NY jewelry shows quiet. Better goods stable but market sentiment weak. Dealers cautious ahead of summer vacations in Belgium and Israel. Low expectations for next week’s Mumbai show as gold jewelry sales decline after price surge (+28% in Rupee for 2016). De Beers 1H revenue +8% to $3.3B, underlying earnings +5% to $379M. Petra FY sales +1% to $431M. LVMH 1H jewelry & watch sales +4% to $1.8B. U.S. government guarantees Barclays Bank $125M loan facility for Botswana manufacturing. Chow Tai Fook plans to supply diamonds to U.S. retailers as China jewelry sales slow. Rapaport to offer guaranteed 100% natural, untreated, melee diamonds for sale at August 9-18 auction.
Fancies: Markets slow with some weakening of prices. Ovals and Pears doing well. Cushions supported by specific orders. Emeralds selling with improving large-stone demand. Princess and Hearts slow. Top quality fine-cut fancy shapes OK but buyers are extremely picky. Overall fancy shape prices relatively soft. U.S. demand supporting market for commercial-quality fancies, especially for sizes under 1 ct. Far East fancy demand weak. Buyers are very selective and insisting on excellent-shape proportions. Significant price differentials between excellent- and average-cut fancies. Off-make, poorly-cut fancies illiquid and very hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.
United States: Focus on NY Jewelry week but activity slow. JA, Luxury and Antique shows more about networking than trading. Jewelers trying to differentiate themselves to profit in weak market. Color diamonds and specialty items gaining attention. Dealers concerned as summer quieter than usual. Steady demand for 1 to 2 ct., G-H, VS-SI diamonds.
Belgium: Polished trading relatively busy with suppliers closing deals before three week vacation (August 1 to 22). Dealers happy to take a break as global trading expected to slow until September. Steady demand for 1 to 2 ct., H-J, VS-SI diamonds. Premiums rising for 3X over 2X. 3 ct. weak. Rough trading stable during De Beers sight week.
Israel: Polished trading quiet due to summer slowdown and sluggish global demand. Dealers preparing for vacation with Israel Diamond Exchange to close August 15 to 28. Dealers hoping “Blue & White Fair” on August 2 will improve activity. Demand for 1 ct., D-H, VS-SI slightly softer. Small stones weak with some suppliers shedding melee inventory amid rising concerns that synthetic melee will gain market share.
India: Polished trading slow. Buyers selective and uncertain about prices. Few foreign buyers in Mumbai as U.S., Israel and Belgium seasonally quiet. Steady demand from major U.S. retail programs. Low expectations for IIJS show (August 4 to 8) as gold demand stumbles. Steady demand for 1 ct., G-H, VS-SI, 3X goods. Stars and melee weak amid concerns synthetics will have long-term market impact. Rough demand and manufacturing levels stable.
Hong Kong: Dealer sentiment mixed with some noting slight improvement this week. Chinese demand stable. Hong Kong retail sluggish. Larger jewelers cautious and seeking new revenue streams as retail sales continue to slump. Gold jewelry sales weak after 2016 gold price rally. Gem-set jewelry sales stable. Steady demand for 1 ct., H-J, VS-SI, 3X diamonds.