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November 2008

This holiday, De Beers is reportedly going to push the line that, in the current financial crisis, diamonds are portable “hard assets” that “hold their value.” Of course, the last time that the industry mentioned this, in the 1970s, there was a lot of dishonest investment schemes. However, this time, De Beers is taking a consumer-oriented approach. They won’t likely tell people to invest in diamonds. They are just saying that, if you have to buy something, diamonds, being “forever,” hold their value better than a TV set.

However, no one is sure what is happening right now with diamond prices. There were decreased prices, of about 30 to 40%, at the tender of a major rough seller (BHP.) The major diamond associations, like the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, are urging the producers to cut back their sales.

Already, the prices of big stones, which went up dramatically this year, have now gone down somewhat. However, the price of the lower-end goods has remained stable, and will probably remain so. We do predict diamonds will retain their value in the long term, simply because the demand from new markets like India and China is likely to outpace the supply. In that way, they are an “asset” worth owning.

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