The Confidence Game

Jeff Fischer, the newly elected president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, says that today in the diamond industry, "while we're louping our diamonds, the consumer is louping us." This sense of being continually under a not-always-flattering spotlight pervaded the recent Antwerp Diamond Conference on consumer confidence. Everyone agreed that consumer confidence is not only the most important factor in a diamond purchase but also the most vulnerable. "We will be judged on our failures rather than our successes," noted Gareth Penny, managing director of the Diamond Trading Company, in the event's keynote. "Trust cannot be won overnight, but it can be destroyed overnight." "There is a hardening of attitudes from the consumer," added Tim Dabson of De Beers' consumer confidence department. "They are no longer happy with, 'You can trust me.' Now they say, 'You have

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