De Beers Raises Rough Prices

In April, De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company instituted its second rough-diamond price increase in a year.

De Beers no longer formally announces its increases, but sightholders and market watchers estimated it at around 5% to 8%, mostly for stones in the 2-ct.-and-up range. There also were reports of a 3% to 4.5% hike on smaller (Indian) goods.

Trade observers called the move a surprising act of confidence on De Beers’ part, considering that the world economy had not improved at press time. Still, demand for diamonds has held up surprisingly well despite the bad times, and many speculate that De Beers does not have enough of certain sizes to match the market. The increase also is indicative of what seems to be a chronic disconnect between the rough and polished markets, with rough still in high demand but polished prices generally refusing to rise.

“The overall effect will be a relatively small increase which will, of course, vary from box to box reflecting the dynamics of the market,” said spokeswoman Lynette Hori. “As supplier of choice, it continues to be our goal to supply rough to our sightholders at competitive prices to enable them to invest in their marketing initiatives.”