The Women’s Jewelry Association’s mission is to help women in the diamond, jewelry and watch industries advance and develop professionally through networking, education, leadership and the provision of member services. Programs include grants, interactive workshops, mentorship programs and awards of excellence. The Diamond Loupe had the opportunity to sit down with Ayelet Lerner, one of the women involved with setting up the WJA chapter in Antwerp.
The Diamond Loupe: Tell us a little bit about yourself in the business.
Costco owes Tiffany & Co. more than $19 million for selling 2,500 generic diamond rings falsely identified as "Tiffany" rings, a federal judge ruled Monday. Judge Swan ruled in favor of Tiffany, saying the brand was entitled to $11.1 million as profits for trademark infringement, plus interest, as well as an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages, which had been awarded by a jury in October. Costco was also permanently prohibited from using “Tiffany” as a stand-alone term when selling its products.
KRC Research conducted an online survey on behalf of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) regarding US millennial women’s views on luxury goods. The results highlighted three major trends: Long term value both financially and emotionally, Pride in legitimacy of the goods purchased and the expression of self-confidence.
Chow Tai Fook launched CHOW TAI FOOK T MARK, a new jewelry brand with diamonds exclusively from their ‘T Mark’ collection. Each stone is inscribed with the brands patented technology enabling customers to track the stones journey from sourcing - processing, cutting, polishing, authentication, design - to production.
Gem Diamonds, which owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho - famous for the production of large, high quality, exceptional white diamonds - and 100% of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana, reported a 14% drop in revenue for H1 2017, to $92.9m from $109.1m a year earlier. The poor results from Letšeng were reportedly due to a 12% fall in carat recovery (50,478), as well as a decline in average diamond prices, which fell to $1,779 from $1,899 y-o-y.
In July 2017, ALROSA Group sold US$293.5 million worth of rough and polished diamonds. Rough diamond sales by value amounted to US$286.1 million, its lowest sales month for the year, while polished diamond sales achieved US$7.4 million. For the year thus far January-July 2017, ALROSA’s rough and polished diamond sales amounted to US$2.79 billion. The Russian miner has sold US$2.728 billion in rough diamonds on the year, while earning US$62.3 million from polished diamonds. “In July, there was a seasonal drop in demand on the market in the run up to August holidays.
ALROSA's search for the eight missing miners at its Mir mine in Yakutia continues for the sixth day. Citing an Interfax update, Rough & Polished details the harrowing complications with the search efforts. "The water level at the Mir mine in Yakutia continues to increase, while rescue and search operation for the eight missing miners continues for the 6th day in a row. Groundwater gradually fills the mine workings.
Signet Jewelers Limited has been recognized for its corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts by being named as a component of the FTSE4Good US and Global Indices in 2017. Signet joins this group of other publicly traded companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. “Signet is proud of our commitment to reducing our energy consumption and raising our efficiency levels across our business.
Reuters news agency reports that Patrick Evans, the former chief executive of Mountain Province Diamonds, will become the new CEO of Dominion Diamond Corp once a deal to purchase the Canadian diamond company closes later this year, he said on Wednesday. Dominion, the world's third largest diamond producer by market value, has been looking for a CEO since January when its former head, Brendan Bell, quit. Last month Dominion agreed to a $1.2 billion takeover offer from U.S. billionaire Dennis Washington that will take private the Canadian-based diamond miner.
Let’s talk about the Lesedi [La Rona, 1,109-ct rough diamond]. I use this analogy. Everybody [on the call] knows one or two wealthy people who could go out and buy a Lamborghini at $250,000. What we’re asking for the stone is for somebody to go out and spend the equivalent of 280 Lamborghinis. And I use that as an example because I don’t think people quite understand the quantum of money we’re looking at here. And what you’re buying is something for which you’re going to have to rely on expert opinion to give you the full details of what you can expect on the stone, without really knowing the full outcome, the quality. We do have one or two options [to sell it]. If that doesn’t pan out, I think most [surely] within the next six weeks to eight weeks, we’ll most [likely] look to enter into a partnership.
- William Lamb, CEO Lucara Diamond Corp., on possibility of revenue-sharing partnership to sell the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond
Mountain Province Diamonds - a 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories - reports strong interest in Antwerp for Gahcho Kué Diamonds in Q2 2017 (ended June 30, 2017), despite a challenging rough diamond market. For the three months of Q2, MPD reported a net income of US$6 million (C$7.6 million) or US$0.39 (C$0.05) per share.
