Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Diamonds

International purchases of imported raw diamonds totaled US$74.5 billion in 2020.

Beautiful precious gems, diamonds are sparkling crystals with the hardest and maximum thermal conductivity of any natural material. Most natural diamonds are at least 1 billion years old.

The value of globally imported precious metals diamonds fell by -38.4% compared to 2016.

From 2019 to 2020, the dollar amount spent on imported precious metals diamonds dropped by almost a third (down -32%).

The 5 most lucrative global consumer markets for selling imported diamonds totaled almost three-quarters (72.6%) of total import purchases of these brilliant jewels sourced from international markets in 2020. The strongest cashflows for buying imported raw diamonds were generated by: India (21.3% of overall total), United States (16.7%), Hong Kong (15.3%), Belgium (10.7%) and the United Arab Emirates (8.5%).

Among these 5 key markets, the severest year-over-year buying declines were a -42% downtick posted by importers in the United Arab Emirates and a -38.2% drop by buyers in the United States. The most modest reduction was the -23.3% drop in demand from buyers in Belgium.

In addition to serving as status symbols and personal decorative items, diamonds are used in cutting and polishing tools.

By comparing changes in consumer demand for imported diamonds by buyer country, researchers can uncover the most compelling opportunities for selling diamonds on international markets.

Diamonds Are A Consumer Speciality Product

Diamonds satisfy the criteria of a consumer good (also called an end product) created for consumers to buy in its final form as a luxury item to improve their personal appearance. In contrast, products like turbojets are usually purchased by companies or government entities rather than individuals.

Economists classify diamonds as a speciality product, a technical classification for goods that are not as easily accessible as shopping products purchased from a local convenience stores or grocery shops. Diamonds is also defined as a speciality product because they are indisputably durable, lasting for billions of years.

Another speciality attribute is that purchasing diamonds typically requires more time before the consumer makes a buying decision. Plus, as a commodity, diamonds are not bought as often as less expensive items such as food or beverages.

Searchable Table: Imported Diamonds by Country

The sortable table below showcases marketing intelligence for the top 100 buyers of diamonds, ranked in descending order starting with the greatest annual sales amount at the 4-digit Harmonized System (HS) code level. For unset and unmounted diamonds, the HS code prefix is 7102.

Also shown is the percentage of the world’s total purchases of imported diamonds in 2020, as well as the change in those sales from 2019 to 2020.

RankImporterUS$%Total2019-20
1India$15,899,277,00021.3%-27.9%
2United States$12,474,890,00016.7%-38.2%
3Hong Kong$11,412,687,00015.3%-35.6%
4Belgium$7,971,333,00010.7%-23.3%
5UAE$6,346,162,0008.5%-42%
6China$5,944,613,0008%-24.2%
7Israel$3,932,005,0005.3%-16.2%
8Botswana$1,999,731,0002.7%+7.4%
9Switzerland$1,474,505,0002%-38%
10Thailand$1,282,709,0001.7%-36%
11Singapore$876,521,0001.2%-25.9%
12United Kingdom$597,820,0000.8%-67.8%
13France$485,437,0000.7%-46.1%
14Japan$468,058,0000.6%-36.9%
15Italy$436,464,0000.6%-39.3%
16South Africa$387,300,0000.5%-31.2%
17Australia$366,533,0000.5%-13%
18Lebanon$272,114,0000.4%-18.2%
19Canada$259,249,0000.3%-24.1%
20Vietnam$199,137,0000.3%-34.5%
21Germany$183,757,0000.2%-28.8%
22Turkey$121,051,0000.2%-39.8%
23Russia$101,495,0000.1%-40.8%
24Armenia$97,155,0000.1%-35%
25Sri Lanka$83,258,0000.1%-31.2%
26South Korea$81,584,0000.1%+21.7%
27Mexico$75,817,0000.1%-22.3%
28Namibia$75,034,0000.1%-71.4%
29Taiwan$67,734,0000.1%-12.1%
30Malaysia$47,858,0000.1%-49%
31Mauritius$43,190,0000.1%-49.4%
32Cambodia$36,515,0000.05%-33%
33Spain$28,944,0000.04%-31.7%
34Indonesia$27,107,0000.04%-36%
35New Zealand$25,306,0000.03%-6.1%
36Netherlands$24,357,0000.03%-27.9%
37Ireland$18,406,0000.02%-20.8%
38British Virgin Is$17,586,0000.02%+22.3%
39Denmark$15,617,0000.02%+31.6%
40Czech Republic$14,613,0000.02%+25.9%
41Austria$12,975,0000.02%-46%
42Saudi Arabia$12,436,0000.02%+30.8%
43Laos$8,949,0000.01%-48.8%
44Sweden$8,644,0000.01%+1.8%
45Norway$7,833,0000.01%+6.8%
46Poland$7,491,0000.01%-27.8%
47Nepal$6,074,0000.01%-51.3%
48Brazil$5,831,0000.01%-49.6%
49Macao$5,698,0000.01%-16.5%
50Bahrain$5,048,0000.01%+26.5%
51Belarus$4,778,0000.01%+0%
52Morocco$4,737,0000.01%+1.7%
53Greece$4,604,0000.01%-16.3%
54Solomon Islands$3,751,0000.01%+0%
55Cyprus$3,558,0000.005%-13.3%
56Finland$3,139,0000.004%-1.9%
57Egypt$2,669,0000.004%+101.9%
58Panama$1,816,0000.002%-89%
59Portugal$1,791,0000.002%+63.3%
60Slovakia$1,518,0000.002%+66.8%
61Peru$1,363,0000.002%-10.5%
62Jordan$1,288,0000.002%-14.8%
63Dominican Republic$1,186,0000.002%-64.8%
64Ukraine$1,178,0000.002%-69%
65Qatar$1,131,0000.002%+145.9%
66Gibraltar$1,088,0000.001%+74.9%
67Croatia$1,048,0000.001%+7.6%
68Kuwait$983,0000.001%+91.2%
69Malta$913,0000.001%+92.2%
70Tunisia$904,0000.001%-1.8%
71Slovenia$739,0000.001%-46%
72Lithuania$704,0000.001%+87.2%
73Luxembourg$679,0000.001%-26.7%
74Bahamas$676,0000.001%-53.7%
75Honduras$617,0000.001%+20467%
76Andorra$579,0000.001%-41.3%
77Bulgaria$553,0000.001%-91.5%
78Cayman Islands$523,0000.001%-93.2%
79Aruba$519,0000.001%-39%
80Philippines$517,0000.001%-4.4%
81Hungary$493,0000.001%-2.8%
82Serbia$491,0000.001%+27.5%
83New Caledonia$458,0000.001%-5.2%
84Libya$419,0000.001%+0%
85Sierra Leone$364,0000.0005%+46.2%
86Chile$288,0000.0004%+48.5%
87Colombia$261,0000.0004%-56.9%
88Iceland$257,0000.0003%-5.2%
89Kazakhstan$250,0000.0003%+10.1%
90Jamaica$248,0000.0003%-44.3%
91Cameroon$229,0000.0003%+0%
92El Salvador$216,0000.0003%+8.5%
93Estonia$190,0000.0003%+52%
94Bermuda$178,0000.0002%-76.3%
95Antigua/Barbuda$177,0000.0002%+2429%
96Turks/Caicos Is$169,0000.0002%-75.3%
97Central African Rep$152,0000.0002%+0%
98Ghana$130,0000.0002%+0%
99Guatemala$122,0000.0002%+90.6%
100Belize$119,0000.0002%-75.9%

