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Diamond & Specialty Minerals Summary for Feb. 16, 2024

2024-02-16 18:31 ET - Market Summary

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by Will Purcell

The diamond and specialty minerals stocks box score on Friday was an upbeat 92-75-143 although the TSX Venture Exchange rose four points to 556. The dikes held for a second week according to Paul Zimnisky's global rough diamond price index. Oh, he did nudge the index downward 0.1 point to 148.7, but last week's setting of 148.8 remained intact. (All the data perhaps arrived on time this month, or perhaps the tardy information confirmed the earlier trend.)

Even so, current prices compare poorly with nearly all earlier values. Mr. Zimnisky's index is a full 28.3 per cent below its all-time high of 207.3 points, set exactly two years ago, and most of the drop occurred over the past year: Mr. Zimnisky's index set an all-too-brief high of 185.9 in early March -- the climax to the usual after-the-holiday restocking rush. Since then, prices are down by 20 per cent.

Ten years ago, rough diamond prices were higher than today. Mr. Zimnisky then pegged his index at 174.2 points, well below the then all-time high of 2011 that followed the Great Recession. Then, diamond promoters and analysts were united in their belief that rough prices would surely begin a new, never-ending surge. They were so sure that prices would soar that they built revenue escalators into their economic studies -- in some cases assuming rough diamond prices would outstrip inflation by a few percentage points each year for decades.

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