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Jeweler: Expect Significant Price Increases For Diamonds

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Intense sparkle may not be the only thing that deserves a double take when it comes to diamonds. Take a look at the price-tag.

Jewelers say you can expect to see price increases ranging from 10 percent to 20 percent depending on the quality of the diamond.

Why the price of diamonds could outperform gold -- and a fashion trend that could save you money.

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but new price hikes show they could become a man's worst nightmare.

"I've seen things happen last year that I would not have believed," said John Sorich, owner of jewelry discounter, Diamond Direct.

Sorich has spent the last 30 years keeping a close eye on market ups and downs.

"We've been in the business since 1981," he said.

He said the latest price increases are some of the most dramatic he's ever seen.

"This diamond right there has gone up about $5,000 in cost," he said, adding that's because the more quality diamonds are the ones increasing the most.

It all goes back to supply and demand, only this time, you have to take a global market into consideration.

"There seems to be more and more people reaching this middle-class level, that once they get there, they become consumers," Sorich said.

India, China and the Middle East make up for 40 percent of global demand.

If you were to buy a three-and-a-half carat ring last year, it would've cost you around $16,000, but thanks to that emerging international market, this year, it'll cost you $19,000.

Sorich said he has no choice but to pass much of the burden onto consumers.

"My percentage of profit that I make on a sale has not changed, but if the cost price does, then of course, the end price is going to be a little bit more expensive for me, as well as the consumer," he said.

The saving grace for jewelers is universally, diamonds given to signify marriage are more about timing for the couple than the market.

"It's more of an emotion, spirit-filled thing between a man and woman, than it is, how much is it going to cost you," he said.

With diamond prices so high, a hot new trend is to buy a gemstone to make up of the bulk of the ring. And then surround it with several smaller diamonds.

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