Skip to main content Navigation

Articles and News

Diamond Prices Diverge By Size, But Overall Market Outlook Remains Strong For Holiday October 06, 2021 (0 comments)


New York, NY—Prices for polished diamonds one carat and below dipped slightly in September, but prices rose for goods above 1.50 carats.

Figures from Rapaport released Tuesday show the diamond market was relatively quiet in September as various Jewish and Indian festivals disrupted activity, but dealers remained optimistic for the U.S. holiday season after solid trading at the Las Vegas shows in late August. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for one-carat diamonds slid 0.5% during September, and inventory levels increased for categories below one carat. A record volume of 0.30- to 0.50-carat diamonds is currently available, with 5% more stones listed on RapNet than a month ago, and 43% more listed from a year ago.  

Diamond manufacturers have gradually raised capacity following strong rough buying in the first half of the year. Rough demand was robust during the most recent De Beers sight, and prices were stable as rough supply is low relative to prevailing demand. But cutters are concerned about profit margins, particularly for rough that yields polished below one carat. High polished output is anticipated in the coming month; suppliers are filling U.S. holiday orders before factories close for the two-week Diwali break beginning November 4. 

Steady U.S. orders are supporting the market, says Rapaport. Although Rapaport cautioned that consumer confidence has dipped slightly, the National Retail Federation says it’s more important to watch what consumers do than what they say in surveys, and that spending is still robust. NRF predicts annual retail sales to rise between 10.5% and 13%, while global financial services company Deloitte expects 2021 holiday sales to grow between 7% and 9% across the board over 2020. Online sales, meanwhile, are expected to grow even more, between 11% and 15%, says Deloitte.

“Across channels, retailers should expect a strong holiday season as consumer spending levels are projected to remain high,” said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail and distribution sector leader, in a statement. “While consumer concerns about health and safety have eased since the last holiday season, pandemic-influenced shopping behaviors continue to gain traction. Retailers who remain resilient to shifting consumer behaviors and offer convenient options for online and in-store shopping, as well as order fulfillment, will be poised for growth this holiday season, and into the new year.”

Jewelers are enjoying a banner year and have positive expectations for the holiday season, especially since engagement ring sales typically peak in November to December and there is pent-up demand for weddings after pandemic postponements, says Rapaport. Indeed, figures from MasterCard SpendingPulse show jewelry has grown more than any other category in the past two years. 

Separately, a report from Israel also shows solid diamond sector growth for the first three quarters of 2021. Net imports of rough diamonds to Israel increased 137% compared to the same period last year, while net rough diamond exports posted an increase of 160% compared to the corresponding period in 2020.

Net polished diamond imports in the first three quarters of the year rose 121% year on year, while net polished diamond exports grew 49% compared to the corresponding period in 2020.

Arnon Juwal, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI), expressed satisfaction with the positive trend. “The Israeli Diamond Industry continues to show a robust recovery, demonstrating its underlying strength and flexibility. With the solid demand we are seeing in the United States and in Asia, we look forward to a strong holiday season and continued growth until the end of the year.”

Share This:

Leave a Comment:

Human Check