Tempelsman: Industry Faces ‘Shakeout’

The polished-diamond sector may be heading for a substantial "shakeout," Lazare Kaplan chairman Maurice Tempelsman told attendees at the recent American Gem Society Conclave in Atlanta. "The correction that looms ahead may be smooth and long in coming, or it may be soon and sudden," he said. "Either way, the impact will be felt at the retail level, as [suppliers] fail, and those that survive, being far fewer in number, become more important." He said that the "fault lines are already evident, though still papered over by low interest rates and other benign economic conditions." Those fault lines include the unprecedented $9 billion trade debt that is 50% higher than just two years ago; unsustainable credit terms that polished wholesalers offer retailers; the pruning of client lists by De Beers and others; and the growing disconnect between quick-rising rough prices and slow-moving po

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