Bain & Company, together with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), has published their seventh annual report on the global diamond industry, "The enduring story in a changing world", covering industry developments in 2016 and the first half of 2017 as well as the challenges the industry faces and how it is turning them into opportunities. Their report looks at key issues along the value chain, from rough-diamond production and sales, to midstream performance and global diamond jewelry demand in major markets.
In 2015, CAP Conseil, a sustainable development consultancy based in Belgium, presented the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) an idea for a fully ethical and traceable diamond jewelry project from small-scale origin. Two years later, the first MY FAIR DIAMOND collection has become a reality.
Jean-Arthur Régibeau, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Russian Federation, visited the United Sales Organization (USO) ALROSA, and one of Russia's leading diamond cutting facilities - DIAMONDS ALROSA. He met with the heads of subdivisions and got acquainted with the process flow and work principles - and also was shown the amazing Dynasty Collection. “It was a familiarization visit.
The Times of India this past weekend was the bearer of somber news from the Surat diamond industry, writing that, "Most of the small and medium diamond manufacturers have literally stopped the manufacturing of diamonds ahead [of Diwali] and are waiting to down their factory shutters early." With Diwali coming on October 19 (compared to October 30 last year), De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver was optimistic as rough diamond sales in Cycle 6 (ended 31 July) surged to $572 million.
The Russian government wants Alrosa to offer more favorable terms to local cutters so they are able to compete in a market that’s dominated by Indian manufacturers.
Alrosa has chosen to focus on mining, where it can get bigger margins, leaving Kristall Production Corp. and other cutters to buy stones at similar terms as overseas competitors. They are struggling to compete with centers like India, the largest polishing center, due to manufacturing being cheaper - it manufactures 90% of the world’s diamonds - and a workforce of 1 million.
According to an article in The Kommersant Daily, Russia's Ministry of Finance has prepared a 'roadmap' for the development of Russia’s diamond manufacturing industry, which could become one of the biggest reforms in its history. "In particular", the news agency writes, "it is said to be aimed at serious mitigation of state regulation and reducing the tax burden on Russian diamond manufacturers, as well as at expanding their access to raw materials. This threatens to revise the marketing and investment policy of ALROSA and add to its financial burden.
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.
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.
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.
Diamond trader and brick & mortar crusader Melvin Moss is back at his provocative best in his most recent diatribe, "The #Diamond Family is Dysfunctional". He argues that major diamond miners producing too much rough at prices unsustainable for the rest of the industry (which deals with underpriced polished) and are extending their reach across the pipeline at the expense of everyone else - particularly retailers. "The diamond pipeline is dysfunctional", he writes. "Miners have a primary obligation to their shareholders.
The market for recycled diamonds has grown substantially in the last decade following the financial crash of 2008, and though it is hard to guage the market as a whole due the less-than-transparent avenues through which they are bought and sold, estimates are that the trade in recycled diamonds is now worth between five and ten percent of the global market - or approximately $1 billion - and is expanding. Abraham Dayan, writing for Rough-Polished, looks at some of the players in this growing market, the advantages it provides for manufacturers in need of affordable supply and retai
In his latest blog post, "A Market in Chaos", diamond industry researcher and analyst Edahn Golan examines the disconnect between the rising trend of lower price point/smaller-diamond jewelry and the willingness of manufacturers to pay more for the rough to produce it. He starts with trends in the consumer jewelry market - because this is the ultimate determining factor for the diamond market - that are demonstrating a distinct shift towards lower value goods. Drawing on his impressions from the JCK Las Vegas show, Golan writes, "The trend of smaller diamonds stood out.
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.
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 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.
Diamond miner De Beers Thursday announced it will start a pilot project in June, selling polished diamonds, manufactured directly from the company’s rough by third parties to registered De Beers Auction buyers. The polished goods will be accompanied by grading reports from both De Beers’ own International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on Monday was on hand at the ‘Hira Bourse SEZ’ in Surat for the inauguration of HK HUB, Hari Krishna Exports' new diamond manufacturing facility. HK Hub features three buildings that will focus on cutting larger diamonds,Addressing the inaugural function with an estimated at 20,000, Prime Minister Modi urged the diamond industry in Surat to take a lead in making the country as number one in the gems and jewelry sector, saying, “We have become number one in diamond cutting, but now is the time we should become number one
Kiran Gems, based in Surat, India, which is said to be the world's largest diamond manufacturing firm and among the top three jewelry suppliers to the U.S., is continuing its corporate restructuring by offloading several subsidiaries in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Kiran Jewels Inc., Unique Design, SDIL and Prestige, which are located in the United States, and Kiran Export Hong Kong will no longer belong to the Kiran Gems Private Limited group of companies. The company's announcement states that the restructuring will technically end all the relations between these companies and Kiran Gems Pvt.
