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December 2007

In the 1970s and 80s, diamond prices followed the gold and platinum market. But these days, the diamond market has kept its independence from precious metals and even from the stock market.

Look at how other markets currently are doing:

Gold was 650 six months ago, hit around 640 in July and April, and as of 11/29, it’s over 800 (it took a big dip from three weeks ago, when it hit 833.)

Platinum was 1250 six months ago, went substantially below that in August, and at the end of November is about 1440, which is down from 1482 three weeks ago.

And the stock market has risen from 12,300 in April to about 13,500 today, but it had big dips in July and August.

Basically, stock, gold and platinum markets have gone up and down like a yo-yo. However, compared to this, diamond prices are fairly stable, and larger stones are going crazy.

How long will this continue? To quote an old saying, there is no such thing as a staircase that only goes up. If any segment of the diamond market is a danger of yo-yoing, it is with bigger stones.

For now, in the big stone market, supply is far short of demand. But they said the same with real estate. And things could change. For one, demand could go down.

Consumer confidence recently hit a two year low. Right now, the conventional wisdom is that all the problems in the economy (mortgages, etc.) will not hurt the very rich. But the very rich are not bulletproof. They could be impacted, particularly if the economy goes into a recession next year.

Another reason the prices could go down — and we emphasize that they could go down — is because of synthetics. We feel that most people will prefer natural diamonds for a gift of love. But when it comes to designer pieces, they are a bit of a threat. Still, that is something that is very long-term.

For now, considering the De Beers monopoly is basically over, it is striking how stable diamond prices have been compared to other commodities. We can only hope it stays that way.

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