Falling international prices, flagging global demand and the rise of the Australian dollar have caused a sharp drop in the local price of diamonds.
According to the International Diamond Exchange, since peaking in September last year the price of polished diamonds has fallen by almost 16 per cent, with rough diamond prices dropping by about 50 per cent over the same period.
Perth jewellery retailers said a combination of these factors, caused largely by the global financial crisis, had turned the diamond trade into a buyer's market in Australia.
Hope Diamonds owner Julie Reany said customers could expect to save about $10,000 on a four carat diamond. Alan Linney, of Linneys Jewellery, said prices on some stones had fallen by up to 40 per cent since the Australian dollar had risen from about 60¢ into the 90¢ range.
Carbon Diamonds director Dee Taylor advised young lovers thinking of getting engaged to do it quickly.
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