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US diamond sales lose a lot of sparkle

Commodities
Geneva - In the diamond industry, the only place that really matters is the US, and that market is starting to look a little shaky.

In a country where consumers buy almost half the world’s gems, Tiffany & Co and Signet Jewellers are reporting disappointing sales. That’s a blow to expectations that President Donald Trump’s pro-business policies would give consumers more money to spend on luxury items such as diamonds.

“There’s been a deterioration of sentiment around the US,” said Anish Aggarwal, a partner at consultant Gemdax in Antwerp.

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“The projected demand bounce expected from Trump’s election hasn’t materialised.”

The US has been a bright spot in the diamond industry, expanding its market share in the past five years.

Read also: De Beers has biggest diamond sale in a year

American demand rose 5 percent to a record $39 billion (R501.24 billion) in 2015, offsetting much of a contraction in the rest of the world.

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