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How is Coronavirus impacting the jewellery and diamond trade?

Indylady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
5,574
I see why you would be concerned, especially after the Enchanted situation. As its from a reputable vendor, and we are still at the beginning of the slow-down I'm sure you will be fine.

But you make a great point, and for people considering large purchases over the coming months it would probably make a lot of sense to pay a little extra and use credit cards instead of wire for that extra peace of mind.
I actually don’t know about the Enchanted situation but this is a great idea (pay by CC) in uncertain times.
 

Indylady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
5,574
I see why you would be concerned, especially after the Enchanted situation. As its from a reputable vendor, and we are still at the beginning of the slow-down I'm sure you will be fine.

But you make a great point, and for people considering large purchases over the coming months it would probably make a lot of sense to pay a little extra and use credit cards instead of wire for that extra peace of mind.
I actually don’t know about the Enchanted situation but this is a great idea (pay by CC) in uncertain times.
 

diagem

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
4,929
:o

Have De Beers ever cancelled a sight before??


I am a bit confused as to how Rap may be superseded - how / who will determine prices diamonds should be sold at?

Will prices be crown-sourced (from cutters and wholesalers), fed into a system, then prices averaged and communicated to everyone?

Would that create a 'feedback loop' that meant prices would always be slow to change unless/until demand changes substantially??

Or will we see a return of locally-determined retail prices? (In which case, how will vendors be able to purchase wholesale if the local market retail prices are very suppressed due to lower wages?)


Economics makes my head hurt :( lol
I can't really remember if and when De Beers cancelled a sight before, I can imagine that through their century plus in existence, there were probably a few significant events throughout history that required such rare measures.

This is the irony of it all, Rapaport does not dictate or determine diamond prices (never did), he merely reflects retroactive segmented value movements based on information collected. On the other hand to your question..., only you and alike (consumers) determine diamond values.

I don't believe there will be a simple producer-manufacturer-wholesale-retail price disparity model anymore as we have grown to live by, I strongly believe a future price benchmarks (if at all) will be based on custom designed cost algorithms calculated from different global production and supply channels and will need to include real time data. This unfortunately will take a long time because moving some of our dinosaurs will be a hard task.

Until then, I want to hope that the younger generations which actualy started this whole incredible march will be able to position themselves within future leadership roles, the old leadership must retire (sooner the better) and give ground to the younger generation. Only, and only then will this wonderful (but primitive) industry be able to move and innovate forward into the future.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 27, 2009
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3,188
I don't believe there will be a simple producer-manufacturer-wholesale-retail price disparity model anymore as we have grown to live by, I strongly believe a future price benchmarks (if at all) will be based on custom designed cost algorithms calculated from different global production and supply channels and will need to include real time data. This unfortunately will take a long time because moving some of our dinosaurs will be a hard task.
THIS.
In the era of big data, a smart pricing system for the diamond market is inevitable. Just as inevitable is that it will be led by the young.

Change can happen faster than we think (and faster than the dinosaurs want!). Especially when a major market disruption happens requiring new thinking.

P.S. I like the term 'price disparity model'. Very accurate.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,173
I can't really remember if and when De Beers cancelled a sight before, I can imagine that through their century plus in existence, there were probably a few significant events throughout history that required such rare measures.

This is the irony of it all, Rapaport does not dictate or determine diamond prices (never did), he merely reflects retroactive segmented value movements based on information collected. On the other hand to your question..., only you and alike (consumers) determine diamond values.

I don't believe there will be a simple producer-manufacturer-wholesale-retail price disparity model anymore as we have grown to live by, I strongly believe a future price benchmarks (if at all) will be based on custom designed cost algorithms calculated from different global production and supply channels and will need to include real time data. This unfortunately will take a long time because moving some of our dinosaurs will be a hard task.

Until then, I want to hope that the younger generations which actualy started this whole incredible march will be able to position themselves within future leadership roles, the old leadership must retire (sooner the better) and give ground to the younger generation. Only, and only then will this wonderful (but primitive) industry be able to move and innovate forward into the future.
THIS.
In the era of big data, a smart pricing system for the diamond market is inevitable. Just as inevitable is that it will be led by the young.

