(Bloomberg) — The global diamond trade spent years in the doldrums, only to be crippled by the pandemic just as things started looking up. Now, at last, business is booming again.
Factories in the industry’s “engine room” — the Indian city of Surat — are so desperate to boost production that the most-skilled cutters and polishers are being headhunted with offers of 50% pay hikes and perks like free food and housing.
Miner De Beers is poised for its biggest rough-diamond sale in three years, even after raising prices, and rival Alrosa PJSC said this week it expects the recovery will keep going for some time.
The boom is being driven by bumper holiday jewelry sales, particularly in the vital U.S. and Chinese markets. For years, diamonds faced growing competition from travel as a form of luxury spending.
Now, with vacations on hold due to lockdowns and other restrictions, consumers are putting their disposable income into online purchases.
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