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Israel Fancy Colours Fare Well
Israel's fancy coloured diamond companies experienced a positive trend in 2010 , reports Iris Hortman, Information Officer, Israeli Diamond Institute.
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 4 2011 12:41PM
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Reference: 5968  

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In recent years a new niche market has opened up in Israel – trading in natural coloured diamonds. A readily available supply coupled with high demand in the consumer market has prompted more and more Israeli companies to trade in the coveted pink and yellow diamonds. We approached these companies to discover how the year 2010 had passed for them. From our conversation, it turns out that these companies haven't been left out of the general positive trend seen in the diamond sector in 2010, and that coloured diamonds continue to appeal to consumers.

Leibish and Co. trade in natural coloured diamonds in a variety of hues and sizes. The company specialises in pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia and in yellow diamonds of all sizes up to 20 carats. The company also manufactures unique jewellery in designs that incorporate diamonds from its own stocks.

CEO Yossi Polnauer says: "While the wholesale market was pretty stable in 2010, without any special incidents, we saw a very impressive growth in sales in the private market via our website. We checked and found that the number of visitors to our site grew 61 per cent in 2010 compared to the number of visitors in 2009. We believe that there are a number of reasons for this increase: a massive presence on social networks like Facebook; presence in professional forums and blogs in the diamond and jewellery sectors and our entry into the jewellery market.”

"In recent years we've noted that there tends to be market demand for finished products and not just polished diamonds. Last year we decided to rise to the challenge and offer our customers the opportunity to design their own jewellery. After choosing the diamond and determining a budget for the piece of jewellery, the customer – working in full co-operation with our jewellery designer, Havi Yitzhakov, designs the jewel of his / her dreams step-by-step. This process has left our customers highly satisfied, as a result of which we're now working to expand our jewellery design and manufacturing department. We definitely see this field as an area of development and growth, since many people are looking for unique statement jewellery – something out of the ordinary – which they can find at Leibish and Partners."

Do you feel that the market is recovering, and what are your company's expectations for this year?

"During the past year it was visible that confidence was coming back into the market and people were buying more, because they believed in the merchandise. This was also seen in the prices of Vivid and Intense Fancy yellow diamonds. Pink diamonds also gained strength, especially the Argyle pink stones, due to a lack of merchandise and the rumours that the mine would close in the next few years.”

"We believe that the trend towards recovery will also continue this year in the field of natural fancy coloured diamonds, especially the rare colours that attract collectors and investors who are tired of the stock market and are looking to diversify their portfolio with something stable that not only keeps its value but also has proven appreciation over the years."

Roni Zarfati and Elad Zohar, owners of Reddiam, say that the financial crisis in the US prompted them to turn towards the eastern markets. Reddiam deals with the import, manufacture, and export of diamonds from half a point to 10 carats in size in a variety of cuts and colours, and specialises in coloured diamonds.

"Because of the financial crisis, we decided to sell more pink diamonds, which are increasing in popularity in Asia. Our main difficulty this past year was obtaining rough merchandise – the demand outpaced the supply,” explains Zarfati.

Turning to the coming year, he continues, “We predict that the recent rise in colourless diamond prices will affect fancy diamonds and there will be a corresponding increase in prices. We hope that this year we'll be able to meet the demand."

Dor Diamonds (S.A. Fogel) also deals in pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia. Uri Fogel, Deputy CEO, explains what the company devoted much of its time to in 2010. "Last year we were busy expanding our personal connection with our customers via the Internet, Skype, Facebook, etc. However, despite all the technological tools, we don't forget that - at the end of the day - its people we're dealing with.”

As for the future, Fogel explains, “In 2011 we intend to keep expanding our connections inside the sector. In light of globalisation and the world market changes, co-operation and innovation are the obvious solutions. Along with our speciality of coloured diamonds, we will develop our secondary specialisation – matching pairs of high-quality pear-cut diamonds and round colourless diamonds. Personally, I intend to promote business and public action for the good of the local industry as a whole."

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