Archive

  • The world’s largest jeweler, Hong-Kong based Chow Tai Fook, reports strong retail sales growth in the fiscal fourth quarter, reversing 12 consecutive quarters (3 years) of same store sales decline in Hong Kong and Macau, dating back to Q4 2014. The uptick was strongest in Mainland China, where overall retail sales value increased 16% while same store sales rose 12%. Overall and same store sales in Hong Kong and Macau rose by 1% and 4% respectively.

  • With 850 million active users monthly, western luxury brands have been quick to embrace China’s “most important platform for luxury brands”, WeChat. Local and international brands have realised the potential of the platform to make them key players in China’s $103 billion jewelry market. Western companies have used it for flash sales as well as marketing and customer interaction. While these flash events have spurred sales, China’s online sales remain limited, says Antoine Pin, managing director of Bulgari in greater China.

  • The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of the De Beers Group, announced a polished diamond grading service partnership with Hong Kong-based jeweler Lukfook. The first partnership with a vertically-integrated Sightholder.
     

  • As the Hong Kong Trade Fairs get under way, all eyes are on the Chinese retail market and their largest contingent of diamond consumers – the Millennials. Since 2015 luxury jewelers have noticed a growing demand for diamonds by Chinese millennials, aged 18 to 34, who are altering the perception that diamonds are only a symbol of love to be received when getting engaged, married or for an anniversary.

  • The year of the Rooster has officially commenced, and with that, the sales results of the Chinese New Year holiday period have been released. Chow Tai Fook reported mainland China outperformed Hong Kong and Macau’s holiday sales. During this period, between January 14 and February 3, revenue from the mainland rose by 4%, while same store sales grew by 1%. Gem-set sales on the mainland dropped by a whopping 20%, which is likely due to the brand not including the Valentine’s Day sales period this year.

  • Luxify, Asia's premier online luxury marketplace, and Birks, a leading operator of 26 prestige jewelry stores located in most of Canada's major urban areas, is offering selective Asian buyers a more convenient and discreet way to invest in high-end, distinctive jewelry.

  • Forbes created a list of the top luxury watches designed to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year, which beings on January 28, 2017. The year of the Rooster will be captured by Ulysse Nardin, Jaquet Droz, Chopard, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin – brands that are known for combining Swiss craftsmanship with Chinese culture.

  • Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd., which operates over 2,300 shops in more than 500 cities, indicated strong sequential growth over Q2 2016 after experiencing substantial declines during the past two years amid a slowdown in China's economy and fewer tourist arrivals in Hong Kong.

  • Diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky, in his most recent article "A New Diamond Industry", analyzes three significant changes - and the catalysts for those changes - that have been reshaping the diamond industry in recent years: 1) a new operating discipline, 2) a new generation of consumers, and 3) new technology.

  • According to a Rapaport press release: Polished diamond prices softened in December as Indian liquidity dried up due to the government’s demonetization policy eliminating 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. Trading slowed with dealers taking vacation during the holiday period,"  The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat, RapSpec A3+ diamonds fell 1.3% in December. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds edged up 0.2%, while RAPI for 0.50-carat stones fell 2.2%. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds slid 1%. RAPI for 1-carat diamonds declined 3% in the fourth quarter and 5% for the full year.

  • Chinese shoppers are generally estimated to make approximately 30% of the world’s luxury purchases, and according to De Beers "Diamond Insight Report", Mainland Chinese demand for diamond jewelry doubled from a 7% global share in 2008 to 14% in 2015, making it the second largest consumer of diamond jewelry. Bain & Company estimated their share of the global luxury market decreased by one percentage point in 2016, due mainly to China’s economic growth slowdown, thriving deman

  • Italian private equity firm Clessidra said it has agreed to sell an 85 percent stake in high-end jeweller Buccellati to Chinese conglomerate Gangtai Group, according to Forbes. The Buccellati family, who in 1919 founded the jeweler famous for its ornate, lace-like creations, will retain a 15 percent stake. A source familiar with the deal said the acquisition gave Buccellati an enterprise value of 270 million euros ($282 million) or 6.6 times its revenues.

  • In 2015, Chinese millennials - specifically women aged 18 to 34 - accounted for 68% of Chinese diamond sales, worth $6.76 billion last year, according to research by De Beers. Jily Ji, a 27-year unmarried college graduate: “We don’t have to passively wait to be gifted a diamond by a man, diamond jewelry is a natural way to express ourselves. It’s a far better investment than most fashion items as it won’t only gain value, but can also be passed down through the generations.” In their "Diamond Insight Report 2016" De Beers points out that U.S.

