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   Stoical mood at IJL as worries over global economy drag on
  
By George Appleshaw/September 3, 2008

 LONDON – A mood of caution prevailed among jewellers attending International Jewellery London (IJL) this year amid gloom over the global economic outlook.

Diamond entrepreneur Martin Rapaport underscored the sentiment when he said in a keynote speech to the event: “The diamond industry is undergoing unprecedented risk and uncertainty.”

He advised jewellery businesses to adapt their strategies and add value to their products and services in order to survive and flourish in an increasingly hostile

external economic environment dictated by falling housing and stock markets, mounting debt, and soaring food and fuel prices.

The big question in everyone’s minds was: When will the vital U.S. economy start to recover?

The second question was: Can the emerging markets of China, India, Russia and the Gulf counter the dismal jewellery demand picture in the United States?

The overall feeling was that America is still Number One, and until the American market gets back on track, the whole global jewellery market-place will continue to suffer.