The Ups and Downs of Diamond Prices

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Jul 302009
Fine Jewelry: The current economic downturn has proven to be extremely challenging to most industries, and the diamond industry is no exception. The demand for diamonds hit its highest levels in early 2008 and mining operations increased their productivity to keep up with this demand; the recent downturn hit the diamond community right in the face.The first six to seven months of the crisis were the most difficult for the wholesale industry. Diamond dealers delayed or stopped all orders from diamond manufactures (diamond cutting firms). Diamond manufactures stopped purchases of rough diamonds from mining corporations. Diamond miners stopped digging and the wholesale community sat in limbo and watched prices fall sharply. Without continuous cash flow the goods are too expensive to mine, too expensive to cut and too expensive to hold. Some of the weaker, or more highly leveraged, firms were forced to pay down loans and liquidate inventory. However, some firms found themselves in a great situation, those with strong cash positions, were able to exploit this opportunity and buy diamonds at greatly reduced prices.Although most wholesalers stopped purchasing goods, the retail public did not stop buying. Young men and women were, and still are, getting engaged. Men are still telling women they love them, and women still love diamonds. The continued retail support and the lack of new diamonds in the pipeline have led to a nice bounce in the wholesale price of diamonds. Prices are stabilizing and cash flow is improving; in turn diamond-cutting factories are back in operation, mines are coming back online and the diamond community is moving again. This past month, a magnificent 7cts blue diamond sold for almost $9.5 million at auction set a new price record. I am not suggesting that the industry is yet able to run, but it is back on its feet and moving at a reasonable pace.Though the bubble has broken and prices were effected sharply, demand and market realities have helped diamonds bounce back.



Designer Spotlight – Emily and Ashley

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Aug 112008
Emily and Ashley  Siblings Emily and Ashley Green hatch jewelry designs that are redolent of the Orient, but their starting point is far more personal. “It began with our grandmother’s jewelry box—she wore onyx pieces and all the colors of the rainbow,” says Ashley. The New York City duo update vintage styles with Indian details like flat diamonds inset in semiprecious gems and such talismans as the Tree of Life. Their unique  designs can be seen on stars like Julianne Moore (at left), Sarah Jessica Parker and Demi Moore.

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Designer Spotlight – Cartier

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Aug 102008
CartierSince opening in Paris 150 years ago, Cartier has stood for bold yet timeless style. The prestigious gems that were once crafted for the exclusive diamonds-for-royalty business now glitter on red carpet stars like Fergie (at left), Debra  Messing and Halle Berry. The Le Baiser du Dragon collection (at left) is a cocktail of rubies, black onyx and diamonds reminiscent of the Asian-inspired line the three Cartier brothers created in the early ’20s. In recent years Cartier has also worked with celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna  and Usher to design their own Love Charity bracelet. Each uniquely colored Love Charity bracelet benefits the charity organization of their choice.  

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Designer Spotlight – Lorraine Schwartz

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Aug 102008
Lorraine Schwartz”We make the metal so fine that the light shines through,” says Lorraine Schwartz of her ethereal pieces made from diamonds and precious gems. Beyonce Knowles (at left), Jennifer Lopez and Cate Blanchett have all worn Schwartz’s jewelry. “Some people don’t believe it’s real,” she says.
Feb 262008

Nicole Kidman Oscar necklace

Nicole Kidman 2008 Oscar Necklace

An extraordinary rough and polished diamond sautoir necklace designed by L’Wren Scott debuted on the Red Carpet at the 80th Academy Awards. The spectacular sautoir, worn by Oscar Presenter Nicole Kidman, contains a total of 7645 diamonds including rough, faceted, and polished diamonds, which total nearly 1400 carats.

The sautoir, which was designed by Scott, produced and manufactured by Uni-Design Ltd. in Paris and India uses a wide range of shapes and cuts of diamonds. Each diamond was individually selected by the designer to fit together into an overall design. The intricate design required in excess of 6200 man hours to handcraft. Diamonds have never been used in such a truly unique way on the Red Carpet. It is a tribute to the visionary direction of the designer that such an astounding quantity of diamonds can be worn so effortlessly.

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