It was for the first time that investment and synthetic diamonds and their impact on the diamond industry were seriously discussed at the JCK Show held on May 29 to June 4 in Las Vegas. Buying second-hand diamonds and jewelry from the population was also declared a new trend in the industry. Forevermark (De Beers), Rapaport and Rio Tinto took the opportunity to announce their new initiatives. Some DTC sightholders demonstrated in Las Vegas that despite the commotion caused by the recent changes in the industry, they were still on a roll.
1) Polished prices will grow in the coming years and in the long term – this is a view expressed by many reputable industry visionaries in Las Vegas.
“What happens when supply goes down and demand goes up? Prices go up. Diamond prices will, in all likelihood, appreciate in the long term “, said in his address Abraham Stern, CEO of IDEX Online Information Service. He recommended retailers to buy diamonds and build up their inventories right now giving preference to ‘fast-moving’ and top-selling diamonds, the so called “bread-and-butter diamonds.”
2) Investment diamonds were a highlight at JCK. In general, it would be correct to say that the attitude toward the subject changed from cautious to optimistic – some experts see some potential for the development of the entire industry in investment diamonds (or ETF).
“I believe that diamonds will become a serious investment product. We might be able to capture extra demand for diamonds,” Martin Rapaport, the head of the Rapaport Group, said.
In his turn, Stephen Lussier, CEO of Forevermark, said in one of his interviews at the Las Vegas exhibition that “diamond as an investment is not a bad thing” and “it’s good that people think of diamonds in that way.”
3) Synthetic diamonds aroused quite a number of discussions. “The more we keep natural and man-made diamonds separate, the healthier for all of us,” Abraham Stern summarized the totality of expressed arguments.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, General Manager for Sales and Marketing at Rio Tinto Diamonds, expressed the view that consumer confidence may falter badly if the market will be exposed to the synthetic story or other issues. And Forevermark CEO said in the interview to JCK Online taken at the show that “De Beers has been well aware that this could happen for some time. For the last 20 years, we have been investing millions of dollars in equipment that would make sure synthetic diamonds could be easily detectable from the natural.”
4) JCK speakers urged retailers be proactive in introducing programs for purchasing diamonds from the population into their businesses.
People get old, but diamonds are forever. There is more diamonds coming out of Florida than of South Africa. We are the best diamond mine right here in the United States, we should be mining it,” Martin Rapaport said stressing the importance of the secondary market for the jewelry industry.
5) Rio Tinto launched a new marketing campaign, “Diamonds with a Story,” designed to reveal the “biography” and historical depth of Rio Tinto diamonds.
“The four Cs are still important, however for today’s consumer we need to go further and explain the other layers which are the human, geological and cultural histories wrapped up in every Rio Tinto diamond,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, General Manager for the sales and marketing of diamonds.
6) Forevermark also timed its presentation of its new design concept and advertising campaign to coincide with the JCK Show, the main event in the jewelry industry of the United States.
The main idea of Forevermark’s new campaign, Center of My Universe, is to present the woman as a core and indispensable part of the family. This concept is reflected in the new design of Forevermark halo-shaped diamond settings.
7) Martin Rapaport announced in his report at the JCK Show the launch of the RapX Diamond Exchange planned for October.
“RapX is an exchange, so it’s like Nasdaq, it’s a Click-and-Buy,” he said. Martin Rapaport stressed that the new exchange will be Web-based and will be open to banks, brokerages and other financial firms as well as industry members to benefit from increasing demand in China and India.
8) Uncertain sentiments among sightholders did not prevent their exhibition activity. Stephen Lussier in his replies to questions from JCK Online said that one should not view the new “dynamic” system of sales introduced by De Beers, which allows stronger participants to become sightholders as a threat to the existing sightholders. However, he advised not to forget that “it’s a tough competitive world” and “we all have to work to maximize our gains.”
Sightholders’ activity at the show was not limited to their stands and ongoing negotiations. Kiran Gems Private, a DTC sightholder, was awarded the ”Highest Exporter of White Diamonds” recognition from India by the Indian Diamond & Colorstone Association (IDCA), for its excellent export performance in the previous fiscal year.
Another sightholder, Dali Diamonds, was also distinguished in Las Vegas by a prestigious prize awarded by British designer Stephen Webster for winning the contest in the category of diamond jewelry worth over $ 20,000. All the diamonds in Webster’s jewelry piece were provided by Dali Diamond.
The JCK Jewelry Show was not only a major trading area, but also an important information platform to exchange experiences, establish contacts and obtain expert opinions on the most pressing industry issues. In a sense, it may be called a “magic ball” resorted to for answers to your most important questions and for decisions how to proceed.