Coloured diamond sales strong at all price points

Coloured Diamond Sales Strong At All Price Points

By Anthony DeMarco

When looking at the collectibles market the past few years, it would seem safe to assume that fancy coloured diamonds are experiencing spectacular sales. But while rare coloured stones have generated record-breaking auction results, the rest of the market is a bit more complicated. This is compounded when considering that data for this portion of the industry is not tracked very well. However, it is safe to say that diamonds in all colours and price points have seen significant growth in recent years due to better jewellery design, better marketing of coloured diamonds and more consumer awareness. ‘Chunky Chocolate’ diamonds and ‘Strawberry Gold’ rings from Le Vian

Entry-level pieces “As far as market trends and pricing, it is very difficult to provide details,” said Jeffrey Post, president of the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA), a New York-based marketing organisation for the coloured diamond industry.
Post, who co-owns and operates diamond jewellery manufacturer Gem Platinum (which includes the Jeffrey Daniels Unique Designs brand of one- of-a-kind pieces), said the US coloured market has shown resiliency with the strongest growth at the extreme ends of the market. For example, rare 1-carat coloured diamonds, such as pink and blue, have shot well past $100,000 per carat while natural fancy yellow diamonds prices are stable.
“The interesting thing is that while the large and very large pinks and blues, as well as the occasional green or orange diamonds have shown remarkable prices especially at auction, there is a strong pull for entry-level pieces of jewellery for those whose pockets aren’t that deep. These pieces tend to incorporate brown, cognac and yellow diamonds. The market is fairly strong and I believe it will continue the same way in the near future.”

Fancy pinks
Leibish & Co is an Israel-based company that sells coloured diamonds and coloured diamond jewellery to the trade and consumers. About 40 percent of the company’s business is done in the US. About 60 percent of sales are through the company’s robust website, split evenly between consumers and the trade.
In addition to trend in materials, company president Leibish Polnauer said e-Commerce and branding are now an integral part of the industry. His sales have increased 25 percent in 2012 and he expects the same for 2013. Internet transactions are also up 25 percent but the ticket size is about the same as in 2012, he continued.
As far as materials, Polnauer said yellow and chocolate-coloured diamonds have strong appeal, particularly in the $5,000 to $15,000 range.
Demand for other coloured diamonds is as follows:
• Champagne diamonds will remain stable.
• Fancy yellow diamonds from 1 to 3 carats are up about 10 percent year-over-year, but 4- to
5-carat yellow diamonds remain the same. Sizes over 10 carats are weak. Investment-grade stones
of more than $100,000 with fine quality are up 10 to 15 percent.
• Pink diamonds are up 10 to 15 percent year-over-year
and will continue to stay strong well into the future, with 1- to 2-carat fancy pinks the best

Pinks and greens
Anne Chabert, head of Client Relations for Ecksand – a Canadian brand that specialises in natural coloured diamond jewellery sold online, in selected retail outlets and through its boutique in Montreal – said rare colours, such as pinks and greens, have seen strong growth in the US. The company caters primarily to millennial consumers from 20 to 30 years old, emphasising jewellery with clean, modern design and affordable price points.

Men are choosing engagement rings with “a refined, good quality SI/VS to colour ratio and rare pink, green or both colours in one ring,” Chabert said. The quality of the colour is more important than the size of the diamond to their consumers. “It’s not bling-bling, but that’s not the point,” she said. “When you go for high quality and colour, size is secondary as the ring shines incredibly regardless of the size.” She said the trend “small is beautiful” will continue into the holiday season. “Customers are looking for something unique with fancy coloured diamonds incorporated with discreetly elegant new techniques.” She added, “In the next six months we believe we’ll see more shoppers going for less generic and more higher-quality products. That being said, there’s fewer and fewer natural coloured diamonds being produced, and if the prices rise, it’s because it is becoming rarer. Now with a wider range of clients no longer left out of the mix of being able to possess these little shiny treasures, we expect to see another 5 percent rise this year in pink and green colours along with yellow and very deep browns – bringing 2013-2014 to a rise of 15 percent in fancy colours.” JNA