Mumbai: A large group of international diamond manufacturers and traders have come together in search of an independent, transparent, innovative third party operated polished diamond trading and buying platform, for diamond traders and retail jewelers word-wide. The initiative was born on March 20, 2020, immediately after the Rapaport Group (RG), which operates the diamond industry’s leading polished trading diamond platform and price index system, unilaterally adjusted prices downwards for about 95 percent of the categories listed in the round and fancy polished diamond price index of March 20, with an average of five to seven percent, across the board. The RG’s unilateral adjustment of its price index caused an unparalleled uproar in the global diamond trade. The group published an open letter to the industry, which is printed below.
Consequently, the diamond traders listed below jointly announced that they would use the RG’s polished diamond price index as published on March 6, 2020, as a reference point until a new, independent, non-biased and transparent alternative would be presented to the diamond industry.
Meanwhile, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) announced that a state-of-the-art, “cross-bourse” trading platform is under development (www.get-diamonds.com). It will very soon be available for the diamond industry and trade at large. Speaking on behalf of the WFDB, Yoram Dvash, President of the Israel Diamond Exchange, advised – in a letter sent to the trade – that those who wish to post their stocks elsewhere in the interim could do so on the trading platform of Get Diamonds.
The group of diamantaires who initiated the drive for an alternative trading platform began organizing their initiative on Friday, March 20, using social media channels such as WhatsApp and Instagram. Within hours, diamond traders and manufacturers from the major diamond trading hubs – Mumbai, Antwerp, Tel Aviv, New York, and Dubai – came together, sharing their grievances and objections to the RG’s newly published round and fancy polished diamond price index. The arguments voiced by participants in the online discussions were, among others, that over the years, the RG has operated the trade’s leading price index system in a non-transparent manner and had dictated polished diamond prices, revising them upwards or downwards, without offering any guidance, let alone explaining the rationale or mechanism that lies behind its decision-making process. The current slow trade of polished diamonds is the direct result of the crippling effects of sovereign nations under total lockdown, not by supply and demand fundamentals. Therefore, the latest polished diamond prices published by the RG do not reflect trading prices in the global wholesale diamond market.
The group members consequently resolved to remove their polished diamond inventories from the platform, stating that as a collective, they no longer wish to depend on the RG’s trading platform and price index. They meanwhile are posting their stocks on other existing platforms.