Change can happen faster than we think (and faster than the dinosaurs want!). Especially when a major market disruption happens requiring new thinking.

P.S. I like the term 'price disparity model'. Very accurate.
@BarbBe just posted this thread (thank you!), which I thought might be relevant to the discussion! :)


I wonder how those offering will price their diamonds? Based on the last Rap sheets (that they liked?) maybe? :lol: lol
 

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
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Apr 5, 2012
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543

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,188
It would be extremely foolish to buy a new diamond/ring/band now, especially if the vendor refuses to lower their prices to reflect this new reality. Wait for the fire sales 6 months to a year from now.
This article is highly speculative - heavy on drama and light on substance. Nobody should base an opinion on what the new reality is based on articles like this, which I'm sure will be in good supply in the media. Sensationalism sells.

The fact is that trading basically came to a screeching halt almost overnight, and has been on pause for an extended period of time. And yes, the financial pressure caused by it will undoubtedly have significant impacts. The Great Recession had significant impacts on all businesses, including the diamond business.

But until serious trading starts up again, nobody will have any real understanding of the actual long term impacts this crisis will have on the diamond market. The best time to buy a diamond for an engagement ring or to commemorate a special life event is when that time is right in your life.
 

Batgirl76

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
250
This article is highly speculative - heavy on drama and light on substance. Nobody should base an opinion on what the new reality is based on articles like this, which I'm sure will be in good supply in the media. Sensationalism sells.

The fact is that trading basically came to a screeching halt almost overnight, and has been on pause for an extended period of time. And yes, the financial pressure caused by it will undoubtedly have significant impacts. The Great Recession had significant impacts on all businesses, including the diamond business.

But until serious trading starts up again, nobody will have any real understanding of the actual long term impacts this crisis will have on the diamond market. The best time to buy a diamond for an engagement ring or to commemorate a special life event is when that time is right in your life.
I won’t pretend to be an expert on the diamond market, @Texas Leaguer. But common sense would dictate that prices will drop significantly on all but the essentials over the next couple of years, until the world has been vaccinated.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,173
Brian is making a lot of great points.
One could have easily made the case that buying a diamond ring was too extravagant a few months ago - or a few years ago.
Same for an expensive handbag, or guitar, or golf clubs. Whatever.
And I can certainly see both sides of this.
If someone has the funds, and buying a diamond ring - or a Stratocaster-offers them something they want to feel right now, who are we to tell them they're wrong.


In terms of the article- trading is not happening right now so it's truly impossible to know what's going to happen once it does.

Will there be "bargains" due to this?
Absolutely.

Does that mean that a person wanting a specific diamond and or ring will be able to dictate the price? Or even find the specific thing they want at a discount?
Not really.

As always, a consumer making a respectful offer should always be taken in stride by a vendor. It never hurts to try.
 
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whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
9,637
I won’t pretend to be an expert on the diamond market, @Texas Leaguer. But common sense would dictate that prices will drop significantly on all but the essentials over the next couple of years, until the world has been vaccinated.
But this is only in a certain segment of the diamond buying public, IMO, who buy smaller diamonds or none at all. (Other gems),

The top tier is probably still ok thus far.
 

Batgirl76

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
250
The 1% will always buy what they want, agreed. Maybe even the top 3-4%. But are they the bread and butter of the diamond industry? Doubtful. I see a whole host of consumer factors, large and small, working against diamond prices over the next couple years due to COVID-19:

- Very high unemployment
- Legitimate price increases as well as price gouging on food and other essentials leaving less discretionary income
- More pre-owned diamonds/other jewelry going on the market in a few months as many become more desperate
- Lab diamonds being seen as a more affordable/practical option
- Engagements and weddings being put on hold or even canceled
- Decline in jewelry wearing as people work and socialize at home
- Decline in the wearing of rings in particular because of hand washing
- A fear of becoming a crime target when leaving the house (if the country really deteriorates)
- Personal austerity setting in, as it does whenever people “live in interesting times”

Just my thoughts.
 

