Fancy color diamond prices increased 0.3% on average during the fourth quarter of 2015 as better-than-expected holiday sales outweighed sluggish Asian demand, according to the Fancy Color Diamond Index created by the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF). Rapaport News notes that lower supply from diamond producers has led to a shortage of fancy yellow gems. This led to strong prices for the fancy yellow segment, which increased 1.1%, the FCRF said in a statement February 9. Within the yellow category, 3-carat diamonds demonstrated a 2.7% price increase and 5-carat stones rose 4.4%, likely driven by low availability in rough tenders. “Mining companies have effectively shut down a considerable portion of their rough diamond production, especially in Africa, around mid-2015, resulting in market shortages across color and size categories, as reflected in the index results,” said Jim Pounds, advisory board member for the FCRF and senior vice president for diamond management at Dominion Diamond Corporation.
Other strong performers in the fourth quarter included 1-carat and 1.5-carat Fancy Vivid Blues and Pinks, which showed a 4.4% and 3.7-% increase respectively. After having shown strong growth in the previous two quarters, the fancy blue category registered a slight decline.