Arriving at Antwerp’s splendid 19th century Central Station, with its marble staircases, iron and glass vaulted ceiling and gilded details, shoppers visiting Antwerp are filled with high expectations about the jewelry boutiques awaiting them in the world’s diamond capital. For years these expectations were quickly dashed, as consumers were confronted with myriad uninviting and less-than-reputable jewelry shops once they left the station. Where to turn?
De Beers Group’s latest announcement is the creation of De Beers Ventures, a separate platform which considers the acquisition of minority equity stakes in start-ups and growth companies related to the Group's core business.
In November 2016, Reuters reported that an Italian market regulator Consob was investigating the sale of high-quality investment diamonds through bank branches across the country after a TV report alleged the stones were mis-sold to the public. Several Italian banks distribute diamonds for diamond brokers, generating around 300 million euros ($334 million) in sales for the brokers last year.
Canadian junior miner Peregrine Diamonds has completed final preparations for the 2017 work program at its 100%-owned Chidliak Diamond Project near Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Core drilling at the CH-6 pipe, slated to commence on July 5, will further delineate the kimberlite, with the objective of expanding the high grade CH-6 resource to a depth of 500 metres below surface. The current depth of the Inferred Resource in the 2016 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) is 260 metres.
Jeweller Harry Winston purchased the "Rockefeller Emerald", a flawless 18.04-carat Colombian emerald, for more than $5.5 million at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction.
Sarine Technologies introduced the latest version of its rough planning software tool, AdvisorTM 7.0, which has the capability to fully atomize the rough planning process. This version includes several new and enhanced features designed to enable diamond manufacturers to, “further streamline the planning process and optimize the polished yield”.
China's Fosun International has increased its offer for UK gemstone miner and Fabergé owner Gemfields to $323 million (£256 million), and Gemfields is encouraging its minority shareholders to accept the takeover bid despite considering it unreasonable, in order to avoid an even more “derisory” buyout bid from its largest shareholder, Pallinghurst Resources. Last month, South African private equity group Pallinghurst made an unsolicited offer of 37.1p per share for the 62 per cent of Gemfields that it does not already own, offering investors no premium on the gemstone miner’s share price. In
Online coupon search site and retail trend analyst CouponFollow recently released The Millennial Shopping Report, tracking the behavior of those born between 1982 and 1996, who now constitute "the largest generation in human history", with over 80 million members in the U.S. alone. CouponFollow claims that Millennials spend $600 billion annually and are, "poised to inherit $30 trillion from their Baby Boomer parents"; they already account for 28% of all daily per-person consumer spending, and it is suggested that could rise to 35% by 2030.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) is opening the Diamond Tech Innovation Center, "a technological incubator for Israeli and international diamond-related start-ups" in the initial stages of development. The driving ideas behind this initiative is to promote "new technologies for diamonds in the broadest sense, reaching beyond gems and jewelry." This includes the use of diamonds in industrial platforms, robotics, semi-conductors, medical technologies, space technology, as well as software, finance, and B2B and B2C marketing platforms.
De Beers sold $530 million worth of rough diamonds at the fifth sales cycle of 2017 (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales), marking a 1.5% increase over Cycle 4 ($522 million) and a 6% drop from Cycle 5 in 2016.
Canadian junior miner Kennady Diamonds has announced "positive" diamond recovery results from sampling from the Faraday 3 and Faraday 1 kimberlites on its Kennady North Project, including the largest high-quality diamonds to date on the project, with a 7.78ct white gem-quality stone as well as numerous diamonds exceeding one carat. The samples were collected during the winter 2017 program that was designed to further delineate both kimberlites as well as to recover sufficient carats from Faraday 3 for valuation. The company summarizes the most relevant results as follows:
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Co. earned US$0.95 million (A$1.25 million) from a parcel of 1,236 carats at their fifth sale in 2017 of rough diamonds from the Lulo Project in Angola. This represents an average price of US$770 (A$1,013) per carat, and brings their total 2017 sales to US$15.4 million (A$20.3) at an average price of US$1,620 (A$2,132) per carat.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds in May increased 3.67% year-over-year to US$2.05 billion from US$1.98 bn in the same month a year earlier, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). For the fiscal year to date (April-May 2017), polished exports are up a single percentage point at US$3.8 billion. Rough imports during the month were up 22.5% in value terms at US$1.86 billion compared to US$1.52 billion imported during the previous May. Rough imports have increased 5% for the first two months of the year.
