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cheaper diamonds

China’s burgeoning middle class is buying diamonds so quickly that the price of massmarket stones is rising faster around the world than the cost of topquality jewels affordable only to the superrich.

Prices for a one carat internally flawless "top white" diamond have gained about seven per cent in two years, while a stone of similar size and colour with slight imperfections jumped 24 per cent, according to consultant PolishedPrices.com data.

"The Chinese consumer’s fascination with luxury goods has grown dramatically, along with their pockets," said Angelito Tan, founding partner of Robert, Tan & Gao, a consulting firm on luxury market strategy with offices in Shanghai and Beijing.

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