With the International Diamond Board, conceived as a way to
promote diamonds “generically,” basically dead,
there is now loose talk among industry players of doing a “scaled-down”
version that would mostly target the U.S. market.
It makes sense. At this point, diamond demand in China and
India is growing over 20 percent annually; those markets don’t need a boost.
But Americans need to be reminded of reasons to buy diamonds (as do Europeans,
Australians, and Canadians.) At this point, there is more money behind
generic promotion of palladium in the U.S. than there is behind
Diamond demand remains pretty anemic in America. That, of
course, is mostly due to the recession, but that’s not the whole story.
Diamonds also seem to be losing market share with American retailers; all the
recent articles talking up gemstone engagement rings are no accident. Western
consumers are also seemingly more sensitive to social concerns than those in
India and China. The U.S. diamond industry needs
a unified voice on those issues.
A U.S. Diamond Board could be fueled with money from the big
retailers (maybe even Blue Nile!), domestic manufacturers, producers, and
industry groups. The U.S. may not have
the overwhelming footprint it once did, but it remains the most important
market in the diamond world. The industry ignores it as its peril.