Diamond expert, industrialist and industry analyst Ehud Arye Laniado takes an incisive look at the value proposition of synthetic diamonds, taking their producers and marketers to task on their main selling points. Reprinted in full with the permission of the author.
Indian diamond manufacturers, brokers and merchants in the manufacturing center in Surat have unanimously decided to shut the industry for a day on June 17, demanding exemption of the polished diamonds from the 3% Goods and Service Tax (GST), writes The Times of India (TOI). They have formed a committee to lead the protest against the GST council's decison to impose 3% GST on polished diamonds and 18% GST on diamond trading.
The South African government has raised the minimum threshold for black ownership of mining companies to 30 percent in a surprise move that weakened the rand and knocked shares in the London-quoted mining groups Anglo American and Petra Diamonds. Shares in Anglo American have fallen sharply after South Africa announced changes to its mining regulations. They dropped 57p, or more than 5 percent to £10 after South Africa’s mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane said miners have to raise their black-owned stakes to 30% from 26% under a revised version of its mining charter.
Rapaport News has obtained a letter from De Beers to its clients informing them that they will close its auction-sales office in Dubai due to declining demand from local companies. According to the letter, De Beers will terminate its Dubai rough auctions on July 31, meaning De Beers will no longer display rough diamonds there from the year’s sixth sales cycle onward.
Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange (SDiX), the world's first commodity exchange in physically settled diamonds, has announced a partnership with Kynetix, a physical commodity digitisation expert, and Everledger, supplier of blockchain and distributed ledger infrastructure, to complete the first part of a Proof-Of-Concept of a blockchain-based authentication and secure record-keeping service for trading diamonds on a global commodity exchange. The technology is designed to enable holders of diamonds wi
The world’s largest and most advanced diamond exploration and sampling vessel, the mv SS Nujoma, is ready to start exploring for diamond deposits in Namibian waters, following its official inauguration today, writes De Beers in a press release.
Thursday June 8, the US House of Representatives approved legislation to erase a number of core financial regulations put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, as Republicans moved a step closer to delivering on their promises to eliminate rules that they claim have strangled small businesses and stagnated the economy, writes the New York Times.
ALROSA President Sergey Ivanov and Executive Chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Ahmed Bin Sulayem agreed upon enhancing cooperation in diamond trade, according to a press release from ALROSA distributed on Wednesday. At a working meeting in ALROSA’s headquarters in Moscow, Ivanov and Sulayem discussed options for expanding ALROSA’s trading activities at the Dubai Diamond Exchange, a trading platform within DMCC. The parties also agreed to step up fight against undeclared synthetic diamonds.
Dominion Diamond Corporation has announced an auction of fancy rough diamonds in cooperation with I. Hennig Tenders. The auction viewings will take place in Israel, New York, and Antwerp. The auction will commence with viewings in Israel from June 18-21, 2017; New York from June 26-28, 2017; and will conclude in Antwerp from July 3-7, 2017. Participation in the viewings and the auction is by appointment only.
Botswana Diamonds, a junior diamond exploration company focusing on Botswana and South Africa, has recovered 223 microdiamonds from 160kg of kimberlite drill core from the Frischgewaagt Project, located in South Africa. These results were modelled to an estimated grade range of 20 to 270 carats per hundred tons ("cpht") at a bottom cut off of 0.6 mm, with the largest stone being a white transparent crystal diamond falling in the -1.18+0.85 mm sieve.
London-listed gemstones miner and Fabergé owner Gemfields said it has received an offer for the company from Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. Fosun made an initial proposal regarding a possible cash offer for the British precious stones miner, thereby emerging as a rival to Pallinghurst, whose recent takeover bid was considered to "significantly undervalue" the company. Gemfields said it was, “actively engaged in discussions with Fosun Gold regarding a possible competing offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of the company.”