Among the above 100 major markets, 28 countries increased their spending on imported precious metals diamonds. The 8 strongest percentage gains year over year were posted by Honduras (up 20,467%), Antigua and Barbuda (up 2,429%), Qatar (up 145.9%), Egypt (up 101.9%), Malta (up 92.2%), Kuwait (up 91.2%), Guatemala (up 90.6%) and Lithuania (up 87.2%).

Richest Global Markets for Imported Diamonds

Listed below are the key countries that bought imported diamonds in 2020. The scope of this analysis is focused on 30 of world’s richest countries in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person, according to RichestCountryReports.com.

Countries are listed in descending order prioritizing the richest economies in terms of GDP per capita.

  1. Luxembourg: $679,000 (Down -26.7%)
  2. Singapore: $876.5 million (Down -25.9%)
  3. Ireland: $18.4 million (Down -20.8%)
  4. Qatar: $1.1 million (Up 145.9%)
  5. Macao: $5.7 million (Down -16.5%)
  6. Switzerland: $1.5 billion (Down -38%)
  7. Norway: $7.8 million (Up 6.8%)
  8. United States: $12.5 billion (Down -38.2%)
  9. Brunei Darussalam: $13,000 (Down 0%)
  10. Hong Kong: $11.4 billion (Down -35.6%)
  11. Denmark: $15.6 million (Up 31.6%)
  12. Netherlands: $24.4 million (Down -27.9%)
  13. United Arab Emirates: $6.3 billion (Down -42%)
  14. Taiwan: $67.7 million (Down -12.1%)
  15. Iceland: $257,000 (Down -5.2%)
  16. Austria: $13 million (Down -46%)
  17. Germany: $183.8 million (Down -28.8%)
  18. Sweden: $8.6 million (Up 1.8%)
  19. Australia: $366.5 million (Down -13%)
  20. Belgium: $8 billion (Down -23.3%)
  21. Finland: $3.1 million (Down -1.9%)
  22. Canada: $259.2 million (Down -24.1%)
  23. Bahrain: $5 million (Up 26.5%)
  24. France: $485.4 million (Down -46.1%)
  25. Saudi Arabia: $12.4 million (Up 30.8%)
  26. United Kingdom: $597.8 million (Down -67.8%)
  27. South Korea: $81.6 million (Up 21.7%)
  28. Malta: $913,000 (Up 92.2%)
  29. Japan: $468.1 million (Down -36.9%)
  30. New Zealand: $25.3 million (Down -6.1%)

Eight among the above richest economies spent more on imported diamonds from 2019 to 2020, led by double-digit gains by Qatar (up 92.2%), Denmark (up 31.6%), Saudi Arabia (up 31.6%), Bahrain (up 26.5%) and South Korea (21.7%).

