Is it time to splash on some investment jewelery? The answer may be yes if you fancy a diamond ring, with prices for the gemstone down as much as 29 percent since last year.
Diamonds are getting cheaper. Time to buy? - Jan. 28,
Diamond prices softened in August, as the global stock market slump hit discretionary spending and jewelry demand in China thanks to a clampdown on luxury gift-giving and the slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy.
Prices for benchmark 1-carat 0. This continues a longer-term trend that has seen the price of 1-carat diamonds and 0. Fewer dealers bought inventory and those with money waited for lower prices. A slump in global stock markets further dampened sentiment as the outlook for luxury spending diminished along with shareholder wealth," said Rapaport in its monthly report. Even if August's tumult in stock markets proves isolated, Rapaport warned that the slowdown in China's economy, coupled with Beijing's clampdown on expensive gift-giving among officials and the devaluation of the yuan , would prove an additional restraint on discretionary spending.
The impacts of the precious metal and luxury gem downturn are widespread, with Reuters reporting on Monday that more than 5, diamond polishers in India's diamond capital of Surat had lost their jobs since June.
Nearly half a dozen large diamond companies in the city have closed down , according to the news wire. Jewelry returned an average of 1.
This trumped the return on watches, fine wines and trophy properties, although it was dwarfed by the 40 percent averaged on a "classic" car investment. This year, jewelry investors may be less lucky, with precious metals prices falling across the board as part of a broad-based decline in commodities. Spot gold prices have fallen 11 percent over the last 12 months, while the price of silver is down a sharp 24 percent and platinum is down 29 percent.
As a result of the weakness, the Republic of Botswana, which owns 15 percent of De Beers, cut its economic growth forecast to 2. Follower her on Twitter KatyBarnato.
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Diamond prices hit by stock market slump, China Katy Barnato KatyBarnato. Mark Evans Getty Images.
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What diamond prices are signaling about inflation. Prashanth Vishwanathan Bloomberg Getty Images. Time to boost the jewelry collection? Katy Barnato Reporter and Copy Editor, CNBC.