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Las Vegas show sees light traffic

The JCK Las Vegas show ended Monday, with participants noting a decline in buyer traffic and exhibitors at this year’s event. Sentiment among diamond suppliers was relatively weak, as buyers were conservative, and overall dealer trading was quiet.

“You can’t come to this show and rely on foot traffic anymore. Neither can you expect to sell big volumes in the loose-diamond section,” explained a Mumbai-based exhibitor who requested anonymity. “It’s not a transactional show. We measure success by our ability to showcase our goods and our brand, and in terms of lead generation.”

Most diamond suppliers viewed the US market in a positive light, and there was good activity in the finished-jewelry section of the show. That this didn’t translate to improved diamond trading reflected an imbalance within the trade and weakness in the midstream, rather than softness in US demand, diamantaires noted.

Buyers were serious but more selective in the goods they were looking for, focusing on nice makes and clean goods within a certain category range. There was steady demand for 0.60- to 1.99-carat, F to J, VS2 to I1 diamonds. Other categories remained weak, with continued declines in prices of 0.30-carat goods, as well as for large stones above 3 carats.

Diamond dealers expressed concern about profitability and the rising popularity of synthetics, with more exhibitors in the lab-grown pavilion of the show. Traceability was another issue on suppliers’ minds, with many focused on showcasing their tech-enabled programs that empower retailers to tell the story of their diamonds in a more effective manner. “After all, our job is to make the jewelers’ lives easier,” concluded another Mumbai-based diamantaire.

Organizers announced that next year’s show will take place from Tuesday, June 2, to Friday, June 5, which excludes a weekend due to the Jewish Shavuot holiday.

Courtesy - Rapaport



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