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Blog 2021 Rapaport "State Of The Diamond Industry" Review

bcmacdonald

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John Pollard published a new blog post.

JCK Las Vegas


For nearly 30 years JCK Las Vegas has been a lodestone event for the diamond, gem, and jewelry trade, connecting suppliers from around the globe with front-line retailers during slow summers, in anticipation of the prosperous holiday season.

After a pandemic-related year off JCK Las Vegas resumed with...

Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
 
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oncrutchesrightnow

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Someone please tell an entertaining story about the following:

“And while this year’s breakfast was cool, calm, and copasetic – free of any angry shouts, outbursts, or heated accusations from audience members – the potential for a breakout brouhaha at this annual presentation is ever-present, which probably doesn’t hurt attendance.”
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Someone please tell an entertaining story about the following:

“And while this year’s breakfast was cool, calm, and copasetic – free of any angry shouts, outbursts, or heated accusations from audience members – the potential for a breakout brouhaha at this annual presentation is ever-present, which probably doesn’t hurt attendance.”

One year he gave De Beers such a hard time ranting and raving about how they had no right to stop telling clients which country their rough diamonds came from.

He is able to move pretty fast on a very big stage for a tiny little dude. I MC'd him once and was worried he was going to fall off the stage!
 

John Pollard

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Someone please tell an entertaining story about the following:

“And while this year’s breakfast was cool, calm, and copasetic – free of any angry shouts, outbursts, or heated accusations from audience members – the potential for a breakout brouhaha at this annual presentation is ever-present, which probably doesn’t hurt attendance.”

One year his price guides reflected sudden, unexpected changes in some key categories directly before the JCK show. Pre-planned millions-dollar deals were suddenly in dispute, depending on which side of the sale you stood on. The chicken-egg nature of the "Rap List" is always ripe for debate, even when things are calm. That particular year he was interrupted by shouts from the audience, accusing him of colluding with (whomever benefitted from the changes). Those accusations provoked reaction from some of the beneficiaries. Between the guys shouting at Martin and the guys shouting at the guys shouting at Martin the room got lively, Depending on where you were seated, mild whiplash may have occurred trying to follow that verbal volley.
 

oncrutchesrightnow

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One year his price guides reflected sudden, unexpected changes in some key categories directly before the JCK show. Pre-planned millions-dollar deals were suddenly in dispute, depending on which side of the sale you stood on. The chicken-egg nature of the "Rap List" is always ripe for debate, even when things are calm. That particular year he was interrupted by shouts from the audience, accusing him of colluding with (whomever benefitted from the changes). Those accusations provoked reaction from some of the beneficiaries. Between the guys shouting at Martin and the guys shouting at the guys shouting at Martin the room got lively, Depending on where you were seated, mild whiplash may have occurred trying to follow that verbal volley.

Kind of funny, kind of scary.

Almost entirely.

Cripes. What’s the gossip on the topic?
 

oncrutchesrightnow

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One year he gave De Beers such a hard time ranting and raving about how they had no right to stop telling clients which country their rough diamonds came from.

He is able to move pretty fast on a very big stage for a tiny little dude. I MC'd him once and was worried he was going to fall off the stage!

Outspoken people are fun sometimes. Would wager a guess that yelling at DeBeers in public is not always good for one’s career.
 

John Pollard

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Kind of funny, kind of scary.
Not scary, just cringy. Jewelry people are passionate people. I've seen plenty of lively exchanges at industry events but no fisticuffs - to date.

At the first JCK Las Vegas I ever attended, in my first hour on the premises, at the very first seminar I sat in on - the speaker was suddenly interrupted by a tall angry man in the back of the room who rose to shout him down, shaming and condemning him for helping ruin the diamond industry.

The year was 2005.
I'm trying to recall who was 'ruining' the industry. Hmm... ;)2
 

oncrutchesrightnow

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Not scary, just cringy. Jewelry people are passionate people. I've seen plenty of lively exchanges at industry events but no fisticuffs - to date.

At the first JCK Las Vegas I ever attended, in my first hour on the premises, at the very first seminar I sat in on - the speaker was suddenly interrupted by a tall angry man in the back of the room who rose to shout him down, shaming and condemning him for helping ruin the diamond industry.

The year was 2005.
I'm trying to recall who was 'ruining' the industry. Hmm... ;)2



Watch some dude come along and kneecap someone over LGD prices.

Oh wait… that’s right… hardly any discussion on LGD… the convention organizers were probably trying to avoid mass violence… that explains things.
 

DejaWiz

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John Pollard

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Watch some dude come along and kneecap someone over LGD prices.

Oh wait… that’s right… hardly any discussion on LGD… the convention organizers were probably trying to avoid mass violence… that explains things.
The convention itself was booming with lab-grown buzz, booths and business.

The blog post only covers Martin's SOTDI presentation. He mentioned lab grown diamonds in passing (calling them synthetic diamonds as he is wont to do) but did not spend time discussing them, specifically or separately.

In his defense, Martin maintained hard focus on "The Big Issues," which he identified as Covid, digitalization, disintermediation and social responsibility. In each of those areas his advice could be considered applicable to sellers of natural and lab-grown diamonds alike.

