Bling ka-ching: The Beers aggressively raise diamond prices | Economy news

The world’s largest diamond producer raised prices by 8 percent at the first sale of the year, sources told Bloomberg News.

By Bloomberg

The Beers pushed through one of its most aggressive diamond price increases in recent years, as the world’s largest producer of the stones casts a buying frenzy after rough gemstones.

De Beers raised prices by about 8% at the first sale of the year, according to people familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The biggest increases were for smaller, cheaper stones.

The diamond industry was one of the surprising winners as the global economy rose after the first effects of the pandemic. Consumer demand for diamond jewelry is expected to have grown sharply last year, while supply remained limited.

The Beers raised the price of rough diamonds through most of 2021, as it tried to recover after the first year of the pandemic, when the industry almost came to a standstill. Yet most of these price increases were focused on larger and more expensive diamonds, while the emphasis is now on cheaper stones.

As this week’s sales in Botswana raised De Beers’ price of larger stones by about 5%, people said, while some less rough diamonds saw price increases of as much as 20%.

A spokesman for De Beers, a unit of Anglo American Plc, declined to comment.

Smaller diamonds, used in cheaper jewelry sold at places like Walmart Inc., struggled for years due to oversupply. However, they rose sharply towards the end of 2021, when supply was tightened and higher quality goods rose in price.

This led to a frenzy of buying in the secondary market, where accredited De Beers and Alrosa buyers sell to other gemstone manufacturers. It spurred De Beers to react by raising its own prices.

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