Diamond Market Posts Soft July; Prices Still Falling
Las Vegas, NV—Diamond prices are still falling and market sentiment was weak in July due to tight profits and liquidity, according to the latest figures from Rapaport. The pressures facing cutters and dealers resulted from high rough supply at inflated prices during 2017 and 2018, even as polished prices were softening.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for one-carat polished fell 0.9% during the month. The index is down 4% since the beginning of 2019 and 6.1% over the past 12 months. The midstream is being squeezed and is bearing the risk of holding inventory: miners are maintaining high rough prices, while jewelers are holding fewer goods in inventory and taking more on consignment. Over the last decade, manufacturers focused on raising credit rather than profit, but now the lack of profit has led banks to cut lending.
De Beers’ $250 million July sight was its smallest in over three years. Polished inventory remains inflated, even as manufacturers reduced production an estimated 30%. Polished trading has been quiet, with US jewelers assessing their holiday-season requirements. Far East demand is cautious due to US-China trade tensions and currency devaluation. Meanwhile, political protests have negatively impacted Hong Kong wholesale and retail sales.
Dealer trading has also declined, with manufacturers going directly to retailers in a bid for better profits, as outlined in the July Rapaport Research Report. To restore profit, the trade needs to reduce rough prices, as well as raise diamond-jewelry demand through marketing. Greater profitability will improve midstream liquidity, and the focus will shift toward boosting consumer spending rather than credit. In turn, a profitable midstream will restore polished price growth.
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Jewelry From China Will Be Taxed Starting September 1
Washington, DC—Following the Trump administration’s announcement of sweeping tariffs on goods imported from China, certain categories were handed a temporary reprieve ahead of the holiday shopping season. Jewelry, however, is not on that list.
Beginning September 1, fine jewelry imported from China will be subject to a 10% tariff, whereas Chinese-made toys, computer equipment, video games, and clothing—also key gift items for Christmas—will not be taxed until December 15, giving retailers of those goods time to stock up without the additional levies in advance of the shopping season. Read more here.
GIA Jewelry Career Fair and Open House Set For October 11 In Carlsbad
Carlsbad, CA--GIA (Gemological Institute of America) will again host its annual Jewelry Career Fair and Open House on Friday, October 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at its world headquarters in Carlsbad, CA.
This free event has something for everyone: informative panel discussions, career coaching and recruiting for people new to the industry, opportunities for industry professionals looking for a career change, classroom demonstrations, and unique museum exhibits. GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair and Open House is the one time of year when the public can visit the campus without a prior appointment.
DCA president Terry Chandler, left, coaching an attendee at Career Fair.
The event kicks off with inspiring panel discussions featuring notable gem and jewelry leaders:
Job seekers can connect with recruiters from all over the country who represent local and global brands--including Brilliant Earth, The Real Real, and Diamonds Direct--looking for top talent in all areas of the industry. Employers interest in recruiting at this year’s event can sign-up at GIAevents.eventsair.com/career-fair-carlsbad/recruiter-registration/Site/Register.
The recruiting tables at a prior Career Fair.
Open house guests are invited to explore the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center or see the many beautiful GIA museum exhibits featuring more than 1,000 pieces. The newest exhibit, Jewels of Hollywood, showcases pieces linked to Hollywood royalty of decades past. There will also be classroom demonstrations of the many education courses offered on campus and the GemKids program that offers students ages 9 to 12 an engaging introduction into gemology.
For more information and to register, visit GIA.edu/career-fair-carlsbad-day-at-a-glance. Also follow @GIANews #JewelryJobs for updates.
CIBJO President Addresses Synthetic Diamonds; Responsible Sourcing
Mumbai, India—Basic due diligence to ensure responsible sourcing is no longer optional, and all participants anywhere in the gem and jewelry supply chain need to accept that, says Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO.
Speaking last week in Mumbai in advance of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), Cavalieri also said industry systems for guaranteeing responsible sourcing must be inclusive, meaning that they cannot discriminate against ethical companies lacking size or financial capacity. It’s a common predicament in the colored gemstone sector, which is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises at almost all stages of the chain of distribution, and many cannot afford costly guarantee systems.
In the diamond market, seven companies mine 80% of rough goods by volume and 90% by value, said Cavalieri. But in the colored stone sector, artisanal and small-scale miners account for more than 80% percent of both volume and value.
Cavalieri outlined how CIBJO is developing tools and other materials designed to assist individuals, companies and organizations apply the principles contained in the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Book, with a special emphasis on meeting the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises.
CIBJO's Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, approved by the CIBJO Board of Directors early in 2019, is designed to be a reasonable ethical protocol for gem and jewelry enterprises irrespective of size or financial capacity, and acceptable from the perspective of the international community.
“We do not agree with those who contend that because of company’s size it should be given a free pass when it comes to responsible sourcing,” Cavalieri said. “Everyone can do something, to the best of their ability. The demand that we document where goods come from and where they are going is not unreasonable.”
He also joined a panel discussion looking at measures that should be taken by the industry to successfully absorb laboratory-grown diamonds into the product mix without compromising the position of naturally sourced diamonds.
CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri addressing the 2019 Advances in Gem & Diamond Detection Technology (AGDDT) symposium in Mumbai, India, on August 7, 2019.