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Smaller stones left out as diamond prices recover

While the overall diamond market is recovering after De Beers SA and PJSC ALROSA cut supply in 2015, the smallest and the lowest-quality gems were left behind, Bloomberg News reported Sept. 28.

The prices of the smallest diamonds were down 15% this year, compared with a 7% rise for all stones.

Petra Diamonds Ltd. CEO Johan Dippenaar partly blamed the price slump for gems smaller than 0.75 carat to a hangover of producer stockpiling, which left a "hefty supply" to sell in the first half.

Meanwhile, consultant Gemdax said manufacturers preferred bigger, higher-quality stones that can be bought and sold faster.

The rise of man-made diamonds also threatens cheaper stones the most, according to the report.

Among small diamonds, fine quality gems outperformed the so-called commercial stones.