Weekly Digest: Antwerp volumes rocket, fancy colours teeter and January blues
This week’s round-up of the biggest headlines from the international diamond and diamond jewellery industries reacts to positive news from Antwerp, mixed results for fancy colour diamonds and a fight back against the January blues.
Antwerp diamond trade stabilises in 2017
The Antwerp diamond trade stabilised in 2017, with the industry trading a total of $46 billion in diamonds, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) reported.
In 2017, a total of 233.6 million carats of diamonds were imported to and exported from Antwerp, it said in a statement.
While the overall value of diamonds trade declined slightly compared to 2016 ($48 billion), the AWDC noted a tremendous increase in the volume of diamonds traded.
This is mainly due to a significant increase in the number of rough diamonds traded.
Fancy colour diamond price index slightly up in Q4 2017
The fourth quarter of 2017 saw a slight rise in fancy colour diamond prices over the previous quarter, according to The Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF).
There were significant increases in prices of fancy blue diamonds, offset by continued softness in fancy yellow diamonds and stagnation in fancy pink diamond prices.
The Fancy Color Diamond Index in Q4 2017 indicates an overall rise of 0.1% over Q3 2017 for fancy yellow, pink and blue diamonds in all sizes and saturations.
Prices of fancy blue colour diamonds increased 26% in Q4 2017
Continuing the trend throughout 2017, prices of fancy blue colour diamonds in Q4 increased 2.6%, with fancy intense and fancy vivid blues performing best, especially in the 1ct and 5ct categories.
During the same period, fancy pink and yellow diamond prices declined slightly by 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively.
Diamond Prices Rise in January, Rapaport reports
Diamond market sentiment improved in January, with firm prices after retailers reported a better-than-expected holiday season, Rapaport reported.
Suppliers are gaining confidence about first-quarter orders as jewellers start to replenish stock after holiday sales.
The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds rose 2.2% during January. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds increased 2.3%, while 0.50-carat stones gained 2.4%. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds edged up 0.5%.
Despite the upswing, RAPI for 1-carat diamonds was down 2.3% from a year ago.
The RapNet Diamond Index for 1-carat diamonds rose 2.2% in January
Established higher-end jewellers such as Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels had a strong holiday season, as did independent retailers with prominent displays of recognised diamond jewellery brands.
IDE launches Diamond Tech innovation centre
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has launched its new innovation centre, Diamond Tech, which will host and support diamond related start-ups in a variety of fields.
The technological incubator will be located within the IDE complex.
Through this initiative, announced during International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI) which ran from February 5-7, IDE will promote new technologies that will bring added value to the diamond industry as well as to other sectors.
CARATS.IO, the diamond based crypto-currency is the first company to move into the incubator.
Among the start-ups being considered are projects dealing with robotics, lasers and other advanced technologies for diamond manufacturing, virtual reality for innovative marketing platforms and more.
At the dedication ceremony IDE President Yoram Dvash said: “We are marrying the expertise and experience of the Israeli Diamond Industry with the originality and creativity of the Start-Up Nation. I believe that if the diamond industry wants to take off, this is the runway.”
Words by David Brough
Discover more industry news on the CARAT+ website every week.
CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.
Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world.