Polished Prices Rose 1.6% in January: Rapaport

The average asking prices for certified polished diamonds on
the RapNet trading network increased 1.6 percent in January, the Rapaport Group announced Feb.
4.

The asking prices of half carat stones increased 1.3
percent; 1 carats, 3.1 percent; and 3 carats inched up 0.3 percent.

The prices of small, inexpensive diamonds at Rapaport
Auctions also strengthened during the month. Average prices on RapNet were 11.7
percent above levels from January 2010. 

According to Rapaport, supply shortages are spurring higher
prices in rough and polished diamonds. De Beers kept prices stable at its
January sight, which influenced higher prices on the secondary market and has
fed expectation that a price hike is imminent in February.

“Positive retail trends continue to emanate from the Far
East and India, feeding optimism in the dealer market,” said Martin Rapaport,
chairman of the Rapaport Group, in a statement. “Uncertainty driven by current
events in Egypt is expected to increase demand for large expensive diamonds,
which are in relatively short supply and subject to speculative price levels.”