On Monday June 12, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) welcomed eight participants for a two-week course in rough diamond valuation: the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program". The course originates from the commitment of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which coordinates requests for Technical Assistance on behalf of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) in the framework of the KP. The participants work for KP authorities in four countries: Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) will unveil two new organizations at a jewelry workshop in Italy this week on the technical and commercial impact of synthetic diamonds on the jewelry industry. Firstly, the IGI Italy Association, which will represent the Antwerp-based laboratory’s operations in Italy, combines the five territorial districts involved in implementing IGI’s School of Gemology programs in Italy. Secondly, the IGI Italy Alumni Association will also be introduced at the workshop.
Candian miner Dominion Diamond Corp. reports an 18% surge in revenue in fiscal Q1 (three months ended April 30, 2017), which the company attributes to mining the high-grade Misery Main pipe at the Ekati mine, coupled with with stable production at the Diavik mine. Consolidated carats recovered increased 17% to 2.15 million from 1.83 million carats in Q1 fiscal 2017. Dominion sold fewer carats than in the same period last year - 2.3 million compared to 2.6 million - but the average price per carat increased to $90 from $69.
De Beers today announced that on June 29 it will continue to broaden its portfolio of services by holding its first auction featuring third party exceptional diamonds via the De Beers Auction Sales platform; this is the same day as the first auctions of De Beers Group’s own polished diamonds, manufactured directly from its own rough. The separate auctions will be held back-to-back, allowing buyers to source all polished on one day. De Beers Auction Sales will grant access to its expertise, technology and distribution network to undertake sourcing and sales of polished stones.
Much to the relief of the gold jewelry and diamond processing industry, the government has made some changes to the previously announced goods and services tax (GST) rate structure, slashing the applicable rate from 18% to 5% for certain categories of goods and services - and importantly, manufacturing - related to the gem and jewelry industry. The Council’s earlier decision of 18% was met with much discontent among jewelry manufacturers, who called it impractical and likely to cause immense job losses, as well as increasing the burden on the end consumer. The new tax kicks in from July 1.
Mountain Province Diamonds - a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine - today announced that CEO Patrick Evans has left the company, and has appointed David Whittle as interim president and CEO. According to a company statement, Evans' departure was a mutual decision. Evans served as CEO of Mountain Province for 11 years, and will continue as a director of the company as well as provide assistance to facilitate the transitional period.
Ashley Davis of National Jeweler reports from JCK Las Vegas on the findings of a survey conducted by WeddingWire, an online wedding marketplace: essentially there seems to be a disconnect between the buyer and the receiver regarding the criteria modern couples use to shop for engagement rings. The proposer’s main concern is the quality of the stone, as the focus is on enduring value; the receiver valued the design and setting above all else, with quality and size ranking fifth and sixth respectively.
"With world diamond prices currently 'very unexciting' and with stagnant growth forecast for jewellery sales, junior miners should think long and hard before investing in diamond exploration projects, as there is a risk of decreased investment from the market." This is how Megan Van Wyngaardt of Mining Weekly Online summarized the presentation of Cadiz Securities economist Peter Major at the Junior Indaba held this week in Johannesburg, who warned that the diamond mining industry was currently “filled up”.
Hong-Kong based Chow Tai Fook jewelry Group, China's largest jeweler by market value, reports a 3.9% growth in net profit for the financial year which ended March 31, 2017, indicating a return to profit following a sales decline in Hong Kong and Macau, dating back to Q4 2014. The company told the media that although they had seen a stronger second half, a full-fledged recovery was still some time away.
Diversified miner and 85% owner of De Beers, Anglo American, has appointed Stuart Chambers to succeed John Parker as the miner's next chairman and carry on with its overhaul, the company announced in a press release. Mr. Chambers does not bring mining experience to Anglo; rather he was Chairman of UK-based IT and IP (intellectual property) firm ARM Holdings and of multinational consumer packaging company Rexam plc (now Ball Corporation) until 2016.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), a De Beers Group company, has entered a partnership with one of Japan’s leading bridal jewelry retailers, I-PRIMO, to provide polished diamond grading reports. The reports will provide assurance to I-PRIMO customers that their diamonds meet the retailer’s strict quality standards, writes De Beers in a press release. I-PRIMO only uses loose diamonds that have been graded as ‘excellent’ for engagement rings and all melee diamonds must meet ‘Heart & Cupid’ grading standards.
