Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

Diamond Market Report 2015

Posted on | February 15, 2016 | No Comments


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I would be lying if I were to say that 2015 was a banner year in the diamond market. Let’s be honest, it was rough out there. The FORMER monopoly of Debeers didn’t heed the call of the market and continued to raise prices at their sales. What ended up happening was that a majority of sightholders (companies that have the “privilege” of buying from Debeers direct) turned away boxes of diamonds in unprecedented numbers. In the second hand world, where I am fully in the trenches, cash was tight. Prices I realized in 2013/2014 did not bring the same in 2015. There were some key factors that contributed to overall diamond prices in 2015 like Far East demand and unsteadiness in the global economy, but there were a few things the I saw, as a diamond buyer, that affected diamond prices in 2015. The following factors are things that I noticed as an estate jewelry buyer that most diamond reporters will not see, as they are generally reporting on the rough and manufactured diamond markets; not the recycled diamond market, which is the BIGGEST diamond mine in the world.

EGL International Going Under

It was a big deal in November 2014 when Martin Rapaport, the market maker in diamonds and owner the Rapnet Diamond Trading Platform, delisted ALL EGL certified diamonds, because of massive overgrading. EGL International in particular were the culprits in this scheme and they went out of business immediately. Years ago EGL was average in their diamonds grades, but lately they have been so far off the mark, that it got out of hand. There were even some lawsuits/class action suits filed against companies for selling these certificates.  I  think this may have had a direct effect on the sale of commercial grade diamonds for us in 2015. We used to be able to move these items at decent prices, but in 2015 prices were off on these particular goods. Bread and butter goods, larger diamonds and nicer quality diamonds are always in demand.

Metal Price Slump

I also believe that the metal price slump has had an adverse effect on diamond market. At the height of the gold buying craze from 2008-2012, (remember the Cash4Gold Super Bowl ad with MC Hammer?) things were moving fast, gold was at an all time high, and diamonds were cruising. Once the craze was over, diamonds slowed down as well.

Solution

So what did Samuelson’s do as a company to combat the 2015 slump? We adapt and move forward. That’s all you can do. We also sold our dead goods and continued to buy aggressively and carefully.  Like Warren Buffet says, “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”. There were some great deals out there (and still are).

Projection

So the next question is – what will 2016 look like? So far, it’s on a rebound. Debeers last sale was a record. They came back down to earth and the market reacted. I’m seeing prices improve and the overall state of the market moving up. I also predict a rally in gold, silver and platinum prices. This will propel the diamond market moving forward. These minor corrections are healthy for any market – they weed out the weak and reward the ones who are still standing…

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