It will be very difficult for lab-diamond manufacturers to protect price as production processes and economics improve. Ultimately, this will result in lab-diamonds becoming more of their own separate product class, maybe not in the realm of 'fashion jewelry', but their own, completely distinct product class from natural diamonds. Lab-diamond companies that build a very strong brand through marketing or proprietary jewellery design will be less susceptible to price pressure ... Price is a lab-created diamond’s greatest advantage over a natural equivalent.
The scarcity of blue and pink fancy color diamonds on the market is driving prices higher, writes the Fancy Color Reasearch Foundation (FCRF). The Fancy Color Diamond Index for the third quarter of 2017 increased slightly compared to Q2, with a 0.2% total rise for yellow, pink and blue fancy color diamonds in all sizes and saturations. The best performers with regard to prices in Q3 were fancy blue and pink color diamonds, which appreciated 0.4% and 0.3% respectively.
The Bureau d'Évaluation et de Contrôle de Diamant et d'Or (BECDOR) in the Central African Republic, which oversees the country’s production and trade of diamond and gold, maintains a database and assesses the value of diamond parcels that are to be exported from the country, has just set up a new price list - defining mineral prices between government and traders. The new price list for these mineral resources is designed to enable the State to have enough financial resources to meet its obligations, reports APA News (Agence de Presse Africaine).
Analysis of pricing data by the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) for the second quarter of 2017 indicates overall pricing stability across all categories over the same quarter in the previous year, FCRF states in a press release. While flat overall for all shapes and sizes, blue fancy color diamond prices continued to appreciate, climbing 5.5% over last year, while yellow fancy color diamond prices declined by 2.5% for the year. According to RAPI™ during the same period, most white diamond categories experienced meaningful price declines.
Diamond expert, industrialist and industry analyst Ehud Arye Laniado takes an incisive look at the value proposition of synthetic diamonds, taking their producers and marketers to task on their main selling points. Reprinted in full with the permission of the author.
Canadian jeweler and diamond industry analyst Mel Moss explores a core dilemma concerning the value proposition of diamonds. It is a dlemma the diamond industry has yet to resolve, leading to confusion and false expectations among consumers: how can a diamond be presented both as a luxury product and a price-based commodity? "Some in the diamond industry are pushing hard to promote generic diamonds as a commodity that can be traded transparently in futures markets, commodity exchanges and as a wealth preservation asset", writes Moss.
The term ‘mined diamonds’ is slowly entering mainstream language in the press and elsewhere, and I find it troubling. We need clear differentiation between natural diamonds and lab-grown goods, and it needs to be far more distinct than mined vs. lab-grown. Natural diamonds were always diamonds. They were formed billions of years ago and were mined after huge sums of money were put into exploration.
ALROSA president Andrey Zharkov said that the Russian diamond giant will create an analytical center tasked with targeting diamond prices and monitoring market development environment, reports Rough-Polished.
As 2015 Comes to an end, diamantaire Ehud Laniado sums up the year and discusses the main issues of relevance for the diamond trade, including transparency, financing, marketing, synthetic stones and pricing. He states that, "Financing and cash flow are among the most important issues we will have to address in the coming year. This goes far beyond transparency.
Price lists have become an increasingly important part of the diamond market over the past 25 years – and the Rapaport list has achieved overwhelming importance. But do, and can, such lists, provide an accurate indication of diamond prices? Are changes to the list carried out too often and are those changes too severe particularly at a time when trading conditions are difficult? Is there a realistic alternative to the Rap list, or will the industry have to live with it?
It has been stated repeatedly that the high cost of rough has led to a lack of profitability in the diamond industry. Neil Reiff, President at N.D. Reiff Co., believes that retail pricing is simply too low. He cites a situation where a retailer's client said he could buy the same diamond on offer at 1.7% above wholesale via the Internet. Reiff thinks this is insane: "There is no point and no purpose in selling anything at a profit margin of 1.7% over cost. No matter how efficiently one may run a business. No matter how much one may grow revenues."
Following the repeated criticism on Martin Rapaport's price list, Rob Bates analyzes the critic's arguments to set up alternatives, which they claim will be more stable and leave room for the market to work out discounts and premiums; an Israeli initiative involving a bi-annual price list, and an Indian alternative, which sources claim will list goods without prices. Martin Rapaport however is determined his list provides an adequate image of diamond prices for both sellers and buyers.
Industry specialist Edahn Golan looks at economic indicators to find the roots of $550mil in lost jewelry sales ($816mil lost for specialty jewelers). The cause of declining sales is certainly not to be found in rising prices, as the prices of jewelry, diamonds and gold have all fallen since 2011. His conclusion: "The decline in sales is not necessarily an issue of high prices or a bad price reputation; after all, diamonds and diamond jewelry are luxury items, not a necessity. The half-a- billion dollars in lost sales is a figure significant enough not to be dismissed as a phase.
“We believe that a diamond represents a very important purchase in one’s life and has a significant emotional meaning. And we believe that the story and identity of a diamond is linked to how it has been formed over millions of years. We imagine that people will still make that association – it is about the permanence, if you will, the long history of what it takes for a diamond to form, the conditions of the Earth, and the gravitas involved in that. We are not naive, our head is not in the sand, and we closely monitor the progress of the industry.