The slowdown in the economy is being felt on the diamond market. We don’t agree with the De Beers spokesman above that polished prices are falling, but we have seen that people are a lot more willing to sell than they used to be.
The slowdown is being felt on all levels—but, not surprisingly, it’s hit the jewelry dot-com sector the hardest. Ashford.com was recently warned by NASDAQ that the company no longer complies with the $1.00 minimum bid price requirement stated in Marketplace Rule 4450 (a)(5). They have ninety calendar days, to regain compliance with this rule, which would require the company’s stock to achieve a bid price $1.00 or more for a minimum of 10 consecutive days during that period. If Ashford.com fails to meet this requirement, it will become subject to delisting from the Nasdaq National Market, at which time the company can appeal the delisting to a Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel.
The company also replaced its founder with a new CEO. Other major web sites have reportedly had lay-offs, as have some big retailers.
Even though rates are low, money is getting tighter. We predict a shift to lower qualities, like we saw in Japan when things got tight there. People aren’t going to stop getting engaged, or buying diamonds to mark the occasion. But they sure won’t be spending like they were just months ago.