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1990: Diamond Retailers Are Successful Convincing People to Buy Diamond

December 1999

As we near the height of the season, the American economy seems to be in high gear. Retailers all over the country expect much better sales. The jump in sales should be higher than the past few years.

A word of caution, though: More American households than ever hold shares in the stock market. The market has been generous to them. But things will only go well if the economy and the stock market continues its uphill climb. If not, we are all in trouble.

Prices are very firm, especially in certified goods—and, in fact, there are shortages in carat-and-a-half to two-and-a-half carat goods, which are commanding far better prices than last year. This could also be a sign of the strong American economy. Remember, a few years back, four-grainers were the hot item. Now, it’s two caraters. Perhaps people are listening to De Beers’ marketing campaign and are spending two months of their salary—or maybe it’s two months of their capital gains.

Another, very frustrating reason for the shortage is GIA’s certification services have once again hit a holiday backlog. Their certification serviced have slowed down to such a point that people are not sure they will get their diamonds back in time before the season is over. The other laboratories, like IGI and EGL, are benefiting from this.

The American consumer still wants D to H-color goods, from VS to eye-clean. Consumers want well-made stones; it doesn’t have to be an Ideal cut, but you can no longer get away with manufacturing stones just to maximize the weight.

In the rough market, there is also very strong demand. All kind of rough are hard to find, with just about everyone looking for goods that aren’t available. The November sight was one of the smallest of the year—about $400 million, with India’s allocation cut nearly in half.

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