In all my years covering diamonds (and those are far more than I like to admit), I can’t remember ever sensing a market mood as a pessimistic as it is now. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day were mediocre; there were two recent big bankruptcies; and people feel there are too many diamonds in the pipeline. (Ironically, just last weekend, the Wall Street Journal said supplies will tighten and prices will rise.)
We really are beginning to see a stratified market — or as some would argue, a startified economy. The high end — and bigger stones — seems to be doing extremely well; at the recent AGS Conclave in Denver, the mood wasn’t bad at all. But the rest seems pretty soft. And overall retail sales for April were dismal — Blue Nile excepted.
Now, usually around this time people hope for Vegas to give them a boost, but some aren’t even sure that will happen. At this point, after a bunch of mediocre trade shows this year, if Vegas doesn’t come through, things could get dicey …
Anyway, I’d be interested in opening up the floor: Why is the mood so bad these days?