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New Rough Boxes

Nov 30, 2000 2:33 PM   By Martin Rapaport
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The De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) will be significantly changing the way they sort and sell two-carat and larger rough diamonds. The new assortments, commonly referred to as boxes, will be available for inspection in London at next week’s sight. They will be offered for sale starting with the January sight.

While the prices and qualities of the new boxes are not yet known, it appears that De Beers will be providing finer assortments of rough to its sightholders. Top quality diamonds will be sold separately from the medium and lower qualities and VS-SI goods will get their own boxes. The new finer assortments should make it easier for diamond manufacturers to target specific sizes and qualities of polished diamonds into specific marketing programs.

In the opinion of this writer, it is very possible that De Beers will use the new assortment system as an opportunity to significantly raise prices for better-color, large rough. Given the facts that De Beers has reduced inventory close to “working Levels,” it does not have enough supply to meet current demand for bigger, better goods, and since consumer demand for bigger, better goods is, and has been consistently strong, the possibility of at least some price increases appear more than likely. The only question is whether they will do it officially or not. Don’t be surprised if we get a price increase announcement sometime before the new year and the January sight. Speculators be warned, higher rough prices do not necessarily translate into higher polished prices, so do not speculate.
Tags: De Beers, DTC, Sightholders
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