The recent De Beers price increase affected rough diamonds across the board, but it’s too early to know if it will affect the price of polished, sightholders say.
That’s because rough and polished prices aren’t always in sync, as counterintuitive as that seems. De Beers recently announced that its rough prices increased an average of 10% over the last year—but polished prices have risen only slightly, if at all. So while most De Beers clients hope they can pass the increase on to their customers, they’re not sure if it’s possible.
“It depends on Mr. Rapaport,” grumbled one sightholder when asked how the increase will affect polished prices. He complained that the Rapaport Diamond Report has not raised the prices of desirable items on his list, and prices are hurting because of it.
Another sightholder said that the increases would have to be passed on to the retailers. “Something’s gotta give,” he said. “Manufacturers’ margins are nonexistent. The market can only absorb so much.”
This sightholder said that while most stones received a 3% increase, “crystals,” which produce princess cuts, increased 7%, reflecting the current strength of that item. He added that bigger, higher-quality stones shouldered more of an increase than lower-quality stones.