The ongoing Covid crisis has meant business in the UK diamond industry is tough, but weathering the storm.
Much like many other industries, the closures of the public facing retail sector has reduced demand on that front meaning that the diamond industry is relying at present on supplying through online forums. We know though that this will be for a fixed term and as the economy opens up the jewellery trade will too. As we have seen previously in the earlier lockdown , it seems prices fell in the months prior to July 2020 before making a recovery with a resurgence in sales leading up to the Christmas season. the diamond industry has suffered during the Covid-19 crisis but fared better than the personal luxury market overall. once the retails sector opens up there is an immediate pick up on trade that to some extent will cover the short fall of the months leading up to it and we are optimistic that we will see the same pattern as we emerge out of the current lockdown.
We can attribute this to, excuse the pun, the ‘multi faceted’ inherent nature of the diamond industry;
Diamonds benefit from their “safe haven status”. Much like gold, diamonds do not only exist as a luxury item but a valued trading commodity that means market forces contribute to its supply led pricing.
We may have seen fixed term periods of reduction in demand from the retail sector, however, backlogs in manufacturing in the diamond sector has created a slow down in supply, the supply chain in turn allowing the equilibrium to sustain itself and not face a drastic shift. We have seen in some instances prices have gone up on certain key, high demand ranges of diamonds globally. In other areas we have seen a boom in the second hand market trade, and we have featured a “quote - to buy back” element on our website to facilitate this for our clients.
We have also noted the investment sector seeing diamonds as a reliable commodity in comparison to so many other fragile markets and many looking to invest in high value items.
Whilst we source and stock a varied and large range of diamond qualities and size to supply the UK trade and retailers, we have focused our ranges to allow us to specialise in commercial quality, non certified ranges from 0.01pts-10ct diamonds.
The introduction of Lab Grown diamonds to the UK market has been both eagerly anticipated and controversial at the same time. It has provided an ethical and affordable way for many consumers to access diamonds at quality and prices that would not have been possible or desirable to them. Having said that, within the industry there has been notable caution when dealing and trading Lab Grown stones. Fears that with the smaller stones (under 25pts) there could be instances of mixing across parcels, meaning it would be difficult to identify or trace the stones, potentially devaluing genuine items.
We can take some assurances on 50pts+ as stones of mid to larger sizing would be traceable and can face the scrutiny required. we have observed steady growth in this sector over the last years since the introduction of Lab grown stones into the mainstream UK market, but have been selective with our listings and supply chains.
We have introduced lab grown diamonds to our offering but only from 50pts - 2ct. We take stringent precautions with imports on all our small diamonds ensuring everything is scanned as it leaves our suppliers and sealed to guarantee us that they have arrived as natural stones without possibility of any goods being mixed.
The most popular Lab Grown offering is the 1ct diamond. They hit a certain price point that when compared to a natural diamond you can see how the consumer will feel they are getting incomparable value for money. The buyer won’t have to make the compromise of size for quality as they would when sourcing a natural diamond, with the added element of ensuring the diamond is conflict free and ethically produced. For many this is a win win.
We made a choice to cap our supply of lab grown diamonds at 2.5- 3ct plus ranges. Items which go over a price range can be volatile and very fragile. There is much to be said about the scepticism in this field. Perhaps those looking to take the plunge into a large piece will value the inherent qualities and investment value of a natural diamond over and above the commercial gains of a Lab grown price.
We also have to take note of caution for the future of our retailers who thrive on the client relationship within their business. when a consumer of the public may wish to upgrade or sell back their lab grown diamonds to the trade or retailers they may be left feeling misled at the realisation that their item does not hold the same “market value” when compared with that of the real thing.
cooperation is the key in any relationship for it to be mutually beneficial. the two separate sectors of the market are not in competition with one another. they have different appeals and different target markets. The consumer looking for a natural diamond and who is willing to pay its value would not likely be swayed by an item of less value and strength because of its price point. Such a consumer is aware of the superiority of natural diamonds and its longevity within the investment market. Likewise the consumer who has a limited budget that would never enable them to stretch for a natural diamond of equal caliber can now enter the market and feel satisfied with its offerings.
The global shift towards ethical and sustainable diamonds has been mirrored by the values within NB diamonds. We have taken steps towards ensuring our diamonds are coming from reputable sources. Our supply chains are conflict free and recognised by the RJC.
Much like the retail jewellery sector, at NB diamonds we have seen the benefits of expanding on our online platform by building up our website. We have utilised the quieter times to develop our online presence and website as a means of reaching out to our existing and new clients, whilst we have all been prioritising our health and well-being. We have added new features to our website to enable easy processes for our clients to request quotations for bespoke pieces, quotations for valuations and “buy back” purchases as well as easy viewing of many of our ranges and new upcoming unique pieces.