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Jan. 2000

With the new Millennium upon us, like many other publications, we have decided to take a look back. In the year 2000, the Diamond Registry will begin its 32nd year of publication. So we bring you interesting quotes from the first 15 years of the Diamond Registry Bulletin:

1969: “We hope that the withdrawal in the near future of tens of thousands of young G.I.s from Vietnam will bring home more love and more diamond engagement ring sales.”

1972: “On January 19, the West Coast Commodities Exchange started trading on ‘diamond future’ contracts. On the first day of trading, 194 contracts were traded with an aggregate value of $2.7 million.”

1973: “Rough diamond prices were raised 11% by De Beers’ Central Selling Organisation as soon as the devaluation of the dollar was announced. Official price increases by De Beers since 1971 … add up to 22.4%, but compounding raises the amounts to 30.2%. In other words, diamonds have gone up in the last 14 months by almost one-third.”

1976: “Antwerp diamantaires recently left for their holiday. One manufacturer told us: ‘I am going to make money this vacation since I am sure the goods in my safe will bring better prices in September.’”

1977: “The Daily News recently wrote an article that said ‘Diamonds are an investor’s best friend.’ … ‘Within 30, 40 years, it is expected that the supply of quality stones will be exhausted,’’ says the head of one leading investment firm. ‘Over the last decade, top quality diamonds have appreciated more than IBM, AT&T or almost any stock.’”

1978: “In a paid advertisement in the New York Times, Tiffany’s asserted ‘diamonds prices are too high … This may be an unusual statement from an organization like Tiffany and Co. but some speculators have driven diamond prices too high. We suggest you look before you leap.’”

1978: “The G.I.A. in New York has been so overworked and overcrowded that daily lines of literally hundred of people would form as early as 5 a.m. to get stones certified, and some cutters would hire people just to stand in line for them. It would usually take three or four hours to get the stone accepted for certification.”

1981: “The most important challenge to the diamond industry, and De Beers C.S.O. in particular, is the decision to be made on marketing Australian diamonds … The Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Fraser, told Parliament that he agrees with the opposition party that Australia’s wealth should not be allowed to fall under the control of South African interests.”

1982: “A consensus [has] emerged in the entire international diamond community that diamonds do not have a concise price. All price lists are therefore inaccurate and should be abolished. In a roll call [at the World Diamond Congress], all delegations voted for the resolution to abolish all price lists except for the DDC, which abstained because the DDC publishes a list, but it expressed the hope to ‘phase it out’ along with other lists by individuals.”

1982: “Changing headlines. ‘Diamonds: Bright Investment,’ American Business, October 1981. ‘Diamond Prices to Crash,’ American Business, April 1982.”

1982: “Diamond purchases for so-called ‘investment’ purposes were down in 1981 by 52%, to 9% of all diamond sales, compared with 17% in 1980, according to De Beers research.”

Next issue: Quotes from 1985 – 2000.

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