Coffee & Diamonds! Dear friends,
The month of October has started and the autumn is being fully present. This season is not only known for mushroom picking in the woods or Halloween, but as from now will enter the history records with the discovery of a diamond within a diamond. Alrosa, the Russian miner, has found a diamond crystal that has another diamond in it, just like the typical Russian “matryoshka” dolls. Scientists can only guess how this layer of “air” between both layers of diamond were formed. They have different hypotheses of how this came to be, but for sure this is a very remarkable discovery, and probably one of a kind.
It seems that even this season Lab Grown Diamonds will continue flooding into the diamond and jewelry market. The De Beers’ Lab Grown company, The Lightbox, will start selling their products in selected Bloomingdale’s and Reed Jewellers stores in the US. This move, they say, is backed up by the demand of consumers to be able to see, touch and feel the product and to have an opportunity for dialog. Yet another sign that consumers still prefer to go to a brick-and-mortar shop instead of buying online?
Swiss UBS-bank predicts a drop of 2% in sales in diamond-jewelry the coming year, this due to fluctuations on the stock-markets. Not very cheerful news. On the other hand, auction houses have sold items that went out for nearly the double of the estimated amount. At Bonhams, a blue diamond ring of Van Cleef & Arpels (emerald cut of 2.17ct fancy-intense blue) got sold for $2.5million, and an emerald and diamond bracelet of Graff got sold for nearly $750.000. At Skinner Auctioneers, a Cartier ring with two Kashmire Sapphires were sold for $873.000. Maybe overall sales will decline, but we see an increase of expensive jewelry sales at auctions.
If you have some $13-15 million to spend, maybe you should consider flying to Johannesburg next month. Petra Diamonds recovered a 20.08ct natural blue diamond, of Type IIb, with “exceptional” gem-quality as it says. At the moment it has not given any more details about its quality, but as it is releasing only a few pictures and little details, it is expected to have a serious potential on the value of the stone. You can go view the stone in their offices from November 1 to 7, and place your bid! If you need any help polishing or selling the stone, we will be more than eager to help you!
To finish with some positive news, we have read that the NRF (National Retail Federation) in the US predicts a 3.8-4.2% increase in sales for the upcoming Holiday Season, this thanks to job growth and higher wages. The NRF also predicts online and non-store sales to rise between 11-14%. Let’s hope this positivism will be reflected on our European economy as well.
Wishing you all a nice month of October,