In 2023, the diamond market was strongly affected by both cyclical (US market, Chinese market) and structural issues (competition from lab-grown diamonds in the United States). However, 2024 is showing signs of a positive rebound. The reopening of the Indian market should help to boost demand and free up the market. The Chinese New Year (in February), when luxury goods are purchased, will provide another indicator.
Listen to this interesting opinion piece from expert Joshua Freedman on the future of De Beers’ pricing policy in 2024 given the context of an expected recovery.
One other factor will affect the diamond market. In early December, G7 members voted in favor of sanctions on the Russian diamond trade. The terms have yet to be finalized, but are likely to be rolled out gradually up until September 2024. Lab-grown diamonds will probably be included in the sanctions. While most of these stones are sourced from India and China, Russia remains a major supplier. Setting up an effective and transparent traceability process, which currently does not exist, should encourage clients to be more discerning.
Market changes have also led to restructuring events. Anglo American, the owner of De Beers, whose stock market valuation has plummeted, decided to reduce De Beers’ overheads by $100M. As another consequence of these upheavals, David Prager has stepped down as Chair of the Natural Diamond Council (we announced his appointment in our October Newsletter)
Botswana is capitalizing on the good image it enjoys in managing its mines. After steering successful negotiations with De Beers, ODC (Okavango Diamond Company), the company that markets Botswana’s diamonds, is launching Botswanamark on the American market, to certify the source of its diamonds (from the Jwaneng, Orapa and Letlhakane mines). This represents another step towards a form of traceability that is unfolding like a clear-sighted story to drive desirability.
Let’s end with a ray of sunshine to celebrate the new year. Paris is not only a world center for creating and designing fine jewelry, but it is also the place where it is most on show. Let us look back at some of the most beautiful pieces that illuminated 2023.
We hope you enjoy the newsletter and have a truly wonderful 2024!