De Beers recently raised prices on its diamonds, in response to growing demand in the United States and price increases by competitors. As is its custom, the company did not provide specifics about the increase except to note that the biggest boost was 5%. Most market observers expected the biggest jump to be in larger, better-quality diamonds, which have been in short supply but high demand. Dominic Brand, De Beers' marketing director for North America and Europe, said the timing of the move, on the eve of The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas, was so it could be absorbed in the market. "The worst thing you can do is give an increase after the major shows," he said. "There was a conscious effort to put this out at the best possible time."