The diamond market is seeing “early signs of recovery,” and increased demand for rough, De Beers managing director Gareth Penny said in a “Town Hall Meeting” at the Israel Diamond Center.
“These are extraordinary times, which require extraordinary action, for an extraordinary product,” he said. He noted that, over the past 120 years the diamond industry has proven its resilience, and after every recession the diamond industry has experienced an immediate resurgence.
He added that he believed that this Christmas will be ahead of last year, but that it may take until the following Christmas to reach former levels.
Penny noted that the fundamentals of the industry were exceptionally strong. He said that the diamond is an unique treasure of nature, which is at least one billion years old. It is becoming rarer since no major new sources of supply have been found. Although some consumers are postponing purchase of diamonds, he noted that research shows that the long term demand for diamonds is actually as strong as ever.
During the question and answer period, Penny said that De Beers is still committed to supporting non-sightholders through Diamdel, part of the De Beers Group.
Diamond Trading Company managing director Varda Shine, who also appeared at the Town Hall, said that the only certainty in today’s economy is that the situation is constantly changing. “This is an industry that is highly adaptive and adept at finding new ways to succeed. Innovation is part of the DNA of our industry,” she noted.
The Town Hall meeting was attended by hundreds of Israel diamantaires, and hosted by Moti Ganz, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), and moderated by journalist Chaim Even-Zohar.
Penny and Shine held a similar Town Hall last month in Antwerp.