I'll start a separate thread on the larger flavor of Jewelry Week Las Vegas - where the lab grown sector was present in full-force. I'll throw in some eye-candy, too.
 

DejaWiz

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Wink

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At the first JCK Las Vegas I ever attended, in my first hour on the premises, at the very first seminar I sat in on - the speaker was suddenly interrupted by a tall angry man in the back of the room who rose to shout him down, shaming and condemning him for helping ruin the diamond industry.

The year was 2005.
I'm trying to recall who was 'ruining' the industry. Hmm... ;)2

I think I was in the same room, or at least another one where people were going berserk. If my memory serves me the man being yelled at was Jacques Voorhees, the creator of Polygon. If we had been at another JCK back in the early 80's, the victim would have been our mutual friend Martin Rapaport... He was bodily threatened after having the audacity to publish the Rapaport Report.

Jacques is also a new author having written a book called Chrysalis.

Oh, as usual, when remembering so long ago, I reserve the right to be wrong...

Wink
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Outspoken people are fun sometimes. Would wager a guess that yelling at DeBeers in public is not always good for one’s career.

Actually he had the desired effect - that was I believe 2017 and since then De Beers have become the model citizen of the world. Corporate social responsibility on steroids - making up for past wrongs
 

denverappraiser

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The industry has no shortage of villains, or at least perceived villains to get the blood boiling. Martin Rapaport is, himself, often the target of anger but I've seen the slings and arrows aimed at quite a few over the years. Maarten DeWitte (Hearts on Fire), Guy Margel (EGL), Jacques Voorhees (Polygon), Mark Vadon (Blue Nile), Robert Mugabe (former PM of Zimbabwe), and even our own Garry Holloway (Pricescope), just to name a few.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Karl_K

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I think you were there Neil, when Gary Wright (Mr. RightWing) came close to throwing tomatoes at Leonid and me when we did a PriceScope presentation at JCK about 18 years ago!!!
Leonid showing the slides of my posts on PS as strmrdr throwing down a challenge to gia and ags to come talk to us here did not go over well. hehehehehe
 

John Pollard

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@DejaWiz - Hmm. I'm afraid we may need to rely more on you and your generation for the sharpest forum focus and advice 'round here.

The older pros are slipping...

When I said...

At the first JCK Las Vegas I ever attended, in my first hour on the premises, at the very first seminar I sat in on - the speaker was suddenly interrupted by a tall angry man in the back of the room who rose to shout him down, shaming and condemning him for helping ruin the diamond industry.

The year was 2005.
I'm trying to recall who was 'ruining' the industry. Hmm...
;)2
I was referring to this exactly:
I think you were there Neil, when Gary Wright (Mr. RightWing) came close to throwing tomatoes at Leonid and me when we did a PriceScope presentation at JCK about 18 years ago!!!

THAT was my welcome to the industry.
THAT was my first toe-dip in a new profession.
WHO was "ruining the diamond industry" was... (drum roll) ...PriceScope.

Several who have posted in this thread were there... @oldguys, I even gave clues to help you with the reveal. Rily?

Bless your hearts.
 

DejaWiz

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@John Pollard hmmm...maybe I should scooch out to Vegas next year for the conference (if they allow us non-Trade minions in). Could be the start of something amazing.
 

oncrutchesrightnow

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What has Pricescope done to the jewelry vendor community? Driven customers to trusted vendors? Heroically intervened in near-disastrous diamond purchases? Introduced emojis to people who have reached the age when they can afford the honkers?
 

John Pollard

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What has Pricescope done to the jewelry vendor community? Driven customers to trusted vendors? Heroically intervened in near-disastrous diamond purchases? Introduced emojis to people who have reached the age when they can afford the honkers?
This and more.

Regarding the "ruination" forecast: The diamond and jewelry industry is grounded in tradition. There's plenty of good about that, but the other side of the coin is a tendency to resist change, which slows evolution... There are still a handful of diamond wholesalers using fax machines.

To the story above - In the early 2000s retailers who dared to list and transact diamonds to the public via the internet were deemed "sellouts." They were not treated kindly and, in more than one case, were blacklisted by certain industry entities.

Some of our long-standing PriceScope vendors were the first to "boldly go" where the industry had not gone before. They were first to devise ways to effectively showcase what they were selling with photos, videos and proof-of-performance, and first to provide confidence guarantees like long inspection periods, 2-way return shipping, etc. PriceScope was first to aggregate diamonds from reputable vendors together so people could see them in the same search. There was, and remains, some understandable resistance from traditionalists to "all things e-diamond" - but it's hard to dispute PriceScope's value as an available resource to consumers.
 

John Pollard

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@Garry H (Cut Nut) , @oncrutchesrightnow , @DejaWiz , @Wink , @denverappraiser , @Karl_K -

Since you were all kind enough to comment - and presuming you read or scanned the "State Of The Diamond Industry" review - care to share your opinions regarding the Qs posed? Everyone is invited to play.

COMMENTS?

