Importations Of Diamonds Into The United States
( Originally Published 1911 )
FROM 1867—YEARS ENDING JUNE 30.
1867 $ 1,317,420
FOR I0 MONTHS TO APRIL 30,
1910 8,936,112 25,594,018
The foregoing figures do not give an absolutely exact statement of the importations of diamond in all its forms, but it is very close to facts. The items are from data furnished by the customs authorities who tabulate the dutiable and nondutiable items without regard to the precise nature of the articles, and as there have been several changes in the tariff, the various kinds have been shifted and differently combined. Uncut diamonds of the jewel class were first specified by our customs in 1885. From 1890, " rough " includes miners, glaziers and engravers diamonds, and also jewels for watches and clocks up to 1897. Under the same heading all other uncut precious stones not specified, were included prior to 1895. Under " Cut," all precious stones including pearls, and imitation stones were included until 1897. (Imitation stones were included until 1899.) By that time the demand for pearls and what are termed " fancy stones," had grown to be an item of importance. The importations of that class amounted in 1897 to $686,789. Uncut diamonds for jewels were tabulated with " cut " during the operation of the Wilson tariff. Since 1897 " cut " stands for unset cut diamonds only.
The Wilson tariff was passed in 1894; the Dingley tariff in 1897. The amounts given during that interval do not represent all that were imported, but those only which came through the customs ; undoubtedly many were smuggled in. Nor do the amounts in value give an adequate idea of the comparative yearly quantities. So great has been the advance in price that the number of carats imported in 1888 was probably twice that of 1908.
Dust or bort has increased in addition, from $140 in 1869 to $447,575 in 1905. Since then the importations have declined as follows :
Prior to and since the Wilson tariff, rough diamonds were nondutiable and there was and is a duty of ten per cent. on unset cut diamonds. During the Wilson tariff the duty was ten per cent. on rough, and twenty-five per cent. on cut diamonds.