Are diamond prices about to stabilize? The first signs of a soft landing should see the market return to calmer, more stable waters. The halt in diamond imports from India should help, as will market momentum in the run-up to the festive season as intermediaries clear their inventories. Reduced circulation of Russian diamonds on the market should reinforce this trend from January, when the new sanctions take effect.
A number of proposals for a boycott of Russian diamonds are being considered, but it remains a divisive issue, with the Kimberley Process members struggling to achieve consensus. We will have more to say on this in our next edition.
Transparency and traceability will therefore continue to be major issues. In addition to launching a small lab-grown diamond detector (AMS Micro) for use in stores, De Beers is providing detailed information on the origin and history of its stones in the form of customer-focused storytelling. Storytelling is not yet a widespread practice when it comes to precious stones, except at major brands and when selling exceptional gems (diamonds at auction, Reine du Kalahari by Chopard, Sewelo by LVMH, Lesotho Legend by Van Cleef & Arpels, Tender Diamond by Messika, etc.). Until now, major jewelers have tended to focus their storytelling on their style and collections, while recent publications from Chaumet and Van Cleef & Arpels bear witness to their treasured history, heritage and expertise.
Luxury brand fundamentals remain solid. The outlook for the Richemont group looks positive, thanks in no small part to Asia. Boucheron (Kering) has just bought a major jewelry maker, copying the playbook of Chanel, LVMH and Richemont. The aim of these acquisitions is to secure and support quality manufacturing amid robust growth and labor shortages in the jewelry sector. Bain & Company’s latest report on luxury goods for Altagamma revealed that the sector remains on a remarkably strong growth trajectory, leaping by 37% between 2019 and 2022.
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