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Diamonds Aren't Forever

img_1509One needed to look no further than the Vicenzaoro international jewelry show to see the world economic crisis is truly profound.   Held in Vicenza, Italy the show brings 1,400 exhibitors from around the globe to show off their amazing and quite expensive designs to jewelry buyers.

I attended the event on its last day.   Needless to say I was impressed by the sheer size of the exhibition hall, the elaborate display booths of each of the producers and of course the brilliance of the  gems.  I have never seen so much gold and diamonds in one place and at one time!

A recent Wall Street Journal article polled 52 economists and 73% of that group did not see recovery for another 3-6 years.  New York Times columnist Keith Bradsher wrote a story about how cargo ships are stacking up in massive numbers off Singapore.

I can report that the Vicenza show was missing one major element…buyers.  The corridors of the Fiera di Vicenza were almost vacant.  Exhibitors were either milling about or vacantly staring off into space .  One Italian vendor told me this was the worst show that he had seen in 25 years.

If the elite from around the globe aren’t buying diamonds, what can this mean to the rest of us?  How long do you think it will take for economic recovery to arrive?