Diamond prices stable after year of declines


1 ct. RapNet Diamond Index -5.3% in 2019.

Diamond market conditions improved in December as US and Chinese holiday demand helped raise sentiment. Polished prices stabilized and improved for sizes under 1 carat, supported by shortages of G+, VS2+ goods. High-end qualities (F+, VVS+) of 3 carats and larger diamonds remain weak.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds slid 0.2% in December and 5.3% for the full year. The index for 0.30- and 0.50-carat stones firmed in the fourth quarter following steep declines earlier in the year.

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™)
December 4Q 2019 FY 2019
RAPI 0.30 ct. 1.7% 8.7% -7.5%
RAPI 0.50 ct. 1.2% 3.4% -4.9%
RAPI 1 ct. -0.2% -0.7% -5.3%
RAPI 3 ct. -0.5% -0.7% -16.5%

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The market in 2019 was supply-driven, as noted in the Diamond Price Statistics Annual Report that appears in this month’s issue of Rapaport Magazine.

An oversupply of diamonds set a negative tone, leaving the trade with numerous diamonds that were difficult to sell. Inventory levels declined in the fourth quarter, but there were a lot of lower-quality goods still available at the end of December. 

The year also saw a change in consumer patterns. Multi-channel jewelry shopping and online diamond trading gained momentum. That gave buyers access to larger inventories and more information about the goods, enabling them to cherry-pick the best-quality stones and leaving the trade with large quantities of less desirable merchandise.

The industry in 2019 also endured tight manufacturing profits, a reduction in bank credit, and cautious Far East demand resulting from uncertainty about the US-China trade war and Hong Kong protests.

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Source Rapaport