COVID-19 and Its Impact on the Global Diamond Industry

It is beyond all doubt that there is no sector that has been unaffected in one way or the other since the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the prevalence of the virus is one that swept across the globe, it has greatly impacted the import and export industry, the mining sector, and most importantly, as we are concerned with, the global diamond trade.

In the majority of the regions where diamonds are mined, a lot of the locals and migrant workers have not been working consistently as before due to the stay-at-home requirements. In locations that are epicenters for the Coronavirus pandemic, cutting and polishing of diamonds has even stopped altogether. The activities of mining and manufacturing of diamond jewelry in India which happens to be the world’s largest manufacturer of diamonds have been affected drastically in the past months. And with Maharashtra state imposing a lockdown, most companies are closed down and a lot of staff has been asked to remain home.

Not long ago, the Hong Kong government announced that their diamond retail sector had been greatly affected and that the effects might still remain for some time to come. Most of the revenue from the diamond trade in the country comes from tourists who travel around the world to see and buy amazing collections of diamond jewelry. Although the revenue for diamond trade has doubled that of last year, the impact is still greatly felt. With the Hong Kong International Jewelry Show and Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem, and Pearl Show coming up later in July, the nation can only fold its hand and watch how its tourism influx will be affected by the global crisis.

Some diamond mining or diamond receiving regions of the world that are embracing strict COVID-19 measures have allowed their import and export sector to remain active. Yet, diamond trade in these regions is still being massively affected. As people no longer have reasons to attend outings like before due to restrictions on gatherings, there is a lesser need and in turn a lesser demand for jewelry. The Jewelers of America (JA) have announced that the 19th annual GEM Awards will take place virtually this year. The Jewelers of America National Convention will also follow immediately and will as well be held virtually. Virtual meetings like these are a drawback for a world of auctions and sales like that of the diamond industry. Traders can only patiently wait for all restrictions to be lifted and for transactions to be back to normal.

With the demand for diamonds drastically reduced, prices for the diamond have greatly plummeted and miners, as well as manufacturers, are concerned about their source of living and the fate of their mines in years to come.

However, it appears that some lone investors are taking advantage of the situation by buying quality diamonds at a bulk rate, since the prices have plummeted. While some think this is a very reasonable thing to do, others have expressed that fear that this may result in hoarding and hiked prices in the nearest future.

The future is bright, however, and the pandemic might be the platform for the diamond industry shooting up again after a very deep dump. Since the discovery of a vaccine and more proactive measures to curb the spread of the virus, trade experts have been optimistic that the diamond industry will come back even stronger and that there will be more demand for diamonds than ever before.

A peep into recent statistics has shown that jewelry sales in the US have up-scaled compared to the statistics of 2019 and 2020 sales. Mining sites are reopening, more auction sales are coming up and jewelry cutters are even getting us dazzled with more and more breathtaking diamond cuts and sets. What this speaks is that no matter what happens, the value that people place on jewelry and specifically, diamonds may never wane. And more than that, the whole world is hopeful that fate has shone brightly on us again and the Coronavirus is already fast heading towards its last days, just like many other pandemics that have come and gone.

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