Registering the severest annual declines were: United Kingdom (down -67.8%), France (down -46.1%), Austria (down -46%), United Arab Emirates (down -42%) and United States of America (-38.2%).

Top Suppliers for US Imported Diamonds

Trailing only India, the United States of America is the world’s second-biggest market for imported diamonds as measured by total sales. Remarkably, America’s top 3 suppliers (India, Israel, Belgium) accounted for 86.1% of its global purchases of imported diamonds for 2020.

The following countries benefited the most from selling imported diamonds to buyers in the US during 2020.

  1. India: US$6.4 billion (51% of US total)
  2. Israel: $3.4 billion (27.2%)
  3. Belgium: $982.8 million (7.9%)
  4. South Africa: $479.6 million (3.8%)
  5. Switzerland: $305.1 million (2.4%)
  6. Russia: $212.4 million (1.7%)
  7. Botswana: $177.2 million (1.4%)
  8. Namibia: $67.7 million (0.5%)
  9. Australia: $59.4 million (0.5%)
  10. Mauritius: $54.6 million (0.4%)
  11. Lesotho: $45.6 million (0.4%)
  12. Hong Kong: $44.5 million (0.4%)
  13. Canada: $44.1 million (0.4%)
  14. Vietnam: $43.1 million (0.3%)
  15. United Arab Emirates: $40.2 million (0.3%)

Two among the above major suppliers of diamonds increased their sales to America from 2019 to 2020, specifically Lesotho (up 144.5%) and Switzerland (up 37.7%).

The severest annual decreases among America’s key diamond sources were endured by Hong Kong (down -88.6%), United Arab Emirates (down -66.1%), Canada (down -52%) and Israel (down -50.1%).

Diamonds Most Popular Import in This State

New York is the sole American state for which diamonds placed among an individual state’s top 25 imported products. In fact, diamonds represent New York’s third-most valuable import.

In dollar terms, New York state spent $11.2 billion on imported diamonds during 2020.

That dollar amount represents New York’s -38.7% slowdown in import spending for diamonds from 2019 to 2020.

Average Unit Values for US Diamond Imports

The average unit value that American importers paid for diamonds in 2020 from international markets was $1,502 per carat, down by -14.7% from an average $1,760 per carat during 2019.

Below, you will find the average unit values for the top 10 export countries supplying diamonds to importers in the United States during 2020.

  1. India: US$1,124 average per carat (down -11.9% from 2019)
  2. Israel: $3,127 (down -5.3%)
  3. Belgium: $4,737 (down -19.9%)
  4. South Africa: $1,502 (down -1%)
  5. Switzerland: $45,807 (up 72.3%)
  6. Russia: $951 (down -2.6%)
  7. Botswana: $696 (up 43.8%)
  8. Namibia: $1,070 (up 6.5%)
  9. Australia: $999 (up 35.9%)
  10. Mauritius: $3,038 (up 1.7%)

Higher-end diamonds with corresponding costlier average unit values per carat are attributes of US diamonds imported from Switzerland, Belgium, Israel and Mauritius.

Enjoying the fastest increases in unit values per carat paid by buyers in the US for imported diamonds were Switzerland (up 72.3%), Botswana (up 43.8%) and Australia (up 35.9%).

Overall Quantity of US-Imported Diamonds

In terms of overall product quantities in carats, the United States imported a total 8.3 million carats in diamonds during 2020.

The latest annual carat score for diamonds imported into America is a -27.6% slippage from the 11.5 million carats in diamonds that American importers bought in 2019 from international suppliers.

World’s Biggest Diamond Companies

Below you will find the multinational companies that produced the highest amount of diamonds during 2020, as measured in carats. Carat is a unit of measurement for a diamond’s physical weight. One carat equals one fifth of a gram, so that 2,265 carats is the equivalent of one pound or 0.453592 kilograms in diamonds.

  1. ALROSA (Mirny, Russia): 38.5 million carats in 2019
  2. De Beers Group (London, England): 30.78 million carats
  3. Debswana Diamond (Gaborone, Botswana): 23.3 million carats
  4. Rio Tinto Diamonds (London, England): 17.03 million carats
  5. Dominion Diamond (Toronto, Canada): 6.7 million carats

Also shown within brackets is the city which serves as the global headquarters for each mammoth company supplying diamonds on international markets.

Note that a pair of the world’s superior diamond companies are headquartered in London, United Kingdom. However, operations for these major UK companies are located around the world.

See also

More great research: Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Gold, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Perfumes, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Wine, Top Countries for Imports of Beauty & Skincare Cosmetics, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Flowers, Top Markets for Buying Imported Motorcycles by Dollar Value

References

Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

Forbes, The Forbes Global 2000 List.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

NS Energy, Profiling the top five largest diamond mining companies in the world.

Richest Country Reports, Top 50 Richest Countries by GDP per Capita.

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade State Data.

USITC DataWeb, US Merchandise Trade: Imports for Consumption.

Wikipedia, Diamond.

World’s Top Exports, Diamond Exports by Country.

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