The global demand for diamonds is slumping right now—so much so that de Beers has cut prices for its rocks. But don’t start salivating over the deals, deals, deals just yet.

Bloomberg Businessweek says that, according to their sources (who spoke anonymously because the info wasn’t public), de Beers has chopped diamond prices for wholesale buyers as much as 9 percent “after production cuts failed to support demand for the precious stones.” The outlet explains:

De Beers and other diamond producers are under pressure to cut supply and lower prices as traders, cutters and polishers struggle to turn a profit amid a squeeze on credit and languishing jewelry sales. De Beers had sought to support the diamond market by reducing production rather than prices.

“The industry is in a very precarious position, it could go either way,” said Kieron Hodgson, an analyst at Panmure Gordon in London. “De Beers have recognized that and responded.”

The opaque and complex nature of the international diamond business is enough to make your head swim, but suffice it to say that this does not necessarily mean Kay Jewelers will be holding a wonderful Labor Day sale for Average Joe buyers.

What it does mean is that it’s a not-fun time to be a diamond producer. See all the screechy charts in this Business Insider summary, which says that prices have been on the decline for five years thanks to falling demand. The slump in oil prices put a hurting on Russia’s superrich, for instance, and of course China’s stock market has really shit the bed in the last couple of days, sending the Dow (temporarily) plummeting. Hence de Beers looking a little tense.

Anyway, stipulating that we do all lose our charms in the end, maybe it’s time to find a new best friend.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

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