registry Bulletin December 1974

“The dollar reached its highest point since its devaluation close to 44 Belgian Francs, compared to 36 francs in the summer of 1973. The US$ reached similar records against all other currencies.”

Then: Diamond Registry Bulletin August 1979

” ‘We are looking forward to employing blacks for careers in the significant decision making areas of our business. We are determined to give meaning to the concept of equal employment opportunity, and in so doing to make our own small contribution to the development of a just society in South Africa.’

– H.F. Oppenheimer, De Beers”

Then: Diamond Registry Bulletin August 1979

The Financial Times estimates a need for importing 10 million tons of wheat and 20 million tons of coarse grains [to the USSR], at a cost of $4.5 billion dollars, plus freight.”

“The higher price of gold and diamonds should help to cover the bill. An increase in unit of exports can also be predicted in our opinion.”

Now: Diamond Registry Bulletin 1998

Presently, we quote a “D” colorless I.F. at a between $11,000 and $16,000 (depending on cut).

The fall of the Asian market, including the Japanese giant, after a boom in the 80’s and 90’s, has rocked the world market.

Now: Diamond Registry Bulletin October 1998

Million dollar diamonds are run-of-the-mill today:

“…glamour this year…at Sotheby‘s…the extraordinary 1955 Cartier blue and white diamond pendant earclips took the highest bid of $5,172,500.”

Now: Diamond Registry Bulletin December 1998

In 1997 C.S.O. sales reached $4,640 billion. But 1998 sales were down 28% to the $3,345 billion mark.

Now: Diamond Registry Bulletin November 1998

“Money Magazine says that confidence is only three points away from its record high.”

“Rising income rates, low unemployment rates (currently at 4.6%)…”

“…analysts are now saying that income was up by 0.4 percent in October and 0.2 percent in September…”

Now: 1998

Small diamonds are the only ones that have actually fallen in price in the last years. De Beers does not support the prices of small goods at all, but remains out of the rise and fall of that market.

Now: 1998 Oppenheimer kept his word:

Louis Nchindo of Botswana was appointed to Directorship of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.

De Beers continues its demographic inclusion of South African Blacks and actively markets to that population. The 1998 campaign included 4 ads with one white model and three black. All ads included the “Shining Light” logo denoting a connection with the people of South Africa.


Now: Diamond Registry Bulletin November 1998

Alrosa, owned in part by the Russian government…guaranteed sales of at least $550 million to De Beers annually through 2001.”

“The Russian news agency Interfax reported recently that Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has approached officials of De Beers and Alrosa to discuss a loan backed by diamonds.”

“Russian government did discuss the question of a $1 billion loan, but that De Beers had not yet received an official request for that loan.”


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