Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

Diamond Market Report 2013

Posted on | November 28, 2013 | 1 Comment

Every year I give a report on the diamond market, what people in the industry are thinking, and even worldwide sentiment about the diamond industry. This year, it was very difficult to get a really accurate gauge into the market, being that it was so unpredictable. Here are some trends in 2013 that I am seeing.

Colored Diamonds:

59.60 carat Pink Star

59.60 carat Pink Star REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files

Are you kidding me? Is this train ever going to stop? This category is by far the strongest in the diamond trade. Several colored diamonds set new records at auction including the 59.60 carat “Pink Star” which went for a whopping $83 million, and the 14.82 carat Fancy Vivid Orange diamond that realized a price of $36 million, or $2.4 million per carat, another world record. These are just two extreme examples, but even the market on small pinks and blues is out of sight.

Large Diamonds:

Is bigger always better? In this market, the answer is YES! Most diamond dealers go after larger diamonds (3 carats and over) more aggressively than the run of the mill diamonds. I think that most people like having these diamonds in their inventory because they are harder to find, and (of course) they are really fun to look at! Actually, the truth is that smaller very high quality diamonds are much harder to sell which brings me to my next category.

High Clarity Diamonds:

These diamonds continue to be weak. IF and VVS stones, unless they are very large/rare, are trading a large discounts. Traditionally, the Asian market would eat these up, but the US market does not want these diamonds. The simple way to put it is that when you have a VVS diamond, it makes the price higher. Most consumers would rather sacrifice a little on quality to get a bigger diamond. And let’s be honest, who really needs a diamond with perfect clarity? A VS or an SI (or a really nice I1) clarity diamond can still look fantastic to the eye.

Average Size/Quality Diamonds:

These diamonds are very common and therefore, they bring average prices. Good quality SI salable diamonds are always around, so no one is getting very excited about them. However, there are always customers for them, and in our world they are flowing pretty nicely. We are making some nice rings, studs, and jewelry from diamonds like these so we are always buying. In fact, we have seen a very nice influx of 2 carat diamonds, and they always do well.

Small Diamonds/Melee:

Very small diamonds, often referred to as melee, are diamonds that go from .01 carats (tiny tiny) to about .20 (one fifth) carats. We sell a lot of these goods that are removed from the scrap gold that we buy. Recently, the prices have been weak compared to 2012, partly because of the weakness of the Indian rupee. The Indian buyers used to love these diamonds, but are not consuming them like they used to. In my world of second hand (or recycled) diamonds, it seems like the more we can separate these diamonds, they higher price per carat we can achieve. In other words, if we sort diamonds by size, quality and shape into matched parcels, we will get more. However, this process is very time consuming and tedious, so we sort them up to a certain point. Then our buyer takes it a step further and it goes down the line this way.

My opinion:

Diamonds are steady, definitely steadier than metals! Gold and silver have taken a pretty bad beating over the last 2 years and diamonds have been very reliable. So we are heavy into diamonds and will continue to move forward towards our diamond buying and selling goals. Our philosophy is to buy diamonds strong, develop our customer base, and, more importantly, nurture our current relationships and make new ones so we are poised for growth.

Happy Thanksgiving – we are thankful for our friends, family, health and…DIAMONDS!