Rapaport Press Release: Polished Trading Cautious Despite China Boost

1ct. RAPI down 0.1% in February

LAS VEGAS--()--Diamond trading was quiet in February as the trade prepared for the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, which ran from March 1 to 5.

The market is segmented. Small goods are doing better than those over 0.50 carats. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 0.30-carat polished rose 3.5% during February, stimulated by a supply decline in the past year and a revival in Chinese demand.

RAPI for 1-carat diamonds slid 0.1% during the month and 21.7% year on year. Steady demand for VVS clarity in the RAPI category range offset weakness in VS. There were also sharp declines in SI goods.

RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI)


Jan. 1, 2023, to Mar. 1, 2023

Year on year
Mar. 1, 2022, to Mar. 1, 2023

RAPI 0.30 ct.




RAPI 0.50 ct.




RAPI 1 ct.




RAPI 3 ct.




© Copyright 2023, Rapaport USA Inc.

Dealers were cautious due to lingering US economic uncertainty. Retail jewelers have not replenished inventory as they usually do in the first quarter. However, Valentine’s Day shopping boosted US jewelry sales, which climbed 6.5% year on year in January, according to Mastercard.

The focus shifted to the Far East after China lifted its Covid-19 restrictions and reopened its borders. While consumer spending is taking time to resume, jewelers expect a release of pent-up demand in the coming months.

Suppliers have increased discounts — particularly for 1-carat and larger goods — to encourage Chinese buyers at the show, reduce excess inventory and improve liquidity. Many exhibitors still left the show disappointed.

The rough market was steady in February as the drop in Alrosa supply prompted shortages. Factories are gradually raising polished production after a prolonged period of low output, anticipating better demand in the year’s second half. De Beers raised prices on small rough for the second month in a row. Prices have also increased at auctions. New sanctions that the G7 nations intend to impose on Russian-origin diamonds will likely stimulate demand for non-Russian supply.

Sentiment was ultimately mixed in February. Despite the prevailing caution, polished trading is expected to improve as Chinese buyers gain confidence and US retail gains momentum.


Rapaport Media Contacts: media@rapaport.com
US: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
International: Avital Engelberg +1-718-521-4976


Rapaport Media Contacts: media@rapaport.com
US: Sherri Hendricks +1-702-893-9400
International: Avital Engelberg +1-718-521-4976