Most diamond dealers came out of the JCK show in Orlando with an unfamiliar feeling for diamond dealers-optimism.
After a decent Christmas and January, most took the healthy interest from the majors at the show as a good indicator for the year ahead. Indian dealers also felt they had turned the corner, with many hoping that the over-supply problems of the last year had gotten under control. There were still concerns over the employment picture, and whether the recession was truly over.
The big trend was “three-stone” everything, thanks in part to De Beers’ promotion of the “past, present and future” concept in its advertising. Engagement ring sales have also been healthy, because of the upsurge in engagements after Sept. 11. Princess cuts continued to be strong sellers, dealers said.
Another trend De Beers smiles upon, “branding,” was also hot. Sightholder W. B. David touted its “Leading Jeweler of the World” program, and another sightholder, Leo Schachter, touted its “Leo” brand stone, which is sold exclusively in Sterling.
Dealers said that even with the sagging economy, consumers continue to want higher-quality stones, although they were trading down a bit in caratage. Higher-color stones continued to be more popular (and were sometimes hard to find) than higher clarity ones.