Canadian junior miner Kennady Diamonds reports a collective average price of US$109 per carat from its bulk sampling program of diamonds recovered from the Faraday kimberlites at the 100 percent-controlled Kennady North project located in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Valuation results included a 7.78 carat sawable diamond recovered from Faraday 3 valued at US$2,967 per carat. A total of 1,259.16 carats (+0.85mm) recovered from the 2017 bulk sampling program was sent to WWW International Diamond Consultants (‘WWW’) in Antwerp for valuation.
ALROSA issued the following press release this morning concerning the search for eight missing miners after a flood in the Mir mine in Yakutia: Mine rescuers teams, 60 people in each, started the morning stage of the search operation. The pace and scope of their work will depend on the weather conditions and geological situation in the open-pit mine. More than 330 people and over 30 units of equipment are involved in the search.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) has suffered a major blow after the High Court ordered it to immediately shut down its mining operations amid reports its activities do not meet Environmental Management Authority (EMA) regulations, writes The Zimbabwe News Live. This decision comes as part of an ongoing investigation in to the Marange alluvial diamonds operations, with the Court ordering the state-owned company to stop diamond mining in Chiadzwa with immediate effect until it has been granted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate.
Following publication of their Q2 Interim Results, shares in Pandora, the Danish maker of charm bracelets, slumped 8 percent "after the company missed analyst expectations for revenue and profits in the second quarter", writes Financial Times, adding that this makes it currently, "the worst performing stock in Europe." Despite revenue improving 12% to $767 million (DKr 4.83 billion) in the second quarter, it fell well shy of analysts’ expectations of $780 million (DKr4.91bn.
Firestone Diamonds, the AIM-listed junior mining company operating the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho (ownership Firestone 75%, Lesotho 25%), has revised its production guidance for the year to 30 June 2018 (FY 2018) to between 800,000 and 850,000 carats from previously-stated 1.0 million carats.
Palllinghurst Resources, following its recent takeover of Gemfields, has appointed Sean Gilbertson as new CEO for the colored gemstone miner as it commences the acquisition process. The move follows the resignation of Gemfields' non-executive directors, including that of CEO Ian Harebottle, who has held the position for the last eight years. Harebottle, as well as the resigning board members, was highly crititical of the takeover, saying it "significantly undervalued" the company.
The Botswana Government, through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anglo American, Debswana and De Beers Global Sightholder Sales to underpin the continued expansion of the Tokafala Enterprise Development program, according to a De Beers Group press release. The partnership to implement a 3-year program builds on Anglo American’s extensive experience and successes in enterprise development, tailored to the specific Botswana context.
Analysis of pricing data by the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) for the second quarter of 2017 indicates overall pricing stability across all categories over the same quarter in the previous year, FCRF states in a press release. While flat overall for all shapes and sizes, blue fancy color diamond prices continued to appreciate, climbing 5.5% over last year, while yellow fancy color diamond prices declined by 2.5% for the year. According to RAPI™ during the same period, most white diamond categories experienced meaningful price declines.
As first reported Friday, August 4, rescue teams are searching for eight workers missing in the Mir underground mine owned by Russian diamond miner Alrosa after water leaked into an underground shaft on Friday morning, the company said. A total of 133 miners had been brought to the surface after the flood, Alrosa said in a statement citing its CEO Sergey Ivanov. There were 142 workers underground when the accident happened. No casualties have been reported so far and there was no word from Alrosa on the chances that the nine missing miners could still be rescued.
Botswana Diamonds has raised $1.13 million (£868,000) from directors and existing subscribers with funds to be used to progress its flagship Vutomi project in Frischgewaagt, South Africa, to inferred resources status and to continue its exploration activities. The funds were raised through the placing of 79,484,300 new ordinary shares. Botswana issued 31,244,300 ordinary shares of 0.25p each at the exercise price of 0.85 pence per new share for a total of £265,576 ($346,000).
The trend of high volumes of rough diamond exports from Antwerp continued in July, while the diamond capital’s polished trade showed signs of life among persistently soft results. According to figures published by the AWDC, on a year-over-year basis, the volume of rough diamond exports increased significantly (20%) for the third month in a row (+55% May, +53% June), totaling nearly 11 million carats, while their value actually declined by 4% to $1.1 billion. The volume of rough imports also increased 15% while their value tumbled by 14%.
