Hong Kong Show
The mood among diamond dealers was relatively upbeat on the opening day of the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair as steady buyer traffic raised expectations for the rest of the week.
Polished diamond trading has picked up in the past month with dealers expecting retailers in China and the U.S. to stock up ahead of the fourth quarter holiday season. This week’s show is an opportune time to look for goods, exhibitors explained to Rapaport News.
“The market has got better in the last four weeks,” said Tony Mehta, owner of Diasqua Group, a Hong Kong-based supplier of diamonds up to 10 carats.
The show opened, with more than 3,600 exhibitors from 55 countries attending, while organizers expect about 58,000 buyers during the seven-day event. Some 35 percent of exhibitors are Hong Kong companies.
“There seems to be a bit of a buzz,” said one exhibitor. The market tends to improve around the September Hong Kong show as traders return from the summer break in July and August, added Sandeep Selot of Hong Kong-based Elements Limited, a supplier of mainly melee goods.
People are still conservative, Mehta said, adding that retailers are holding lower inventory than in the past. While traffic was promising on the first day, he noted many buyers were assessing the market, comparing prices and observing stock levels.
Others observed some buying activity at relatively stable prices. Mahiar Borhanjoo, managing director of Venus Jewel International, an India-based manufacturer of solitaires from 0.30-carat to 15 carats, said he met with retail buyers from the Middle East, the U.S. and China, including “one or two new customers.”
In general, prices are stable as there are fewer goods on the market compared with a year ago, said Nissim Zuaretz, chief executive officer of DN Diamonds, an Israel-based supplier of large stones. “For the nice goods, triple EX, none, prices are strong,” he added.
The fair took place across two venues, with around 500 diamond companies exhibiting at AsiaWorld-Expo from September 13 to 17. The second venue featured finished jewelry ran from September 15 to 19 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The show included the official launch of a ‘Declaration Programme on Exhibits of Natural Diamond’ aimed at giving buyers confidence they are purchasing natural mined diamonds. The scheme enables participants to display a poster demonstrating that their diamonds are not lab-grown. Mehta stressed many manufacturers have their own programs in place giving such assurances on their invoices.
Rough Pink Diamond
Lucapa Diamond Company recovered a 38.6-carat pink diamond (pictured below) from its Lulo mine, the largest fancy-color diamond found to date at the alluvial deposit in Angola.
The stone outweighs a 28.5-carat light pink diamond discovered at the mine. The parcel to which the pink diamond belonged also included two light fancy yellow stones that weighed 11.9 carats and 10.9 carats. The whole package sold for a combined $4.4 million (AUD 5.8 million) last week.
Lulo has a track record of producing large rough diamonds, the heaviest being a 404-carat stone, the largest diamond in Angolan history that fetched $16 million. In July alone, the mine yielded 59 diamonds heavier than 10.8 carats each.
Colored Diamonds and Auctioneers Best Fried – Financial Times
“Coloured diamonds have long been sought after,” said Francois Graff, chief executive officer of Graff Diamonds. “The market began to open up in the 1980s, and in the past five to 10 years that growth has accelerated as more people have become aware of their extreme rarity and appreciative of their unique beauty.
Pink diamonds are the most sought after. Only one stone in every 10,000 mined displaying any form of colour. According to the Fancy Color Research Foundation, since the non-profit organisation started its price index in January 2005, pink diamonds have risen in value by more than 350 per cent. By comparison, gold has risen by just over 160 per cent and the S&P 500 by 66 per cent.
“People are aware that [pink diamonds] are an amazing investment,” said Eden Rachminov, a diamond specialist and author of The Fancy Color Diamond Book. “Stones like this come to the market once every few years, and many wealthy people are looking for something unique — and that’s why the price is going up all the time.”
Blue and yellow diamonds have been equally successful at auction and as an investment. Over the 11-year period tracked by the FRCF they have risen in value 180 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.
“There’s a lake of cash around at the moment,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewellery division. “When someone sees a vivid pink or a vivid blue, they are generally in awe of it — and it becomes an object of desire.”