Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Downturn, Debt Dulls Diamond Sector Sparkle

By: Philip Blenkinsop

The diamond industry is experiencing a recession due to less demand, falling prices and lender reticence. Since a few diamonds are worth an large amount of money, the industry operates on debt, and the debt is crucial to funding $50-60 billion of trade in the stones. But the debt is becoming more than the industry can bear as trade levels are at one-tenth of their usual levels. Diamond industry leaders are discussing possible joint marketing efforts to ease the problem. The market of the super-rich has completely dried out, while jewelry sales in the U.S., which accounts for 45 percent of the market, have fallen by 20 percent. 

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