  • HRD Antwerp, the Antwerp based grading lab, officially opened a first Centre of Excellence in Shanghai, a concept that combines the strenghts of the grading lab and select retailers across the globe, aimed at increasing consumer confidence and knowledge by offering a true in-store experience.

  • The recently published Global Diamond Report 2016 prepared by Bain & Company and AWDC covers industry developments in 2015 and early 2016 and takes a close look at the millennial generation (roughly speaking, people born between 1980 and the early 2000s) as a new category of diamond buyers.

  • Bain & Company together with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has published their sixth annual report on the global diamond jewelry trade, with the lead insight being that in 2015 - not a banner year by any stretch of the imagination - retail sales grew 3% at constant exchange rates but declined about 2% in US dollar terms due to currency depreciation and slower demand in China. This followed a period of growth from 2012 through 2014, signifying that diamond jewelry consumption has entered "a moderation phase".

  • The diamond market has been going through difficult times for a while now, but diamond trade data paint a far more optimistic picture than in June, signalling that trade has turned the corner, writes Georgette Boele of ABN Amro in their "Insights" report. Back in June when ABN last published their diamond insights report, Boele still doubted if global diamond trade would improve, but trade data have clearly improved in all centres, most noticeably in Antwerp, Israel and India.

  • For the past three days a delegation of 21 leading jewelers from China, who collectively represent more than 8,000 points-of-sale, have been getting acquainted with the Antwerp diamond industry. The visit took place in the framework of a new initiative by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the “Antwerp Diamond Experience”, intended to provide groups of foreign jewelers, wholesalers and manufacturers inside access to the world’s diamond capital. Seeing as how China is currently the second largest jewelry market following the United States, this served as an incredible opportunity.

  • Chow Tai Fook, the Hong Kong based jewelry powerhouse that has taken Asia by storm, operating more than 1,800 stores in Mainland China, has finally made its way to the U.S.
    The group opened their first shop-in-shop at Macy’s in Flushing Queens, colloquially referred to as ‘the Chinese Manhattan’, on November 12 2016. The shop spans approximately 500 square feet, and is based in one of the most dynamic districts in New York City with a large customer base of immigrants and tourists.

  • According to a new study by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) entitled “Chinese Consumer in 2030” (paywall) released this week, 35 percent of China’s population is predicted to be “upper-middle class” or above by 2030, reports Jing Daily. EIU's summary introducing the report states, "The traditional drivers of China’s economy, investment and exports, are struggling, but the country’s consumers keep spending.

  • Jing Daily writes that according to Bain & Company’s annual industry "Bain Luxury Study" report, 2016 marks the first time in history that Chinese consumers contributed less to global luxury sales than they did the year before, despite China’s luxury market growth re-emerging into positive territory after two years of recession.

  • The weakening of the yuan against the Hong Kong dollar is making life even more difficult for the city’s retailers, with brands forced to raise prices of local goods for mainland visitors to offset the yuan's fall amid an already weak tourism industry, writes the South China Morning Post.

  • Diamond smuggling in China, an issue that has received significant press in recent years, is not going away.

  • Helen H. Wang, an award-winning author and expert on China’s middle class, writes for Forbes that Chinese millennials, in addition to their burgeoning numbers (by 2020, Chinese millennials are expected to reach 300 million strong, compared to 80 million in the U.S.) have two distinct advantages over their U.S. counterparts: no student loan debt and no housing expenses. According to China National Administration of Tourism, writes Wang, more than 120 million Chinese traveled abroad in 2015, spending $194 billion.

  • The Chinese National Day holiday period - also known as Golden Week - started October 1 and runs until October 7. It is the most important period after Chinese New Year in terms of the number of Chinese travelers, writes Jing Daily.

  • Last week, De Beers published its second "Diamond Insight Report", analysing the current state and future outlook for the global diamond industry - 'from mine to finger' as they say.

  • Russian diamond mining giant PJSC ALROSA held a meeting with clients and partners at the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. The company, which produces about a quarter of global supply, presented its vision for the development of the diamond market with an increased focus on the possible impact of the increased manufacture of synthetic diamonds on the natural diamond market. At a panel discussion, key market participants exchanged opinions on the risk of illegal mixing of synthetic and natural diamonds, it said in a statement.

  • One of the key assumptions in De Beers' "Diamond Insight Report 2016" is that the surge of diamond demand in China - the second largest diamond market in the world - will continue, but at a slower pace than in recent years. This is understandable, as diamond demand in Mainland China doubled its share from 7% in 2008 to 14% in 2015.