Batgirl76

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
250
Another factor:

- Fear of going in jewelry stores (if they are open) and trying on items, as jewelry sales people notoriously make social distancing impossible.
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
204
The 1% will always buy what they want, agreed. Maybe even the top 3-4%. But are they the bread and butter of the diamond industry? Doubtful. I see a whole host of consumer factors, large and small, working against diamond prices over the next couple years due to COVID-19:

- Very high unemployment
- Legitimate price increases as well as price gouging on food and other essentials leaving less discretionary income
- More pre-owned diamonds/other jewelry going on the market in a few months as many become more desperate
- Lab diamonds being seen as a more affordable/practical option
- Engagements and weddings being put on hold or even canceled
- Decline in jewelry wearing as people work and socialize at home
- Decline in the wearing of rings in particular because of hand washing
- A fear of becoming a crime target when leaving the house (if the country really deteriorates)
- Personal austerity setting in, as it does whenever people “live in interesting times”

Just my thoughts.

plenty of theses points make sense, true. but i'm still hoping for a miracle vaccine--- and much sooner than expected.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,188
I won’t pretend to be an expert on the diamond market, @Texas Leaguer. But common sense would dictate that prices will drop significantly on all but the essentials over the next couple of years, until the world has been vaccinated.
I don't necessarily disagree that prices will drop significantly on certain items, and you have listed many factors that will influence the market. But there is always a tendency in these kinds of discussions to treat the diamond market as a monolith, and to make broad projections.

Some areas of the market will be impacted to a greater extent and differently than others. Commercial quality that is already in large supply will take the biggest hit due to consolidation and middle market demand drop. Rarer, more exclusive diamonds may hold up reasonably well, even in the short term. This has been the case through other ups and downs in history.

Having said that, this situation is unique and complicated. It's best not to arrive at sweeping conclusions until economies start opening back up and the diamond industry starts to regain its footing.
 

Batgirl76

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
250
Good point about the rarer diamonds, @Texas Leaguer. These will be bought by the 1%, which I mentioned will always buy extravagances.

Part of the trouble will likely be that economies will start to open back up and then be forced to shut down again and again as COVID cases predictably spike. And different U.S, states and countries will be opening and closing at different times depending on their cases and the decision-making processes of their governors, presidents, and prime ministers. This will of course adversely affect both supply of and demand for diamonds and finished jewelry. Add this to all the other factors I mentioned above that will have a huge negative impact on the industry.

I don’t think the diamond industry is going to regain its footing for at least a couple of years. And those vendors who hold tight to their current prices while they try to wait it out will lose customers in droves. Most will fold under the crushing weight of COVID.

Again, just my common sense opinion.
 
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whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,637
I don't necessarily disagree that prices will drop significantly on certain items, and you have listed many factors that will influence the market. But there is always a tendency in these kinds of discussions to treat the diamond market as a monolith, and to make broad projections.

Some areas of the market will be impacted to a greater extent and differently than others. Commercial quality that is already in large supply will take the biggest hit due to consolidation and middle market demand drop. Rarer, more exclusive diamonds may hold up reasonably well, even in the short term. This has been the case through other ups and downs in history.

Having said that, this situation is unique and complicated. It's best not to arrive at sweeping conclusions until economies start opening back up and the diamond industry starts to regain its footing.
It’s also a great reason to be choosy and examine the trade in policies from each vendor. Some of us will use lower prices to upgrade to even larger diamonds, etc.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,637
Good point about the rarer diamonds, @Texas Leaguer. These will be bought by the 1%, which I mentioned will always buy extravagances.

Part of the trouble will likely be that economies will start to open back up and then be forced to shut down again and again as COVID cases predictably spike. And different U.S, states and countries will be opening and closing at different times depending on their cases and the decision-making processes of their governors, presidents, and prime ministers. This will of course adversely affect both supply of and demand for diamonds and finished jewelry. Add this to all the other factors I mentioned above that will have a huge negative impact on the industry.

I don’t think the diamond industry is going to regain its footing for at least a couple of years. And those vendors who hold tight to their current prices while they try to wait it out will lose customers in droves. Most will fold under the crushing weight of COVID.

Again, just my common sense opinion.
Of course, what you mention are common sense ideas, but if I may point out that they may very well apply to larger, urban, population dense areas and not necessarily all areas.

For instance, my husband is a doctor and his hospital has only at the peak had two dozen Covid positive patients, most of whom are from a local prison population (which is terrible and don’t get me started).

