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Dealers upbeat and maintaining firm prices, with expectations of higher rough prices and 1Q stock replenishment. Rough market robust, with large De Beers sight expected next week. Jewelers discounting less amid increase in consumer spending this holiday season. Sarine to open first grading lab. De Beers pilots diamond blockchain to improve industry transparency. Pramod Kumar Agarwal elected India GJEPC chairman.

Fancies: Fancy shapes mixed, with curves better than squares. Ovals hot, followed by Pears and Cushions. Emeralds and Radiants okay, Princesses still weak. Oversizes selling well. Steady demand for fine-quality 6 to 10 ct. Ovals, Pears and Emeralds, with limited supply. US supporting market for commercial-quality, medium-priced fancies under 1 ct. Far East demand improving as consumers seek fancy shapes at better prices. Off-make, poorly cut fancies illiquid and hard to sell, even at very deep discounts.

United States: Wholesale and dealer markets stable, with steady demand for 1 ct., G, VS2-I2 diamonds. Retail market seasonally quiet after positive Christmas sales. Cold weather contributing to slow store traffic. Jewelers seeing good high-end, solitaire and fashion jewelry sales. Engagement rings and wedding bands not as strong.

Belgium: Sentiment positive, even with buyer traffic in Antwerp not yet back to normal after the Christmas break. Few foreign buyers in the market. Steady demand for 1 ct., F-I, VS-SI diamonds. Rough trading busy during Alrosa sales week, with higher premiums on the secondary market. Rough prices expected to firm during next week’s De Beers sight.

Israel: Dealers optimistic for the first quarter. Profit margins improving, as prices firmed after the holiday season. Steady market for 0.30 to 0.50 ct., G-J, VS-SI and for 1 ct., G-J, VS-SI diamonds. SIs selling well in all categories. Stable rough demand, particularly for large and expensive stones.

India: Positive trading, with good demand for VS-SI dossiers and 1 ct., G-J, SI1-I1, GIA-graded diamonds. China and Hong Kong buyers active. Some shortages due to drop in manufacturing since Diwali. Many cutters shifting to smaller sizes. Solid rough demand ahead of De Beers sight.

Hong Kong: Polished trading stable and prices firm. Steady demand for 0.50 to 2 ct., D-G, SI RapSpec A2+ (3X, none), GIA-graded diamonds. Rising expectations for Chinese New Year sales, particularly for higher-end goods. Shortage of brides due to China’s one-child policy, forcing grooms to show their worth by splurging on bigger and better diamonds. Custom jewelry gaining popularity. Source: Rapaport