The recycled diamonds trade has become a huge, under-the-radar market. Analysts estimate overall sales of “recycled diamonds” at about $1.5 - $2bn a year, out of $81bn in diamonds sold globally at retail. And that may be an underestimate. How much this is affecting the wholesale market is unclear.
Industry analyst Rob Bates takes a look at the recycled trade, from baby boomers unloading their inherited jewelry, people getting lowballed on the diamond trade-ins, and De Beers' creation of the International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV), a service that buys diamonds for retailers, promising the highest price. As Evert Botha of Embee Diamonds says, “If De Beers is getting into it, you know it’s a big market.”