Lucara Diamond Corp. the Canadian junior diamond miner whose key asset is its 100% owned, state-of-the-art Karowe Mine in Botswana reports strong Q2 results despite a decline in mined ore volumes and carats recovered, as higher value recoveries compensated for lower grades. Q2 revenue was $79.6 million or $1,336 per carat from 62,434 carats total, which compares favorably to Q2 2016, where Lucara sold $77.7 million at $1,017 per carat from 107,801 carats total (figures exclude the 2016 sale of the 813-carat Constellation diamond for $63.1 million, for a more accurate comparison).
Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht SA, a conglomerate selling off assets in the wake of a corruption scandal - allegedly paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes in association with infrastructure projects in 12 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Panama between 2002 and 2016 - has agreed to sell a 16.4 percent stake in the Catoca mine in Angola.
De Beers Group announced in a press release today that its Auction Sales business will run further polished diamond auctios in August, following the success of the initial events in late June. The events marked a new departure for De Beers, auctioned polished stones from their own rough diamonds, as well as auctioning off third-party diamonds. They say that customer response to the initial auction events in June was positive, with the auction featuring diamonds polished directly from De Beers-mined rough diamonds representing the majority of lots successfully sold.
Mountain Province Diamonds, a Canadian junior miner and 49% participant with De Beers Canada in the Gahcho Kué diamond mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, sold 290,000 carats of rough diamonds valued at $20.9 million at its sixth tender sale of the year in July.
ALROSA has unveiled The Dynasty, the lead stone in a unique collection of five diamonds created from a 179-carat rough diamond (The Romanovs) and manufactured at its cutting and polishing facilities. The centerpiece of the collection, a 51.38-carat traditional round brilliant-cut diamond, is the purest of all large diamonds manufactured throughout the Russian jewelry history, according to the company. The Romanovs was recovered from Nyurbinskaya kimberlite pipe in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2015.
Today we have announced total cash returns to shareholders of $3 billion. By driving performance, focusing on cash and allocating it with discipline we are delivering superior cash returns to our shareholders. These are strong results: operating cash flow was $6.3 billion and we met our $2 billion cash cost reduction target six months early. We are now shifting gear to focus on the untapped value from our productivity programme and continue to strengthen our portfolio to build higher returns for the future.
- Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques, on 2017 half year results
Karelian Diamond Resources, the Ireland-based, AIM-listed diamond exploration company focused on Finland has received a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on its Lahtojoki diamondiferous kimberlite pipe in the Kuopio-Kaavi district in south eastern Finland, which recommends an open pit mining operation. It estimates a total of 2.11M carats recoverable with a gross value of US$211M over a nine year life of mine, with payback for the Lahtojoki mine - estimated to cost about $22 million to build, after two years. It would be the first ever European diamond mine outside of Russia.
CEO of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Dr. Moris Mpofu, last week described plans for reversing the resource curse in the country's tumultuous diamond industry with the creation of a multinational diamond park in Mutare - Zimbabwe's fourth-largest city situated on its eastern border.
De Beers rough diamond sales at Sight 6 (Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales, July 24-28) provisionally totalled $572 million, according to today's media release. This represents an 8% increase over rough diamond sales valued at $528 million at Sight 6 2016, and a nearly 6% increase over the latest sales Cycle 5 (June 12-16, 2017). For the first six cycles of the year to date, De Beers' rough diamond sales are valued at $3.50 billion, a 1.5% decline compared to the $3.56 billion sold during the first six cycles of 2016.
India's recently-adopted goods & services tax (GST) of 3% on polished diamonds, 5% service tax and 0.25% on imported rough diamonds is making life challenging for the country's 50,000 small and medium diamond manufacturing units in Gujarat, employing up to 200,000 workers. The Economic Times, citing Praveen Shankar Pandya, chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), reports that due to increased compliance requirements and uncertainty over when they will get input credit refund, the viability of many of these small units is uncertain.
Tiffany & Co. launched their fall advertising campaign, “There’s Only You”, a celebration of personal style and individuality with the faces of the campaign being 6 individuals with various backgrounds in the creative fields. The pieces in the campaign are a combination of past and present, classic Tiffany as well as pieces from the new Tiffany HardWear line.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Company earned US$15.5 million from the sale of 2,070 carats of rough alluvial diamonds from the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola during the sixth sale of 2017. This represents an average price of US$710 per carat, and brings gross proceeds from Lulo diamond sales in 2017 to US$17 million, for an average price of US$1,485 per carat. The company notes that diamond recoveries and grades have improved at Lulo since the return to the high-value Mining Block 8 and 6 areas, after the Angolan wet season.
