China Rocks!

In the diamond industry, there are consumer centers and cutting centers, and usually not much overlap between the two. But China is increasingly a double threat: a potentially gargantuan consumer market that also is becoming a major player in diamond manufacturing. For now, most attention is focused on the Chinese consumer market. While most Chinese consumers still have limited buying power, the sheer number of possible purchasers (1 billion-plus) is enough to set diamond hearts fluttering. In fact, it's widely believed that China will one day be the industry's No. 2 market, after the United States and ahead of Japan. In the last few years, it has logged double-digit increases with no signs of slowing down, and momentum might even be building. Polished imports in March 2004, for example, jumped an eyebrow-raising 48%. Currently, the Diamond Trading Company estimates official diamon
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