This hospital has not been overwhelmed. We have plenty of PPE. Also, our community has done extensive drive up testing for anyone with a fever, and starting next week, they will test anyone with symptoms even if you don’t have a fever.

For my area, other than shut downs, we haven’t been affected much.

It is clear from data that Covid-19 is not community spread here and the death rate is low. Hospitalizations are low.

Just adding ideas as I enjoy well-rounded and thoughtful discussions...

If diamond prices drop to all time lows, I will likely upgrade as much as possible while it lasts.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Good point about the rarer diamonds, @Texas Leaguer. These will be bought by the 1%, which I mentioned will always buy extravagances.

Part of the trouble will likely be that economies will start to open back up and then be forced to shut down again and again as COVID cases predictably spike. And different U.S, states and countries will be opening and closing at different times depending on their cases and the decision-making processes of their governors, presidents, and prime ministers. This will of course adversely affect both supply of and demand for diamonds and finished jewelry. Add this to all the other factors I mentioned above that will have a huge negative impact on the industry.

I don’t think the diamond industry is going to regain its footing for at least a couple of years. And those vendors who hold tight to their current prices while they try to wait it out will lose customers in droves. Most will fold under the crushing weight of COVID.

Again, just my common sense opinion.
By rarer and more exclusive diamonds I am not just talking about what the 1% buys. I'm talking about what upwardly mobile, self-educating, quality oriented buyers such as those that frequent this forum seek out. They eskew ordinary commercial quality in favor of diamonds and jewelry brands that are exceptional. That dynamic is not likely to change. And by definition, those exceptional items will be in far shorter supply than the ordinary stuff, thereby retaining more of their market value.

While the Great Recession did have the effect of temporarily lowering the average sale price as buyers traded down from 1.00ct to .80ct (for example), and while that did have negative impacts on businesses in terms of revenue growth for some time, the sales themselves continued to happen for the companies providing high quality and added value.

I think that experience is a pretty good analog for the current situation.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Of course, what you mention are common sense ideas, but if I may point out that they may very well apply to larger, urban, population dense areas and not necessarily all areas.

For instance, my husband is a doctor and his hospital has only at the peak had two dozen Covid positive patients, most of whom are from a local prison population (which is terrible and don’t get me started).

This hospital has not been overwhelmed. We have plenty of PPE. Also, our community has done extensive drive up testing for anyone with a fever, and starting next week, they will test anyone with symptoms even if you don’t have a fever.

For my area, other than shut downs, we haven’t been affected much.

It is clear from data that Covid-19 is not community spread here and the death rate is low. Hospitalizations are low.

Just adding ideas as I enjoy well-rounded and thoughtful discussions...

If diamond prices drop to all time lows, I will likely upgrade as much as possible while it lasts.
You make an excellent point about the local and regional differences in terms of economic, social, and psychological impacts of the crisis.

Brick and mortar jewelers that serve a small local area that is hard hit, will have a hard time making it. Other businesses, such as national and international online companies, will see their markets comparatively more stable.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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Some more thoughts about the emotional aspects of jewelry and diamonds. I come from a family where both on my mom’s and my dad’s side, no one had any inheritances. There was just nothing available to leave behind. Unfortunately, the same goes with my mom and dad— nothing, no jewelry, money, furniture, nothing worth taking. (I’m not pouting, don’t get me wrong. Not everyone leaves behind possessions and that is ok too).

So for me, my diamonds aren’t a commodity for right now, they are also things I want to pass down hopefully for generations. I want people who I will never meet be able to wear my jewelry and think “I didn’t know her, but she was obviously stylish and cool” lol.

Or if they want to sell or pawn in favor of buying something they love or to use the cash to add to something like a down payment of a house, then I’m cool with that as well...

There aren’t many things you can buy that are as portable, fashionable and collectible as jewelry. Some may call certain pieces art.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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It’s also a great reason to be choosy and examine the trade in policies from each vendor. Some of us will use lower prices to upgrade to even larger diamonds, etc.
Yes, if prices should decrease that will be to the advantage of customers who have purchased from vendors with liberal trade-in policies and ample in-stock inventory.
 
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