Even in times of dire financial stress when traditional markets are buckling, diamantaires can always rely on the compact but vibrant 'ultra high net worth' (UHNW) community, upon whom economic trends have little effect. Rapaport, the voice of the global diamond industry, reports that "there are a growing number of super-rich people out there and they are spread across an increasingly diverse geographical landscape."
Rapaport's diamonds.net website says that "simply put, the world's wealthy elite are in a class of their own".
Entry level members must be worth between $30m and $49m. Bottom half members number 185,795 with a combined net worth of $25 trillion, of whom 1,235 are billionaires with a combined net worth of $4.18 trillion. North America maintains the highest concentration of UHNW's membership while Singapore-based Wealth-X magazine forecasts that the UHNW population in Asia-Pacific will surpass Europe's in 2024 and will overtake the US by 2032.
"The willingness of wealthy consumers to spend during tough times, and the overall growing wealth in new emerging regions such as Asia Pacific, contributed to the industry's recovery post 2008, and continues to do so," says Rapaport, noting that the global market for luxury goods rose 8% to $250bn in 2011, while the jewellery segment jumped by 15%. Middle- to high-income earners, a rapidly growing sector in emerging economies, and the core of mature economies, are today's...