Lack of 'Affordable' Diamonds the New Normal in Canada

Retail and Consumer Confidence
19/08/2015 13:47

Evert P. Botha writes in Jewellery Business Magazine that Canada's currency woes - the loonie has depreciated over 20% against the U.S. dollar since July 2014, nearing an 11-year low - and the effective banishment of European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) International as a result of overgrading practices has led to "a new kind of normal" regarding diamond prices in Canada. On the currency crisis, Botha writes that, "One thing remains certain: regardless of provenance or grade, your diamonds cost about 20% more than they did a year ago." On EGL, he writes that, "It seems that most of EGL International's former clients... appear to have switched to a multitude of other laboratories, which in itself is great for the industry in that more accurately graded diamonds will be on the market. Others, however, have elected to simply market, list and sell these diamonds with overgraded reports as 'ungraded' for fear of being blacklisted and banished", and then offer their goods at steep discounts.

Botha urges caution when traders are tempted to buy these ungraded goods in the attempt to find a treasure at a discount, and calls on retailers to step up their game: "With the wealth of information available on the Internet, it is time for independent jewelers to start effectively communicating their credentials and knowledge, and reclaim their position of authority when it comes to diamonds... Remember that [for a client] nothing matches the experience of spending time with a qualified, polished diamond professional. There's only so much they can glean from the Internet."