Diamonds, Not Luxury in China?

on February 5 2014 | in Jewelry & Watches | by | with No Comments


One diamond merchant wants to convince Chinese buyers that diamonds are not really luxury goods.

Given the current unfriendly environment in China towards luxury, one challenge diamond miners face is convincing the Chinese that buying a diamond will not land them in hot waters with authorities, according to Forbes.

Johan Dippenaar, chief executive of Petra Diamonds, which operates four diamond mines in South Africa and one in Tanzania, wants to market affordable diamonds to the Chinese. The company deals in a broad array of gems, including low-priced gems valued between $200 and $2000 per carat, which are considered  “affordable jewelry” or “mass luxury”.

China has been dominated by traditional suppliers such as De Beers and Alrosa of Russia, but Dippenaar expects to grow its share of the Chinese diamond market and will likely leverage its lower-valued gems to capture a broader base of consumers in China.

Petra expects to produce three million carats of diamond a year, most of them will go to the US, which is the world’s largest market for diamonds, followed by China, which is the fastest growing market.

Last month, Petra also uncovered a 29.6 carat blue diamond in its South Africa mine. This large gem would normally be headed to Hong Kong or Shanghai but will likely go to New York instead.


image credit: kim alaniz, reuters

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