Martin Rapaport @ GJEPC Webinar: Diamond Demand To Remain Stable, But Brace For Change

GJEPC held a webinar on Managing Strategic Opportunities in 2022 and Beyond on 19th May, featuring Industry Expert Martin Rapaport, who shared his insights with GJEPC Chairman Colin Shah and GJEPC Diamond Panel Convener Sanjay Shah.

The key takeaways from the afternoon chat were:

  • The Digital Revolution will be the next big thing to watch out for. AI will impact how to sell jewellery to consumers. From smart thinking drones to smart cars, one needs to catch the wave of sweeping change, especially people who are high on diamond expertise but low on technological know-how; that is the segment in India that needs to brace up.
  • Technology could improve diamond cuts and digitally market yourselves. Tech will affect the 3 key pillars of the industry: product, people and money.
  • Even if one can cut diamonds better than anyone, that doesn’t mean you’ll make money. One still needs physical, social, economic and political capabilities. One needs to be aware of the changing environment in which one operates.
  • Demand, Supply, De-globalisation, and Socialisation are trends one needs to think about in the long term.
  • High value goods of 2 carats and up will increasingly be polished in the source countries like Botswana, etc.
  • August and September is peak time for holiday season stocking and due to the second Covid wave in India, there could be shortages in certain categories going into the Christmas season.
  • Diamond demand will remain stable as it is driven by the availability of money (read, the healthy stimulus package of $8,358 for each American).
  • China demand for diamonds is growing because of its growing middle class, who mainly consume below 1-caraters.
  • The Lab-grown diamond (LGD) or synthetics segment is one of the most profitable areas of diamond jewellery today. LGDs are doing great because retailers are charging high prices to consumers despite wholesale prices dropping. This could be a concern on the segment’s sustainability if consumers ask to return LGD jewellery after five years.
  • The possible loss of confidence in LGDs could have a negative impact on natural diamonds.
  • The marketing, designing and branding of cubic zirconia done by Swarovski will be the way forward for synthetics.
  • The greatest fear you should have is interest rates going up. Currency warfare between the US and China is another point of concern.
  • Don’t buy rough based on future expectations, but on current demand.
  • The new generation of consumers are concerned about the environment and social issues and they insist on knowing the source of what they are buying.
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