Despite growing diamond shortage, East Texas jewelers optimistic

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The world's biggest miner of diamonds, De Beers, says a girl's best friend isn't forever. They are warning the supply of their diamonds is running out so they are scaling back production to preserve their mines. Analysts predict the move could raise the price of rough diamonds.

East Texas jewelers say it is based on supply and demand.

Elliott Herzlich with Elliott's Jewelers says the demand for diamonds has been declining in East Texas.

"People still want to buy that precious person in their life a gift but people are also being more conservative with how they spend their money," said Herzlich.

He says in the recession prices dropped a little. But now some jewelers say those price tags could get a little heavier thanks to De Beers' production cut by eight million carats in 2011.

"If price changes are coming and are imminent it'll start in New York and trickle down to the diamond venders," said Judy Cole with Jim's Jewelers.  "Everything that De Beers does kind of controls what the rest of us do."

"What they're doing is meeting the demands of the world wide economy and by scaling back to meet that demand and it'll come back again," said Herzlich.

Jim's Jewelers say they have already seen price jumps on half and one carat diamonds because of their popularity. They say you can find a better deal if you buy just under a carat, plus you can't tell a difference in the size.

Cole says prices are always fluctuating but she is anxious to hear how this move will affect them.

"Some in our group are overseas right now," said Cole. "They're coming back this weekend so we should hear what the supply was. I'm real curious to hear what they have to say."

Elliott is optimistic about De Beers' move, saying there are plenty of diamonds in the market now. He says their sparkle, meaning, and durability will last a lifetime.

De Beers says new demand in Asia is accelerating the depletion of the world's existing diamond mines. They say supply cannot keep up at the current rate and diamonds must be protected.

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