Gem Pricing Report

January produced weak sales for retailers. Consumer confidence slid on negative data from credit, business, and jobs reports. Nevertheless, the gem market is seeing some activity. Dealers report healthy demand for 2.50 ct. to 3.00 ct. round brilliants. Clean, well-made stones in the F–H range are difficult to find in 2.50-plus ct. sizes. Emerald cuts and cushions are reportedly doing well, while princesses and pears are stable. Price margins remain a concern as retailers still tend to give up margin instead of “selling” the stone. Such tactics are counterproductive, especially for high-demand, low-availability diamonds, which should earn dealers a reasonable profit. Several highly publicized bankruptcy protection filings have made the diamond market skittish about extending credit, and wholesale dealers caution that credit concerns are becoming a serious threat to memo business.

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