We all know that diamonds are a girl’s best friend – but it seems they are also an investor’s best friend too. With the 87th Academy Awards around the corner, all eyes will not only be on the hopeful winners but also on the fashion and jewellery worn on the red carpet. We look at the latest trends in the global diamond market to discover why these precious jewels are such hot property….
Diamonds – The Facts
An estimated US $13 billion worth of rough diamonds are produced per year, of which approximately US $8.5 billion come from Africa. Global diamond jewellery sales continue to grow, increasing three-fold in the past 25 years, and are currently worth in excess of US $72 billion every year.
Worldwide diamond consumption is forecast to surge by as much as 60% by the end of this decade, according to consultant Bain & Co. Demand for diamonds will be bolstered by growing affluence in India and China. Sales of the most expensive diamonds are hard to track, but experts say demand is on the rise at the top end of the market, too.
Vickie Sek, director of the Asia Jewellery & Jadeite Department at auction house Christie’s, says that “investors and collectors are looking for creative alternatives where they can store cash and remain portable. For this reason, diamonds and coloured gemstones have become alternative asset investments.”
But as much as they love their diamonds, UHNW individuals are picky about their jewels.
“For UHNW buyers, quality reigns supreme. The most in-demand stones are large ones of top colour and clarity worth between US $5 million and US $10 million. For colourless diamonds, a DIF grading – the best in colour and clarity – is naturally prized, but stones of E or F colour and VVS clarity are also highly sought after,” says Sek. “For coloured diamonds, pinks and blues are the most desirable. UHNW buyers are looking for a colour grading of Fancy Intense or above.”
In fact, Mining Weekly reported this week that the coloured gemstone sector has been growing at a compound yearly rate of about 18%, according to the United Nations commodity trade statistics database, with rough global imports for emeralds, rubies and sapphires currently amounting to about $3.3 billion a year.
So the long-term outlook for diamonds is positive and the world’s largest diamond producers are confident that the next few years will see a return to robust demand growth. It’s time to make a sparkling investment!
Diamonds – Top Five Tips
So, how to keep your jewels looking their best? Raphael Ringer, founder of Jardin de Diamants, unveils a few gems:
1. Use soap and a toothbrush: once every two to three months, you can clean the diamond yourself in a few minutes using a soft soap and a toothbrush. The toothbrush allows you to access small and inaccessible spots of the jewellery piece. Rinse it with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth – it works surprisingly well.
2. Check the setting of your piece once a year: over time, the setting can loosen up and the stone is likely to move. It is highly recommended to revert to a trusted jeweller to make sure the diamond sits firm on the setting to avoid losing a stone. At the same time, the jeweller will also clean the diamond and polish the gold or platinum.
3. Careful with your clothes: wool, cashmere, fur and other lint clothes can get trapped into a sharp diamond setting. Put on your jacket or jumper first, and then your jewellery.
4. Don’t use abrasive or oily products: although those products won’t alter the diamond itself, they can erode some of the metals often used in diamond settings.
5. Day-to-day: keep your diamond and gemstones in separate jewel boxes to prevent scratching. Take off your jewellery when you undertake heavy tasks such as gardening or home renovation, as the diamond might accumulate residues and impurities. But regardless of the size or the price of your diamond, your stone deserves high luxury attention that mirrors the emotional value of it.