Jewelers of America has elected Pittsburgh jeweler John Henne, president of Pittsburgh-based Henne Jewelers, as its next board chairman, succeeding Ryan Berg. Henne has managed Henne Jewelers, which his great-grandfather opened in 1887, since 1998. He oversees all aspects of the business, including diamond procurement, accounting, sales and marketing. JA President and CEO David J.
From the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) in Mumbai, GemKonnect reports on the formation of the International Diamond Monitoring Committee (IDMC), an initiative intended to ensure the separation of natural diamonds from synthetics as they pass through the diamond pipeline to the retail counter.
Namibian rough diamonds are known for their high quality; mining these quality goods also costs a premium.
Independent analyst and consultant on diamonds and the mining industry, and publisher of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky has published an in-depth article on the current state of the diamond industry as it heads into the second half of 2017. Reprinted from Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, courtesy of Paul Zimnisky.
De Beers and parent company Anglo American (AA) today announced their interim financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2017, with the diamond giant reporting a mixed bag while the diversified miner saw its massive restructuring bear fruit. De Beers underlying financial result were positive, as Underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased by 3% to $786 million (H1 2016: $766 million), capital expenditure (Capex) dropped significantly and its return on capital employed (ROCE) for the year increased from 7 to 11%.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, will hold its 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 15-17, 2017. The meeting will be hosted by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). Among the items to be discussed at the AGM are industry recommendations for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle and a proposed renewal of the WDC System of Warranties.
The Women's Jewelry Association revealed the 2017 winners of its Awards for Excellence at a gala in New York earlier this week, reports Ashley Davis for National Jeweler. The Design award went to Wendy Brandes, a former journalist and award-winning designer of fine jewelry inspired by women's history and pop culture. Betty Sue King, owner of King’s Ransom, was honored with the award for excellence for a Manufacturer, Dealer, Supplier. “The WJA has no glass ceiling,” she said.
Dunnedin Ventures Inc., an emerging diamond exploration company based out of Vancouver, BC whose main focus is the advanced stage Kahuna Diamond Project located in Nunavut, Canada, reports the recovery of 8.17 carats of commercial-sized diamonds (+0.85 mm) from 2.03 tons of ore from the PST kimberlite - one of three at the project. This yielded a final aggregate sample grade of 4.02 carats per ton.
Sarine, a developer of technologies for the diamond industry, stated in a press release that two Indian suspects were arrested in Tel Aviv on suspicion of attempted theft of Sarine's Intellectual Property. The two were arrested during a meeting in which US$100,000 in cash was handed over as advance payment against an agreed US$1,000,000 to be paid in exchange for Sarine’s GalaxyTM system schematics, list of parts and vendors thereof and software source code.
Gem Diamonds has released its H1 trading update showing improvement in the discovery of highly valuable diamonds from Letšeng mine in Lesotho, as well as a strong uptick in sales prices for its large stones, but are investors convinced that real recovery is on the horizon? After a year of declining large diamond recoveries (5) and prices (-26%), the company has recovered five +100 carat diamonds since the end of March alone (4 in reporting period, 1 just after) and has seen its pricing increase to an average of US$1,779 per carat for the period, up 20% from US$1,480 per carat in H2 2016.
Statistics from the jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) show that the trend of increasing of business closures in the North American jewelry industry continued in the second quarter of 2017, but at a slower pace than previously, reports JCK's Rob Bates. In fact, there were 48% fewer closures in Q2 2017 than Q2 2016, from 475 to to 245 closures in the period. As Bates clarifes though, "the consolidation trend hasn’t totally reversed itself: The number of jewelry companies is still shrinking. In June, the JBT recorded 27,706 businesses.
As anticipated, while Petra Diamonds achieved record levels of production and sales in FY 2017, with production up 8% to 4.0 Mcts (FY 2016: 3.7 Mcts) and revenue up 11% to US$477.0 million (FY 2016: US$430.9 million), investors remain worried as the company missed its production and revenue guidance by 8-9% due to the slower than anticipated build-up of its expansion programs across its operations. Furthermore, the company pushed back its production guidance and unveiled higher than expected spending and debt, causing its share price to tumble.