Canadian junior miner Tango Mining, which holds an interest in the Oena Diamond Mine, an alluvial diamond property, Northern Cape Province, South Africa, produced a total of 465 carats (311 stones at an average size of 1.498 carat per stone) during the period 18 April 2017 to 19 May 2017. They sold a total of 527 carats on tender in Johannesburg or in Dubai, achieving an average price of $812 per carat.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) raised over $1,060,000 to provide scholarships and assistance to empower young people globally at a special ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Awards Gala held in Las Vegas on the eve of the opening of the JCK trade show. Anna Martin, D.E.F President and V.P Global Develompent and Beneficiation, GIA, said: “This event symbolizes the collective good the diamond and jewelry industry continues to do in communities around the world where they do business.
Online diamond and jewelry retailer Blue Nile has appointed Jason Goldberger, former chief digital officer and president of Target.com, as its new president and CEO, replacing Harvey Kanter, who will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors and continue to play an important role in the strategic direction of the company. "Goldberger brings to Blue Nile more than 20 years of executive leadership in merchandising, digital innovation, marketing, and product management across leading online retail organizations including Target, Gilt Groupe, Hayneedle, and Amazon.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA sold rough and polished diamonds worth $472.1 million in the month of May 2017, an increase of 33% compared to a year earlier, the company today announced. Revenue from rough diamond sales amounted to $467.6 million, while polished diamond sales earned the company $4.5 million. This represents a significant (51%) increase in rough diamond revenues over the $310.2 million sold in April. For the year thus far, January–May 2017, ALROSA’s rough and polished diamond sales have exceeded $2.13 billion − 5% below the same period in 2016.
Rio Tinto and The Perth Mint have showcased a A$1.8 million (US$1.36 million) one-of-a-kind coin collection featuring three coloured diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine. Known as The Australian Trilogy, the beautiful collectable comprises three precious metal coins each hand crafted with a pink, purple pink and violet diamond unearthed from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) on June 6 debuted at JCK Las Vegas a print, out-of-home, and digital display campaign extension, complementing the successful “Real Is Rare” TV and digital videos that were released in October 2016. Starting in July, the new ads will appear in weekly and monthly magazines across several verticals, including bridal, lifestyle, fashion, and entertainment.
A ring that was originally purchased in the 1980s from a car boot sale for £10 ($13) under the assumption that it was a decorative costume jewel, today went under the hammer at Sotheby's Fine Jewels auction in London for $700,000 (£540,000), hammer price. It was only in the past few months that the owner decided to see if the ring had any value and asked Sotheby's to appraise it.
Antwerp's diamond trade bounced back in May after a modest month of April, with significant increases across the board compared to the month prior. On a year-over-year basis, the volume of rough diamond exports increased by more than 55% although their value fell by 3%, while rough imports increased more than 13% in volume while declining 18% in value. Value increases were recorded for imports as well as exports of polished goods, while the volume of imports increased nearly 5% and the volume of exports were down 12%.
As part of a mine-to-consumer deal, R2Net, which owns JamesAllen.com, and Dominion Diamond Corporation have signed an agreement to market and brand CanadaMark® certified diamonds. JamesAllen.com will be the exclusive online retailer of CanadaMark certified diamonds; brick-and-mortar retailers will be able to sell the diamonds, but will not be allowed sell them online, giving James Allen "a significant advantage", according to JCK's Rob Bates.
In their recent addition to the Diamond Insight reports focusing on diamond jewelry demand and emerging trends, De Beers said it expected single women's acquisitions and spend to increase in 2017, leading to an increase in self-purchasing in non-bridal, discretionary jewelry categories, driving incremental demand above and beyond the fundamental driver of demand, namely, bridal diamond jewelry.
After several years of talks and visits, Venezuela and South Africa finally signed an agreement on the organization of joint ventures in the business of mining, particularly diamonds, in Orinoco Mining Arc, south Venezuela, writes AVN. South African Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant, and his Venezuelan counterpart, Víctor Cano, inked the agreement, with a focus on environmentally friendly technology. Earlier, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro informed that the work area covers 10,000 hectares, estimated to hold about 40 million carats of diamonds.