How has Covid changed your mood? Has it changed your attitide? Have your shopping habits changed? Are you purchasing more or less luxury items? What role do you think the diamond industry should play in terms of social responsibility? In terms of human stewardship? In terms of animal and environmental stewardship? What can be done to combat geopolitical situations where human rights violations persist, beyond industry embargos?
 

Karl_K

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How has Covid changed your mood? yes
Has it changed your attitude? not really
Have your shopping habits changed? yes
Are you purchasing more or less luxury items? less

What role do you think the diamond industry should play in terms of social responsibility? As a business stay out of it entirely, as individuates do what they want

In terms of human stewardship? corporate slavery or the days of indentured servants? no way!

In terms of animal and environmental stewardship?
corporate survival means they should be respecting the environment and keeping it as clean as technically possible or they will be driven out of business long term.
What can be done to combat geopolitical situations where human rights violations persist, beyond industry embargos? nothing and embargoes do not work
 

AprilBaby

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Agree with Karl except bought more items because we took no vacations. I don’t care much about companies do as far as social responsibility. Agree that embargo’s don’t work.
 

Wink

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[email protected]

OMG, I was remembering the wrong stoning. How I could have forgotten the one John is referring to is beyond me. I was there, right in the front row with many of my friends, John, Pollard, Garry Holloway, Neil and others. We all got there early to get good seating.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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How has Covid changed your mood? Has it changed your attitide? Have your shopping habits changed? Are you purchasing more or less luxury items? What role do you think the diamond industry should play in terms of social responsibility? In terms of human stewardship? In terms of animal and environmental stewardship? What can be done to combat geopolitical situations where human rights violations persist, beyond industry embargos?

P*****d off!
220th day of lockdown with 5km max radius and max 2hrs outdoor for exercise.
We have a crazy mummy state here.
They were aiming for covid zero cases until 2 weeks ago and now its suppression 'only'!
My 2 shops 'open' for click and collect, but with no travel and nothing to do sales are exceptionally strong.
Staff all vaccinated and we want to put a sign on the door - fully vaccinated customers only. But mummy won't let us.
 

DejaWiz

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How has COVID changed your mood?
* Hasn't really changed my general mood other than the constraints of operating hours by many businesses, making it a bit challenging to carry out weekly activities, such as getting to the stores before earlier closing times.

Has it changed your attitude?
* No, not really. A little bit more frustrated at times, stemming from the basis of my previous answer. Nothing that can't be dealt with from a bit of an Improvise, Adapt, Overcome approach.

Have your shopping habits changed?
* To a small degree...many of the things that we bought in-store are now being ordered from e-tailers, including some pantry items and household goods. Amazon sells bulk packs of microwave popcorn...just sayin'

Are you purchasing more or less luxury items?
* More last year with price drops in many segments and more disposable income thanks to lower gas/fuel prices at the time.
Less now that there has been significant price jumps for many things, and higher fuel prices puts a constraint on spending money on extras.

What role do you think the diamond industry should play in terms of social responsibility?
* None as an expectation - let each business be run however the owners/operators wish to run their business, and let each shopper determine whom they give their hard earned money to...for any reason. That's how (and why) it works.

In terms of human stewardship?
* Looking out for the well-being of fellow humans and calling out indecencies and atrocities occurring in the different societies (especially those which produce precious commodities/metals which do NOT have participatory oversight like diamonds do with the Kimberley Process) is never a bad thing - especially by entities that can make a positive difference by reducing and eliminating human rights violations. Whether something is done about it is, ultimately, up to the presiding powers-that-be of those societies/countries. Thankfully, the requirements of the Kimberley Process can make life hard for unscrupulous obtainers of rough/producers of polished that do not participate to find buyers. This needs to be extended to other precious commodities, such as Tungsten, Tantalum, Tin, Gold (3TG), Cobalt, Coltan, and Copper (and many more for the list!).

In terms of animal and environmental stewardship?
* Same line of thought for human stewardship applies here for the conservation of habitats and landscapes. Kill nothing but time and leave nothing but footprints. Meaning: don't eliminate (especially endangered) plants and animals for the sole purpose of clearing land for a worksite/mine/etc and clean up everything when the work is complete.

What can be done to combat geopolitical situations where human rights violations persist, beyond industry embargos?
* Unfortunately, probably very little. The old saying goes something like When one tyrant is felled, another always rises. This is both historically and presently true, no matter what flavor of economic or political system is instituted.
 

Wink

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P*****d off!
220th day of lockdown with 5km max radius and max 2hrs outdoor for exercise.
We have a crazy mummy state here.
They were aiming for covid zero cases until 2 weeks ago and now its suppression 'only'!
My 2 shops 'open' for click and collect, but with no travel and nothing to do sales are exceptionally strong.
Staff all vaccinated and we want to put a sign on the door - fully vaccinated customers only. But mummy won't let us.

Garry, I get that you are cranky and disappointed with "mummy". However, I ask you to come up with answers to more of John's questions.

I think that you and I are not at a level to pass or enforce some of the measures needed to John's questions, but my experience with you is to know you have better thoughts in your brain than your current rant. Please share some of them with us.
 
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