Merchandising: Diamonds Are A Dealer's Best Friend

They stored diamonds in milk cans in South Africa during the Depression —who could afford them? But now more than 40 million American women wear diamonds, and last year Americans bought about $400 million worth of the precious stones. Last week, at their biennial convention in Manhattan, members of the World Federation of Diamond Exchanges predicted that U.S. diamond sales would rise at least another 10% this year, and they looked forward to continued scarcity. Says Amsterdam's Louis Asscher, former chairman of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association: "There won't be any queuing up at Tiffany's or Cartier's, but good...

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