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3 posts from July 2008

Nine Year Old Finds Diamond in Arkansas

Matthew Smith of Dallas, Texas is one of the latest to discover a diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.  Along with his cousins from Connecticut, visited the park last week and found a 2.75-carat brown diamond.  He named the diamond the Brown-Eyed Beauty.

Visitors at the park get to keep the diamonds they find at the 37.5 acre plowed field, the worlds only diamond producing mine open to the public.  While visitors at the park find diamonds almost every day of the year, the 2.75-carat find is rare.

Crater of diamonds 2.75 carat Perhaps the top authority on Crater of Diamonds is Glenn Worthington who found his first diamonds at the park in the summer of 1978.  Glenn has been fascinated by the park every since and has written several books explaining the history of the park and the discoveries there.  He just released a new DVD entitled “How to Find Genuine Diamonds in Arkansas,” which is available on his website at www.DiamondsInAR.com.

Glenn emailed me this note this weekend that puts this 2.75-carat diamond find in perspective.

Hi Denny,

Here is some news.  A week ago, on July 12th, a nine-year-old boy arrived at the Crater with his family.  Seven minutes later, he picked up a shiny rock and showed it to his mother.  "Is this a diamond?" he asked.  "No," she replied because it was really too big and they'd only been there a few minutes.  They held onto the shiny pebble for three hours and had it setting on a bucket with other rocks at the wash pavilion.  Finally, the young boy's aunt said, "You ought to take that to the Diamond Discover Center and have it checked to see if it is a diamond."  He did, and it was.  It was a brown diamond that weighed 2.75 carats, and they'd just left it laying around for 3 hours while they searched for diamonds.  Funny but true.  A nine-year-old boy did better in seven minutes at the Crater than I have done in 30 years of searching.  That is the amazing thing about that place.  You never know when or where a big diamond will turn up or who will find it.

Hope all is well with you,
Glenn


July Rough Diamond Prices up 5%

De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) has increased the average prices of rough diamonds more than 5% at its sixth sight distribution July 7-11.  While the average was over 5%, the price of higher quality rough diamonds over one carat increased as much as 15 percent.

The next sightholder rough diamond distribution, scheduled for the week of August 18, will likely have further price increases.

The prices of polished diamonds tend to track closely with the rough diamonds because the cutters and wholesaler have to pass on the increased cost of new diamonds.  It is only a matter of days or weeks before the retail market reflects these increased diamond prices in polished diamonds and diamond jewelry.


Expected Diamond Price Increases

Arrow-up-blue De Beers has scheduled sightholder meetings in July and August, which is where they sell the rough diamonds to cutters.  Industry expectations are that there will be significant price increases for rough diamonds and that the expected increases will probably take place in August rather than July.  Traditionally De Beers announces in advance what the range of increases will be but that information has not been released, resulting in anticipation of double digit increases in for some groups of diamonds.

Price increase announcements for rough diamonds are usually scheduled ahead of the three major industry trade shows (Basel in March, JCK Las Vegas in June, Hong Kong in September).  Price increases tend to be the greatest for larger diamonds since those are the items with the biggest differential between supply and demand.  The last major price increase was in May with average prices increasing about 8% but some four-carat and above diamonds increasing over 20% in one day.  Production of small diamonds tends to be more in line with demand so they have seen relatively small price increases.

The price increases for polished diamonds tend to follow close behind the rough diamond price increases so the likely timeframe is August or September.  If you are planning a large diamond purchase in the next few months, I would suggest taking action sooner rather than later.  We do not know when the retail price increases will occur, for what types of diamonds, or how much the price increases will be, but all the signs are that they will go up near the end of summer.  It would be a shame for a consumer to pay 5-10% more just because they waited a few weeks too long to make their purchase, especially if they have been made aware of the impending price increase.