Mere months in the past, Bain and the Antwerp Planet Diamond Centre (AWDC) issued their yearly “World Diamond Business” report, recounting the diamond jewelry industry’s “brilliant recovery” from the pandemic downturn.

Masking the whole diamond price chain from manufacturing to purchaser revenue, it documented, “In 2021, revenue amplified 62% [year-over-year] in the diamond mining phase, 55% for reducing and sharpening and 29% for diamond jewelry retail – all climbing earlier mentioned pre-pandemic concentrations, +13%, +16%, +11% respectively.”

Searching to this yr, it predicted ongoing solid development at a larger amount than for the duration of the pre-pandemic interval. “Demand for diamond jewelry and polished and tough diamonds is predicted to mature by the first 50 percent of 2022.”

That was then, this is now

But with the breakout of war in the Ukraine and the ensuing Russia financial sanctions, the supply of tough diamonds may well be cut by above 25% as Russian-owned Alrosa, the world’s major diamond producer by quantity, was positioned on the sanction record.

All instructed, the U.S. Treasury states Alrosa is responsible for 90% of Russia’s diamond generation and accounts for 28% of world-wide offer. The Russian government owns 33% of Alrosa and another 33% is owned by Sakha, the Russian Republic in which the enterprise is headquartered. In addition, Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov Jr. was additional to the precisely-selected nationals sanction list.  

The industry’s Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) suggested, “Effectively, this motion bans U.S. companies and individuals from moving into into debt transactions extended than 14 days with Alrosa but does not impose the harsher sanctions of an asset freeze and outright prohibition of all enterprise.”

The JVC extra, “For the jewellery field, any open memo agreements earlier entered into with conditions more time than 14 days should immediately be amended to shorten the terms, and/or closed.” The Treasury’s order, even so, does not apply to goods acquired from Alrosa or Alrosa United states before February 24.

Talking on behalf of the AWDC, Tom Neys explained, “Sanctions can have a significant affect on the diamond small business. It is a blow that ought to harm Russia, but there is a chance that we do additional damage to ourselves. The Russians can easily trade their diamonds with non-EU international locations.”

The diamond jewelry field is likely into the year with diamond provide at historically lower stages, estimated by Bain at 29 million carats in 2021. “Upstream inventories declined ~40%, pushed by superior desire and gradual output restoration, and are close to the minimum technical degree,” the report said.

Regulation of supply and demand

With product sales of diamond jewellery reaching $84 billion in 2021, consumer demand from customers kept surging even as price ranges rose. Rapaport’s RapNet Diamond Index confirmed the regular rate for a one particular-carat diamond highly developed 17.4% all through 2021. And charges ongoing to increase, up 6.9% in January.

It will choose some time for the impacts of the Russian sanctions to be felt downstream, but increased price ranges for diamonds and diamond jewellery are bound to arrive.

Not counting the macro-financial affect Russia’s war on the Ukraine will have on shopper sentiment and paying out, even larger selling prices for diamond jewelry could put its submit-pandemic restoration on maintain, if not turn back the clock.

And growing diamond costs could give the lab-developed diamond (LGD) market place a welcome increase. LGD rates are now very well below the rate for a comparable pure mined diamond – Bain reports the typical polished lab-developed retail value declined to 30% of organic diamond prices in 2021 – and provides of man-designed stones are up as extra generation capacity will come on line and technology advances.

People formerly unwilling to take into account LGDs might consider a next seem as the value big difference widens. On the other hand, the law of source and demand does not usually utilize to luxurious items.

The 19th-century economist Thorstein Veblen did the seminal operate on the issue in his e book, The Principle of the Leisure Course. Veblen located that client desire for luxurious items enhanced alongside with selling prices because of their social signaling worth, i.e. they grow to be position symbols.

Bain notes, “Lab-developed diamonds ongoing to diverge into a independent, additional inexpensive jewelry classification.” In other terms, organic diamond jewelry is a luxurious while LGD jewelry is mass.

But that difference could be analyzed this calendar year. What was a developing divergence in between the two could turn into a convergence, if mined diamond price ranges carry on to climb.