The diamond industry’s resurgence showed no sign of slowing down with De Beers reporting its biggest gem sale since February as consumers continued to buy jewellery.
Anglo American Plc’s De Beers said it sold $515 million of rough diamond at its seventh sale of 2021, the biggest total for this time of year since 2016. The company is currently on track for its best year since 2018.
While initially being hit hard by the pandemic, diamonds have since proved one of the more resilient industries. Stuck-at-home consumers have kept buying stones with competing luxuries such as travel not an option due to coronavirus restrictions. That demand has continued as the global economy started opening up, with strong sales in the key markets of the US and China.
Signet Jewelers Ltd. last week raised it’s full-year revenue target after a surge in sales, though it did caution that it expects a shift away from jewellery spending as the economic recovery continues.
De Beers, which has been aggressively raising the price of rough diamonds throughout much of the year, mostly held prices steady at the last sale. Some buyers have started to raise concerns that the price increases from De Beers and rival Alrosa PJSC have gone to far, especially as polished prices need to climb higher to justify the rates that rough stones are fetching.
By Thomas Biesheuvel
De Beers raised prices for its rough diamonds yet again as the industry’s dramatic recovery this year shows little sign of slowing.