Demand for blue diamonds increased substantially in 2016, resulting in a 0.4 percent increase in the Fancy Color Diamond Index, the latest data collected by the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) revealed.
The increase was driven by price hikes for blue and pink diamonds of 5.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, and offset by a 4.0 percent decline in prices of yellow diamonds.
According to the wholesale pricing data collated by the FCRF, prices for fancy colour diamonds remained unchanged on average in the fourth quarter of 2016. The overall trends were similar to the ones identified in the first three quarters. For more than 18 months, transactional data has pointed to two clear pricing trends: Consistent demand-driven price increases for blue fancy colour diamonds, partially offset by continued price declines in lower-cost, commercial yellow fancy colour diamonds.
Prices of blue diamonds increased 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 while pink diamond prices remained largely unchanged. Prices of yellow diamonds declined by 1.4 percent. Overall, prices in the fancy colour diamond category were slightly down during Q4, while prices of white diamonds decreased significantly during the same period, as a result of the India liquidity crisis.
The strongest price performers during Q4 2016 were the fancy vivid blue in the 10-carat, 1-carat and 2-carat categories, appreciating by 5.6 percent, 4.8 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively. On the other hand, price declines between 1 percent and 2 percent were identified across most yellow categories, including fancy, intense and vivid. Nevertheless, rare yellow diamonds (namely unique intense and vivid yellow) did not see price declines.
The Fancy Color Diamond Index is calculated based on live pricing inputs from a large sample of the world’s leading traders of fancy colour diamonds in Asia, the US and the Middle East. The Index is published by FCRF, a non-profit organisation, and tracks pricing data for yellow, pink and blue fancy colour diamonds.
“Blue fancy colour diamond prices are at their all-time peak due to a combination of very thin supply and a healthy demand. Overall, high-quality, and well-cut vivid blues and pinks do not exist in sufficient volume to create price stability,” FCRF advisory board chairman Jim Pounds commented. “Highly saturated yellow rough diamonds, especially vivids, have recently achieved high prices in tenders, likely representing improved demand that will impact prices.”