04 Oct 2016

Trade trends from Hong Kong

September is the golden month for business negotiation of global gem and jewellery trading, with over 50,000 professional buyers from 55 countries and regions descending upon Hong Kong for the annual Hong Kong Jewelry & Gem Fair. The world-famous fair gathers includes more than 3600 exhibitors from all over the world.

Beyond its major trading portal status, the fair also offers some insights into key industry developments, which this year saw two promising trends emerge.

Australian Diamonds feature prominently at Fair

Growing international recognition and demand for Australian goods

The first stage of Rio Tinto’s new marketing initiative, called very simply ‘Australian Diamonds’, has clearly kicked into full swing with many exhibitors showcasing full displays of these origin-verified goods. The program aims to establish a complete audit trail of diamonds originating from the Argyle mine in Western Australia, from extraction right through to retail showrooms.

Exhibitor display at the September 2016 Hong Kong Gems & Jewellery Fair

Exhibitor display at the September 2016 Hong Kong Gems & Jewellery Fair

In terms of the implications for investors of Australian products, Hong Kong is an important and long-standing trading hub for fancy-coloured diamonds, with consistent growth in demand from mainland China over the past five years. The growing spotlight on Australian products is a great development for investors in this space.

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Exclusive look at the 2016 Argyle Tender

Prices for pinks to trend up in Q4 2016

One of the most anticipated events on the ‘coloured diamond’ calendar is undoubtedly the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender held by Rio Tinto every year. The Australian miner has managed the Argyle diamond mine since 1983, and each year’s yield of the best handful of diamonds is released onto the market through a private tender.

The 2016 edition includes a total of 63 diamonds (57 pink, 4 red and 2 violet), named the ‘Chroma Collection’ for its exceptional intensity of colours.

Since inception, the tender has always been by invitation only, with the allocation of an hour window for each invitee. During that precious hour, they can view the diamonds and place sealed bids. Prior to the viewing session, they all receive a limited-edition catalogue that lists each diamond’s data.

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Catalogue Images Copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto

This year’s tender process took place in Hong Kong, New York and Perth, with a closing deadline for bids of October 12th 2016.

The limited-edition collection is said by industry experts to be one of the most impressive in its more than 30 year history, with strong bids coming through to match reflecting excitement in the trade as one of the last ever Argyle Pink Diamond Tenders comes to a close.

Most dealers thus mention repricing their pink goods in Q4 to reflect the underlying strength of this sector of the market, which should reflect itself nicely in further price gains by Q2 of 2017.

Until next time!

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