COMMENTARY – Polished diamond trade cautiously reopens


By David Brough

The polished diamond trade is reopening cautiously, with manufacturers and dealers focused on maintaining measures to reduce risks of spread of coronavirus.

Diamond jewellery marketing has shifted gear to focus on values amid the harsh economic backdrop of the pandemic, Rapaport reported.

Under lockdown in India, Mumbai diamond manufacturing and jewellery companies have been allowed to resume operations, with social distancing measures restricting the workforce to 10 percent.

A voluntary Indian 30-day suspension on rough imports from May 15 was expected to help reduce a supply overhang.

With rough diamond trade nearly stalled, Russia’s diamond miner ALROSA was in talks to sell a considerable volume of rough diamonds to state repository Gokhran after a plunge in April revenues, Rapaport reported.

Some exports of diamonds have resumed to Hong Kong, which has re-emerged as a leading polished diamonds trading centre.

Diamantaires have returned to their offices in Antwerp, but trading activity is low, with social distancing measures in place.

COMMENTARY – Polished diamond trade cautiously reopens


In terms of diamond jewellery marketing, a Rapaport podcast highlighted that it may be insensitive to focus on sales at a time of rising unemployment, and that now it was important to communicate values.

“When [thinking] about marketing and messaging, [focus] on the social good that people are doing as it relates to COVID-19, or you shouldn’t talk at all,” Rapaport quoted Stephen Lussier, executive vice president for consumer and brands at De Beers, as saying.

“Leading brands see where they can use their resources to make a difference in this fight.”