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As the 2017 edition of International Jewellery London (IJL), the United Kingdom’s premier jewelry and gemstone trade show, closes out its third and final day, observers are taking a a closer look the British market, and how it will it will behave as an independent entity in a post-Brexit environment.
As blog post on IJL’s own website noted on September 1, jewelers in the United Kingdom are facing a mounting challenge when it comes to gold, in part because of bullion prices that have reached to their highest level since U.S. elections last November, and the depressed state of the British pound, which is down 13 percent against the U.S. dollar since the country voted in June last year to leave the European Union. “Uncertainties over Brexit had instilled a mood of caution,” the blog noted. “Some customers may have opted for jewelry repairs instead of buying new items.”
This, however, could we be good news for diamond traders in Britain, with diamond prices have fallen over the past two years to more reasonable levels, and historically being less volatile than those of gold.
In 2016, the United Kingdom was the world’s ninth largest diamond importer, with $2.2 billion worth of shipments registered. This actually was 73 percent lower than the amount one year earlier, but that fall could be accounted almost entirely be the decision by De Beers to shift its rough diamond business to Botswana. In other word, the bulk of diamond being imported into Great Britain today are polished goods, earmarked for sale in local stores.
Even as an independent entity Britain remain a formidable force. Ranked by the World Economic Forum as the world’s fifth largest economy, trailing only the United States, China, Japan and Germany, it is a leading luxury powerhouse in its own right, with 10 of the world’s top 100 companies headquartered on its shores, according to a recent report by Deloitte. Furthermore, its political and financial capital, London, is a favored shopping destination for wealthy consumers from two of the regions known for doing making of their luxury acquisitions abroad, namely China and the Arabian Gulf.
So, while the sun may be setting on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Community, it most probably will shine brightly on the island status as an independent economic entity. For the diamond market, this means the United Kingdom will likely demand more attention as sovereign market, different to its counterparts elsewhere in Europe.
Shows like IJL, which this year featured more than 550 high-end, finished jewelry manufacturers and designers, as well as diamond, loose gemstones and retail services suppliers, will become increasingly prominent.
At this year’s IJL show at the Olympia London on Hammersmith Road in Kensington, MID House of Diamonds is among the largest diamond suppliers represented, with its booth located at C90 on the main floor of the fair. The company’s London office, which is headed by Ruben Babaev, can be contacted at tel: +44-207-404-6060 or email: [email protected].
New Bond Street, London’s most prestigious address for luxury jewelry retailers.