Editor’s Page

lfrederick@cahners.com Getting Ready for Branding As anyone not living in a cave knows by now, De Beers is test-marketing diamonds branded with its logo. The experiment ? at three stores in England ? is going well, as JCK has reported. Though De Beers says it won?t reach a decision until the trial ends later this year, I believe it?s a foregone conclusion what the company will do. Like it or not, diamond branding is headed your way. It?s going to be a tectonic shift. Until now, De Beers and its Central Selling Organisation have acted as virtual custodians of the diamond industry ? from wholesale through retail ? by adjusting supply to sustain prices, even when such a policy hurts its own profits. Just last year De Beers held so many stones off the market that it took a 28% hit in sales. The company also has poured hundreds of millions into generic-diamond marketing, letting

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