In the first six months of this year, ALROSA Group processed 16.2 million tons of ore and sand, which yielded 19.3 million carats of extracted rough diamonds, a 14% increase compared to the same period in 2016, the company writes in a press release. The major driver of the jump in rough diamond production was their increased processing of ore with higher diamond grade from the pipes Yubileynaya, Zarnitsa, Karpinskogo-1, Mir underground mine, and sand from alluvial deposits. The Aikhal and Udachny underground mines also demonstrated a growth in diamond mining.
Zimbabwe's rough diamond production surged to 1.1 million carats in the first half of 2017, compared to 690,000 carats produced in the entirety of 2016 (the newspaper NewsDay last month cited 2016 production as 961,000 carats), said Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa. He attributes the sudden rise to the government's $30 million capital investment in equipment for Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), which has enabled the mining company to shift from low-vale alluvial mining to more lucrative conglomerate and kimberlite diamond mining.
Russia's ALROSA has appointed Pavel Vinikhin as director of DIAMONDS ALROSA – ALROSA’s cutting and polishing division, one of the largest diamond manufacturers in Russia, the company announced in a press release. In April 2016, he was appointed as deputy director for marketing of DIAMONDS ALROSA, and headed ALROSA Diamonds Ltd, a cutting and polishing factory in Barnaul. He has been managing DIAMONDS ALROSA since October 2016, when he was serving as acting director.
India's exports of polished diamonds rose 3% in value during the first quarter of 2017 (April-June) to $5.8 billion from $5.6 billion in 2016, according to provisional data released by India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). In June, the Indian trade recorded a rise of 7.5% to $1.98 bn as compared to $1.84 bn in the same month in 2016. In keeping with the trend of lower-value goods being traded, the percentage increase in the volume of carats exceeded the increase in value, as the volume of polished diamond exports in Q1 rose by 7%, and in June by 17%.
Independent analyst and consultant on diamonds and the mining industry, and publisher of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky has published an in-depth article charting the vicissitudes of rough diamond prices on a quarterly basis for the past 10 years - since the onset of the global financial crisis. We consider this a must-read for anyone seeking to gain insights into the diamond industry as a whole and rough supply-side dynamics in particular.
De Beers' rough diamond production for Q2 2017 increased 36 per cent to 8.7 million carats, which is in line with the higher production forecast for 2017 and reflects stable trading conditions as well as the contribution from the ramp-up of Gahcho Kué in Canada to nameplate capacity, report De Beers/Anglo American in a press statement. Second quarter production in Canada increased almost six-fold to over 1.0 million carats from 147,000 carats, with a total of 831,000 carats from Gahcho Kué (51% share) and 182,000 carats from their Victor mine.
On July 18, a very large rough diamond weighing almost 110 carats was recovered at the Processing Plant No. 3 of ALROSA’s Mirny Mining and Processing Division. Two days earlier, a 75-carat rough diamond was recovered at the Processing Plant No. 14 of Aikhal Mining and Processing Division. These large rough diamonds became presents for two anniversaries celebrated by the Company - 60 years of diamond mining industry and 25 years of ALROSA. Both rough diamonds are initially estimated as gem-quality. They are octahedron crystals with small inclusions, one of them with a straw-yellow tint.
Just days after announcing it had identified a group 2 kimberlite pipe at the Ontevreden licence held by Vutomi in an area known for its high-grade diamonds, AIM and BSE listed explorer Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has announced it has been granted a prospecting licence over an additional 1,000 hectares at its Vutomi joint venture in South Africa.
Canadian junior miner Rockwell Diamonds, which focuses on developing alluvial diamond deposits in South Africa and is currently in business rescue avoid liquidation, is struggling to stay afloat and to bring its new Wouterspan WPC) project into full production, all the while bleeding cash. And its CEO, Tjaart Willemse, brought in to turn the company around, has resigned.
Rio Tinto reports rough diamond output at its Argyle Mine in Australia reached 3.2 million carats in Q2 2017, representing a 7% increase over output in the first quarter of the year, but an 8% decline compared to the 3.5 million carats recovered in Q2 2017. For the first half of 2017, production fell 9% to 6.2 million carats from 6.9 million carats in the first half last year. The company attributes the decline to lower ore volumes processed following wet weather and additional maintenance required in the second quarter of this year.