Diamond Crash. Just Don’t Ask How Bad It Is. – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – April 15, 2020)


How low can diamond prices go? That’s a question which no-one can answer, but it’s also a question which the diamond industry wishes no-one would ask, judging by an unsightly spat which has engulfed the normally well-mannered jewelry trade.

The diamond crash, which has been several years in the making, has been magnified by Covid-19, the coronavirus disease which has put the world in lock-down, forcing the closure of jewelry shops and trashing the share-prices of diamond mining companies.

Some smaller diamond miners, such as London-listed Petra Diamonds, have seen their shares plunge by 75% since the virus outbreak started in January. Others, such as Russia’s diamond champion, Alrosa, have fallen by 30%, despite having currency protection as the ruble has taken a dive against the U.S. dollar.

Even the mighty De Beers, self-appointed guardian of diamonds and once a near-monopoly of gem production and marketing, has been forced to close its retail outlets in Paris, London, Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. to protect staff and customers from the coronavirus.

Internet-based sales are continuing, but that’s a step De Beers has been desperate to avoid because diamonds on a computer screen look no different to the steadily expanding range of synthetic gems which have been eating into the market for “mined” diamonds.

For the rest of this article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timtreadgold/2020/04/15/diamond-crash-just-dont-ask-how-bad-it-is/#c2d804cdd910

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