According to Rapaport, the recent Las Vegas shows caused May’s polished diamond prices to decline slightly, with buyers waiting to see what the events had in store. Trading at JCK Las Vegas show, which happened June 3 to 6, was relatively weak this season, with traffic slower than in previous years.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat, GIA-graded diamonds was flat in May. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds fell 1.1 per cent and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds slid 0.3 per cent during the month. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds dropped 1.1 per cent. During the first five months of the year, RAPI for 1-carat diamonds rose 1.2 per cent but was 4.9 per cent below its level from a year ago.
Additionally, the report revealed that polished production continues to rise, while the demand for rough diamonds remains robust, with De Beers selling $630 million worth of rough diamonds in May.
The recent Las Vegas shows also highlighted significant challenges facing the diamond industry. Some of the issues discussed include the relationship between the rough and polished markets, raising levels of consumer demand, how to sell the idea of diamonds to millennials, rising interest in lab-grown diamonds, and responsible sourcing.
Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, notes that the diamond industry must “establish reliable chain of custody and source certification protocols to ensure that legitimate diamonds from good firms are differentiated from unknown diamonds from questionable sources.”
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