Holidays: Diamonds Perform Well

Market in brief:Jan. 3, 2005 . . . Preliminary holiday sales results indicate that the season was as expected—a winner for apparel and discount electronics stores but mediocre for retail jewelers. Diamonds performed well, but retailers report tight margins. Competition was strong, and retail prices were influenced by nontraditional sources. Established Internet vendors posted solid business in loose diamonds and solitaire earrings. This Internet trend will continue to strengthen as diamond dealers seek more-consistent markets in which to sell goods.

In the gem markets, the first half of 2006 is expected to mirror the second half of 2005. Limited production of popular gem varieties will keep demand above supply. Prices are stable in most categories. However, prices continue to rise for fine-quality emerald, ruby, and sapphire where supply lags far behind demand. Emerald and blue sapphire are expected to lead demand in the U.S. market.

Prices shown represent actual wholesale memorandum prices paid by retail jewelers on a per-stone basis. All prices are per carat except for cultured pearls. No responsibility or liability is assumed for the consequences of the use of any information in this report, nor for errors or omissions. The terms Commercial, Good, Fine, and Extra-Fine are general classifications developed and used by The Guide. Each represents a range of individual quality grades. When they are used in conjunction with proper grading, one can accurately pinpoint a price from within the listed range.

A one-year subscription to The Guide includes six diamond issues (bimonthly); six newsletters (bimonthly); two colored-stone issues including pearls, opals, and jade (biannual); and The Guide Reference Manual. For more information, contact Gemworld International Inc., 630 Dundee Road, Suite 230, Northbrook, IL 60062; (888) GEMGUIDE or (847) 564-0555, fax (847) 564-0557. U.S., Canada, Mexico, $195 complete per year. Elsewhere $275 complete per year.

VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2
G $1,300 $1,200 $1,100 $950
H $1,150 $1,050 $1,000 $900
I $1,100 $1,000 $900 $850
J $1,000 $950 $850 $800

VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2
G $3,200 $2,800 $2,400 $2,000
H $2,800 $2,400 $2,200 $1,800
I $2,200 $2,100 $1,900 $1,700
J $1,900 $1,800 $1,700 $1,600

VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2
G $3,800 $3,600 $3,300 $2,900
H $3,500 $3,300 $3,000 $2,800
I $3,200 $3,000 $2,600 $2,200
J $2,500 $2,300 $2,100 $2,000

VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2
G $6,500 $6,100 $5,000 $4,300
H $5,500 $5,300 $4,600 $4,100
I $4,200 $4,000 $3,800 $3,600
J $3,800 $3,600 $3,200 $3,000

VS SI I1
$55K–$75K $40K–$70K $27K–$38K

Good Fine
2 to under 3 cts. $150–$400 $400–$850
3 to under 5 cts. $250–$500 $500–$1,100

Good Fine
1 to under 2 cts. $125–$420 $420–$1,250
2 to under 3 cts. $275–$630 $275–$1,750

Fine Extra-Fine
18-in. strands, 6 to 6.5 mm $650–$850 $1,000–$1,200

Good Fine
1 to under 2 cts. $75–$90 $90–$120
2 to under 3 cts. $90–$125 $120–$160

Good Fine
1 to under 3 cts. $20–$50 $50–$75
3 to under 5 cts. $35–$75 $75–$150

Good Fine
1 to under 2 cts. $175–$325 $325–$425
2 to under 5 cts. $250–$400 $400–$500

Good Fine
8.0 to 8.5 mm $30–$60 $60–$120
10.0 to 10.5 mm $35–$90 $90–$150

Good Fine
1 to under 3 cts. $100–$300 $300–$600
3 to under 5 cts. $150–$350 $350–$700