By Michelle Graff
Rapaport Group noted in its monthly report for October that De Beers and Alrosa have seen “strong sales growth” this year, with second-half gains made possible by weak comps in the second half of 2015. (Photo courtesy of De Beers)
New York--Prices for 1-carat, half-carat and 0.3-carat diamonds fell in October, as the middle of the pipeline remains sufficiently stocked with goods to meet retail demand, according to the Rapaport Group.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 1-carat Gemological Institute of America-graded diamonds fell 2 percent between September and October, and half-carat prices also were down 2 percent.

Prices for 0.3-carat diamonds slipped 0.5 percent.

Three carats was the only size to show a positive price trend in October, with the RAPI showing a 1 percent increase.

Year-to-date, 1-carat diamond prices are down 4 percent, and they are down 3 percent when compared with the same period last year, according to the RAPI.

In its monthly report, Rapaport noted that trading was quiet in the beginning of the fourth quarter due to the Jewish holidays in October, with similar conditions expected this month as Indian factories shut down for Diwali.

Going forward into the holiday season, polished trading will be stable, as dealers work to fill last-minute orders for the holiday season.

Polished prices are expected to remain under pressure, as consumer holiday demand worldwide is not expected to be great enough to necessitate significant restocking across the diamond pipeline.

On the rough side, demand is expected to remain relatively muted in the final months of the year because manufacturers have enough polished inventory and much of the rough bought in the third quarter has yet to be processed.

Regarding the holiday season ahead, Rapaport said it expects moderate growth in U.S. jewelry sales; in its report last month, Rapaport said the holiday season in the United States is “not expected to be stellar.”

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