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Coming Christmas Sales: Not Too Many High Hopes

16 november 2009

In view of the coming Christmas sales and ongoing wedding season in India, both of which are major events for the diamond industry, Rough&Polished got in touch with Belgrade, a Colombo-based diamond-trader, to find out how they are getting on. Suresh De Silva, Belgrade's Director, has kindly agreed to answer some of our questions.




Please say a few words about your company and its business.

We are a diamond wholesale company established in 2005 and since then been supplying goods to the local jewellery industry.

Small-size diamonds appear to be one of your strong points. What is your main market for this kind of loose stones?

Yes, as Sri Lanka focuses more on affordable and low-cost jewellery and produces more jewellery using mainly stars and melees, thus giving us the opportunity to stock and trade smaller sized goods which have a greater demand than bigger sizes.

What other diamond goods does your company currently marketing?

Apart from brilliants being the most popular and fast moving we are doing our best to encourage jewelers to divert to and experiment with different shapes such as princess, emerald, oval, pear etc…

Once you said that Belgrade actually means ‘Belgium grade.’ Is there any certification system for your products and are there any problems with this?

Yes, the name ‘Belgrade’ was formulated combining Belgium+grade since Belgium is known for its very fine cut and graded diamonds. Also yes, we have our own certification system based on the GIA grading scale and we have not come across any problem so far.

Is your pricing policy attractive enough to lure Russian buyers?

May be end users, but surely not wholesalers.

Is 2009 better or worse than 2008 for your company? In what way?

I would say it was a bit of a slower year than 2008 mainly due to the economic downturn which everyone had to face.

Were the Diwali festivities in India of any help to boost your company’s business?

Not really since we do our trading locally and that did not have an impact on our company.

Do you think there is a higher demand for rough on the market and what is the driving force behind it?

Yes, surely there is a higher demand and price is the driving factor.

Do you consider this trend to be long-term?

Yes.

How do you evaluate the current prices for rough diamonds – are they fair?

Although I don’t manufacture but I get feedback from my suppliers and according to their comments the prices are not fair at all.

Do you think the key diamond suppliers, ALROSA and De Beers, were consistent in their market policy or not?

Not sure.

Will it be correct to say that the crisis in the diamond industry is over?

It’s not over but on the way to recovery.

In view of the coming year-end holidays what are your company’s plans?

Not too many high hopes. So Belgrade will keep a tight stock control and watch the progress and act accordingly.

Vladimir Malakhov, Rough&Polished