Luxury houses such as Cartier, Piaget and Chanel have launched collections on Net-a-Porter and are doing well, despite critics of the format. Cartier made a relatively risky move by placing Panthère de Cartier, a white gold diamond watch retailing for US$77,000 (HK$600,000) on the online platform Net-a-Porter. Within two weeks of the collection’s launch, the watch was sold. Of course some ‘purists’ believe that luxury products must be felt to create an emotional engagement, which is hard to replicate online.
“To me, synthetic diamonds are not diamonds. It is a different product. We don’t know what their value is now or how this is going to evolve. So we are not financing lab-grown at the moment, but we may consider it over time, when it is a more mature product."
- Erik Jens, when asked by moderator Rob Bates (JCK) if ABN AMRO is currently financing lab-grown diamond companies during SRK panel debate with Paul Rowley (De Beers) and Tom Moses (GIA) at JCK Las Vegas
Dominion Diamond Corporation has consolidated its interest in the Buffer Zone Joint Venture at the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories through a buyout agreement with Archon Minerals Limited, its partner in the venture. The Buffer Zone contains 106 mining leases covering 89,184 hectares, and is contiguous with the Core Zone Joint Venture at the Ekati Diamond Mine. Of the 150 kimberlite pipes discovered to date at the Ekati Diamond Mine, 38 are in the Buffer Zone.
The JCK show in Las Vegas serves as the ideal platform for the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of the De Beers Group of Companies, to unveil SYNTHdetect, the first synthetic screening device in the industry to test multiple stones in set jewelry at once. The screener is able to do so without the need for a probe and has the industry’s lowest referral rate at around 0.05%.
Stellar Diamonds plc, a diamond development company focused on West Africa, has entered into a conditional binding Term Sheet with BDG Capital Limited (“BDG”) in relation to the proposed sale of Stellar’s assets in the Republic of Guinea, the proceeds from which will be used to advance the development of Stellar's flagship Tongo-Tonguma mine development in Sierra Leone, "A project that has an estimated post-tax net present value of $104-million,”said Stellar CEO Karl Smithson.
The Indian government’s decision to impose a 0.25 per cent tax on rough diamond imports under the goods and services tax regime (GST) in order to ensure traceability of diamonds will hurt India’s competitiveness, according to diamond industry representatives. India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) criticized the government’s decision to tax rough diamond imports, claiming it will damage the nation’s manufacturing sector, and is urging the government to reconsider its decision.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) announced on Sunday at the JCK Las Vegas show that their 2017 full-year marketing investment will increase to $57 million from approximately $12 million following the success of the 2016 campaign. This will enable the diamond marketing body to expand its multichannel advertising, PR and digital campaigns as well as continue rolling out the campaign to India.
It took only a year and a few months for Australia's Kimberley Diamonds to run another mine into the ground: two years after closing the Ellendale Diamond Mine in Australia - source of Tiffany & Co’s prized yellow diamonds - and leaving in its wake a host of unpaid workers, contractors and a fat environmental cleanup bill, it
The 36-year-old son of one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close allies, Sergey Ivanov, acknowledges that some people may be skeptical about how he landed his latest job as CEO of the world's largest diamond mining company, write Bloomberg reporters Yuliya Fedorinova and Irina Reznik, but he is learning the trade and, "plans to win over investors by focusing on reducing costs at the state-controlled diamond producer." And his cost-cutting starts at the top, as Ivanov says he, "reduced my salary and overall compensation by 20 percent" and apparently declined certain benefits t
According to industry insight data published today by De Beers Group, "U.S. Diamond Jewelry Demand Hits US$41 Billion High", total diamond jewelry demand from US consumers increased 4.4 per cent in 2016 to exceed US$40 billion for the first time. While slower US GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017 is likely to have impacted diamond jewelry demand in the short term, the US has recorded five years of consecutive demand growth. US consumers now account for roughly half of all diamond jewellery purchases globally – a level not seen since before the financial crisis.
Mountain Province Diamonds, a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, has unearthed the largest stone thus far produced by the mine: an 84.65 carat gem quality diamond. It also announced the recovery of a 53.90 carat gem quality diamond. The joint venture partners bid for the production of fancy coloured and special (+10.8 carat) diamonds on almost a monthly basis.