What to learn from 2023 and look out for in 2024


In this fascinating Rapaport podcast episode, Editor-in-Chief Joshua Freedman and senior journalist Leah Meirovich – both experts in the diamond world – share their thoughts on the past year and what lies ahead for 2024.

  • Leah Meirovich recalls when the final part of Christie’s auction of the collection belonging to Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten was cancelled because of her husband’s Nazi past.  It was a highly symbolic decision that sent out a strong ethical message.
  • The episode naturally takes a close look at the global economic situation adversely affecting the diamond and jewelry industry, as well as the sluggish US consumption, the Chinese market’s slow recovery and the looming threat of conflict.  
  • The two experts also break down the difficulty that Kimberley Process participants have had in agreeing on a joint statement about Russian diamonds, leading them to discuss the role and responsibility of the Kimberley Process as it stands today.
  • Among their “people of the year” is the new president of the World Diamond Council, Feriel Zerouki, who stands out as a driving force in the conflict over Russian diamonds and is well respected by the G7. The two columnists also look back at the decisive role played by GJEPC Chairman Vipul Shah in the freeze on rough diamond imports into India for two months last autumn. Another significant figure is Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi. A key player in a new, evolving agreement with De Beers, he is also helping to provide an innovative marketing boost for Botswana diamonds on the international stage. Joshua Freedman and Leah Meirovich analyze this exemplary initiative. Finally, Narendra Modi presented Joe Biden’s wife with a lab-grown diamond weighing over 7 carats, a symbolic gesture (lab-grown diamonds play a significant role in the Indian economy), that places the Indian Prime Minister firmly in the list of personalities who left their mark on the year 2023.
  • Leah Meirovich reflects on the issues to look out for in 2024, from defining conflict diamonds in a fairer way and pushing for stronger marketing of natural diamonds, to ending the sterile tit for tat between natural and lab-grown diamonds – each has its place, after all. And we have to remain hopeful for stability in the Middle East. For his part, Joshua Freedman wants to see a rebalancing of the market, a better sharing of profits following the Botswana model, and above all a Chinese New Year (10 to 17 February) that offers hope of market recovery, at the risk of another difficult year in 2024.

Source Rapaport