  • Chow Tai Fook, the world’s largest publicly traded jewelry chain, is warning that the jewelry market remains challenging even though it expects a decline in sales to ease off in the second half of this year. It also hopes to benefit from easier comparisons in the second half with the same period of 2015. “This year is still a challenge because the volatile global economy is affecting buying sentiment as a whole,” Kent Wong, the managing director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, told Rapaport News.

  • Stephen Lussier, the CEO of De Beers brand Forevermark, said steps taken in the second half of 2015 after production was reduced had proved their effectiveness with a stronger performance for De Beers in 2016. "We are pretty optimistic," he told Bloomberg TV. "Demand is holding up but I would call it steady rather than booming in terms of consumer sales. This makes us cautious and careful about the second half of 2016 but the polished market has really been stable."

  • Pin Lee, writing for the South China Morning Post, spoke with insiders from the Hong Kong and Asian diamond market to get their opinions on diamonds as an investment. While not without risk, as with any investment, by making a careful choice and focusing on the highest quality and rarest of stones, one should end up with a rock-solid investment.  "Generally speaking," said Chin Yeow Quek, Sotheby’s deputy chairman of Asia and chairman of international jewellery in Asia, "diamonds do not fluctuate but, as with most items of value, there will be some ups and downs.

  • Diamond sales growth isn’t expected to accelerate any time soon as demand from China continues to slump, according to World Diamond Council President Andrey Polyakov in an interview with Bloomberg. Global polished diamond sales used in jewelry will increase 4 percent annually until at least 2019, according to Polyakov, who is also an ALROSA vice president. His estimate is essentially in line with Alrosa’s estimates for average annual polished sales growth in the past decade, according to the report.

  • Russian miner ALROSA has started selling rough and polished diamonds in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, said Yuri Okoemov, vice president of ALROSA, at a Eurasian Diamond Centre presentation. "I do not think that initially there will be high volumes (of sales). At the beginning, sales will amount to $7 million-$8 million, but the overall potential of the region is larger. We will create diamond cutting and processing facilities. Our task is to, at least, double the amount of diamond sales in the region by 2018," he said.

  • Andrey Polyakov, President of the World Diamond Council and Vice-President of ALROSA, sat down for an interview with Interfax (translation published exclusively by Rough-Polished), covering everything from the work and mission of the World Diamond Council (WDC), the Kimberley Process (KP), the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and consumer demand for complete information about jewelry, to the possibility of ALROSA joining the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), setting up a diamond tracking program in China and the consumer markets in India, Brazil and the United States

  • Hong Kong recorded a drop of 9 percent in polished diamond imports in the first six months of 2016 due by a drop in deliveries from the major trading centers, according to data compiled by the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong. Shipments dropped to $8.52 billion Rapaport said further extended a declining trend which began at the start of last year. Diamond and jewelry firms in Hong Kong report tough trading conditions, due in large part to a fall in the number of tourists from Mainland China.

  • Speaking at the inauguration of the 2016 India International Jewellery Show, Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, confirmed that De Beers has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to develop a category-based marketing campaign over the key selling season in India.

  • Rapaport Auctions and Trading issued a press release today offering clients, "the opportunity to purchase parcels of melee that are 100% natural and untreated," and their timing could not be more appropriate. On July 18, Morgan Stanley released a report on the effect of synthetic diamonds on mined diamonds, which says that the share of synthetics is so far negligible, but not for long.

  • Rio Tinto has launched its Australian Diamonds™ program in China "to lend further market support to its Argyle diamonds and in response to the growing consumer and trade interest in diamond provenance". Bruno Sane, general manager of marketing for Rio Tinto Diamonds, said: “Increasingly the value of a diamond is tied to where and how the diamond was mined, how it was cut and polished and the process of bringing it to sale. This is a very reasonable expectation that is steadily reshaping the diamond industry for the better.”

  • The Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd., plans to expand in the U.S. market by selling diamonds to retailers via a wholesale business in a bid to offset the effects of the slowdown in sales in China that has seen profits drop. The world’s largest publicly traded jewelry chain plans to start the new U.S. venture within a year and has set up a team to conduct feasibility studies, said Chow Tai Fook Managing Director Kent Wong, according to a Bloomberg report.

  • Following a strong 2015 that saw Indian demand for De Beers' jewelry brand Forevermark grow by 35%, the brand is expecting 30% growth in sales in India in 2016, according to an interview with the Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier in The Economic Times. Lussier said they are being cautious with their estimates due to the jewelers strike earlier in the year. "We are expecting 30% growth in India this year on the back of stable diamond prices globally. We are the number one diamond brand in the country and we are focused on expanding deeper in the country through our jeweler partners.