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Jewelry Group Aurum Increases Sales after Watch Shop Takeover

RAPAPORT… Positive mood at important Hong Kong show which is exceeding seller expectations. Dealer and
retailer demand is price sensitive with strong focus on SI-I1 goods for the
U.S. market and top grade 3X cut quality. Manufacturers maintaining reduced
(-30%-50%) polished production through Nov. Diwali season. ALROSA cuts rough
prices 8%-10%, allows 50% deferrals at Sept. sale. Dominion 2Q revenue -24% to
$210M, loss of $19M vs. profit of $27M a year earlier. Gem Diamonds sells
357ct. Letšeng rough diamond for $19M (~$54,000/ct.). India’s Aug. polished
exports -8% to $1.8B, rough imports -22% to $610M. UAE appointed 2016 Kimberley
Process chair.

Fancies: Demand soft. Pears, Ovals and Cushions steady, Princess, Hearts slow.
Prices for curves improving slightly. U.S. demand supporting market for
commercial-quality fancies, especially for sizes under 1-carat. Far East fancy
demand weak. Buyers are very selective and insisting on excellent-shape
proportions. Significant price differentials between excellent- and average-cut
fancies. Off-make, poorly-cut fancies illiquid and very hard to sell, even at
very deep discounts.

United States: Trading activity was
subdued in the Diamond Dealers Club of New York with most businesses closedMonday
and Tuesday for the Jewish New Year. The local trade is waiting to gauge price
and demand trends at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair this week. There is
steady demand for commercial-quality SI-I2 clarity goods in most sizes and an
overall shortage of piqué goods for the U.S. market. Retail sales are slowly
improving after the seasonal August slump with a strong emphasis on engagement
and bridal lines before the holiday season starts.

Belgium: Antwerp was also quiet
due to the Jewish New Year and with many dealers in Hong Kong. Opinion was undecided
at press time whether the show will signal an improvement in Far East demand
and trigger better global trading. Dealers were encouraged by the improvement in
Antwerp trading and sentiment since the beginning of September. Rough trading
remains cautious on news that ALROSA reduced prices by up to 10 percent at this
week’s ‘Alliance’ sale.

Hong Kong: Initial reports signaled
that the show was better than expected in the opening two days. There was
steady traffic although fewer Chinese and Indian buyers were reportedly in
attendance than in previous years. Indian buyers are expected to travel to the
show over the weekend following the completion of the Jain festival of
Paryushan. Overall, the show has helped lift the mood in the local trade after
a prolonged slow period. Still, expectations are mixed for jewelry sales during
the upcoming October Golden week.

India: Local trading was slow
during Paryushan, which ran from September 10 to 17. Fewer dealers traveled to
the Hong Kong show because of the festival but some are expected to make the
trip over the weekend. There were also very few overseas buyers in Mumbai this
week with the trade squarely focused on the show. Suppliers are still holding
fairly large inventory of lower-quality diamonds that are not easy to move,
while there are shortages of in-demand items such as nice piqué goods for the
U.S. market. Manufacturers are keeping their polished production at low levels
and are not expected to increase output before the Diwali festival break in
mid-November. There is stable demand for 1-carat to 1.50-carat, D-H, VS-SI, triple
EX diamonds, while demand remains weak for 0.30-carat to 0.40-carat, D-H, VS-SI
goods. Rough trading is subdued with dealers waiting to gauge the effect of this
week’s ALROSA sale, and reported price adjustments, on the market.

Israel: Like
in New York and Antwerp, Ramat Gan trading was quiet with the bourse closed for
the Jewish New Year holiday. Fewer Israelis exhibited at the Hong Kong show
than in past years but there is still a sizeable delegation in the Israel Diamond
Institute’s pavilion. There’s been steady demand for large diamonds above
4-carat, D-H, VVS-SI, triple EX, while trading has been largely focused on
filling U.S. orders. Dealers note a shortage of nice SI-clarity goods on the

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