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Feb. 2000

In honor of the new Millennium, we present the second part of the Diamond Registry’s look back at its 32-year history. Here are quotes verbatim from the Diamond Registry Bulletin 1985 – 95:

1985: “A group of New York cutters took a 20% pay cut. They were given the choice of either reducing their per-carat labor costs or their firm would cut the diamonds overseas. They took the cut.”

1986: “New sanctions against South Africa would ban De Beers stock in the U.S. — but not diamonds.”

1986: “The Diamond Registry received recently a call from a U.S. agency concerning a DRB article about new methods to synthesize diamonds. When we asked what the information was for, we were told it was classified, but it has something to do with the Strategic Defense Initiative.”

1986: “Prices paid at Christie’s April 16 auction for certified diamonds were surprisingly low. Several one-carat D color I-flawless sold for under $9,000 a carat.” [In 1969, the DRB spotted a “perfect” diamond going for $1,500. In 1980, they went for $60,000.]

1987: “A report in Money magazine said that, in the last 15 years, polished diamonds in the D, IF and G,H, I, -VS categories outperformed the appreciation of all investments except gold. Of course, there was plenty of chance to lose if one bought at the top and sold at the low.”

1987: “Diamond imports to Japan have increased in the past seven months by 60% in U.S. dollars. Many larger stones are becoming ‘too expensive’ for the average American consumer.”

1988: An Adweek special report on the hottest markets says ‘the outlook for love in the ‘90s is excellent. It predicts a booming market for diamond rings.’”

1989: “Salon Metro, a New York jewelry firm, has introduced a new concept in jewelry merchandising — leasing instead of purchasing. ‘Suddenly beautiful jewelry is yours again and again,’ says the ad in the New York Times.”

1990: “An 88-carat D-Flawless diamond from Kuwait was recently put up for sale by a member of the Royal family of Kuwait for $10 million. This proves once again that diamonds are one of the most easily transported and concealed assets.”

1991: “Another problem contributing to slow demand for diamonds is the high mark-up for brand names. One jeweler told the Diamond Registry that he is saving 50% on his engagement ring costs since he discontinued a certain brand.”

1991: “Christie’s hopes that its magnificent 106-carat D-color will fetch an even higher price than the $7.15 million paid for Sotheby’s 80-carat D-flawless at an auction in New York.”

1992: “You can‘t pick up a newspaper these days without reading about bankruptcies and financial setbacks in and around the jewelry trade: hundreds of stores shut by Zale and other chains; bankruptcy for department store giant Macy’s; and the two home shopping networks, moving towards a merger to forestall collapse.”

1992: “Canada’s northern diamond firms have stirred a ‘diamond madness,’ as one commentator called it, on the Vancouver stock exchange.”

1993: “A recent ABC ‘Prime Time Live’ report suggested that the Russian diamond stockpile may far exceed De Beers’ … Speaking to DRB from London, CSO Director Michael Grantham dismissed any real or potential threat as a ‘bit of rubbish.’”

1995: “State of the industry: All indicators up, except profit … On balance we side with the optimists, who say that the diamond industry has always weathered lean years, and will prosper in the years ahead.”

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