Jewellers downgrade as diamond prices escalate

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Retailers still buying diamonds but cutting corners on the four Cs.

Despite hefty price hikes, retailers are still buying diamonds at IJL to satiate continuing consumer appetite for the traditional stones. However, as cost pressures push the best quality diamonds out of many consumers’ budgets, retailers are opting to cut corners on the Four Cs.

Henig Diamonds works in partnership with DTC Sightholder Trau Bros. to ensure that it offers its customers competitive prices on diamonds, a requirement that the company’s Avi Issacharoff believes is becoming more critical.

As well as seeking out competitive prices, Issacharoff said that retailers are looking to cut costs by reducing the clarity of the stones they are buying. “People still want nice colour but now they are not so fussy when it comes to clarity because of the price increase,” he said. “Retailers are not going for high-end diamonds at the moment, because consumers are not ready to pay that price.”

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Issacharoff added that retailers are “very drastically reducing margins” in an attempt to hold on to diamond sales in a competitive market that is increasingly drifting towards online retailers. He also pointed out that an increasingly popular tactic is for retailers to sell mounts and stones separately, with some even using window displays to advertise this service.

At Corona Diamonds, Ian Gregory said that its retail customers are keen to hold on to quality stones and so instead are sacrificing on size. “It is a budget issue for most,” he explained. “Those who were buying 1ct are now opting for 0.70ct or 0.50ct.”

One area that Gregory does have pinned for growth is ethical diamonds. The company deals in Maple Leaf Diamonds, which Greogory said has been receiving increasing interets. “After the Panorama and Dispatches shows we have had a lot more people asking us for ethical diamonds and I think this is something that is filtering through from the consumers,” he said. “

Mimi Padwa of EFD Diamonds is also confident about diamond sales. She said that while there is much talk of increasing prices, the prices have actually dipped slightly. “It is a good time to buy,” she said.

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