Schnitzer Expects Shortage of Polished Diamonds

Reprinted from National Jeweler
By Bob Bahr
Associate Editor

Ramat-Gan, Israel-Moshe Schnitzer, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute, announced this week that a shortage of certain polished stones is already felt in Israel, and that the shortage will worsen.

The shortage is attributed to rough diamond cutbacks by the Central Selling Organisation, and it particularly affects 30 pointers and up, lower and middle grade stones.

"The cutback is expected to continue at least until the year end," said Schnitzer. "This will undoubtedly also affect polished, both in supplies which will be limited, and in prices which will rise as a result."

The increased demand in this category stems largely from the United States, and Israel is the primary supplier of these stones. Schnitzer also noted the return of Japanese buyers to Israel--a trend that he attributed to dwindling inventories in Japan. The Far East market continues to be weak, according to Schnitzer, yet Israeli diamond exports rose in dollar value by 17% in October '98 compared to October '97.