Back in September 2016, ALROSA announced a partnership with Indian company KGK Diamonds Private Ltd, a global leader in diamond cutting, to develop cutting and polishing facilities in Eurasian Diamond Centre in Vladivostok.
"Just last week, Yury Trutnev [Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District] held a meeting to support the Russian diamond-cutting industry, and a number of decisions were made that will help the Russian diamond-cutting industry to overcome the crisis and compete with foreign companies. The issue of developing Vladivostok on the basis of a free port was discussed at the meeting, and Vladivostok will develop as a diamond center.
Stéphane Fischler, President of the International Diamond Council, founding member of the European Council of Diamond Manufacturers, Vice President of the World Diamond Council and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre talks to Manisha Gupta on India's CNBC-TV18. He shared his view of the Indian diamond industry and the road ahead for its diamond market. An abbreviated version:
CNBC: How do you see diamond consumption growth in India?
"Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, called on India to show reciprocity in its trade relationship with the United States," writes eponymous Rapaport News of their founder's “State of Diamond Industry” presentation at GJEPC's "Mines to Market" conference yesterday, marking 50 years of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
Bulgari, an LVMH-owned jeweler and watchmaker, announced the opening of its new jewelry manufacturing facility in Valenza, Italy, a mere 18 months since the foundation stone was laid. It is one of the largest expansions of Bulgari’s exclusive “made in Italy” manufacturing network. Bulgari strategically chose Valenza, famous for its goldsmith history and the Cascina dell’Orefice (est. 1817), as the location for the new site, which they expect to create an additional 300 jobs by 2020.
Diamond industry analyst and author of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky, takes us on, "A Trip Through the Diamond Industry in March 2017." If there is one trip you make this weekend, we recommend this one.
When people talk badly about diamonds, they think of the stone they're going to buy, but they don't think of the lives that are going to be affected. In Botswana, for example, 45-50% of the total GDP comes from diamond mining. So when people say, "I'm not going to buy a diamond because it has a bad rep", think of the two-plus million people in Botswana that will be affected.
- William Lamb, CEO Lucara Diamond, Interview with Bloomberg TV, on India's demonitization, diamond demand, Kimberley Process, positive sentiment in industry, Trump effect, DPA, Millennials and finding a buyer for the magnificent Lesedi La Rona ... all in 6 minutes.
The Surat Diamond Association (SDA) and the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the government provide an international airport at Surat as soon as possible to facilitate smooth imports and exports of polished and rough diamonds, write The Times of India. Estimates are that polished diamonds worth $21 billion are processed in Surat and exported to various countries via Mumbai every year, while India imports approximately $14 billion in rough diamonds annually.
Russia’s largest cut diamonds producer Kristall was included into the 2017-2019 privatization plan, a source familiar with privatization plans told Russia's TASS News Agency on Thursday. Kristall is Russia’s largest producer of polished diamonds and one of the largest diamond cutting companies across the globe.
Citing data from its RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI), Rapaport News writes, "Diamond manufacturing profits were squeezed in January amid strong rough demand while polished prices softened." Despite a disappointing holiday season, demand of rough is strong as jewelers will need to restock after the holiday season. This is demonstrated by De Beers' First Cycle sales of $720 million, its largest sight since July 2014.
Jewelry manufacturer Samuel Aaron Inc. plans to shut down its operations in Mount Vernon, NY, with 42 jobs to be cut, reports Instoremag.com. Citing the Journal News, which in turn cites a filing with the state Department of Labor, the layoffs are slated to start April 12, with the closure of the plant set for later that month. Samuel Aaron produces DiamonLuxe simulated gemstone jewelry along with other products. Instoremag writes that Samuel Aaron, which has several hundred employees worldwide, is part of the Aaron Group.
Australia's Tychean Resources, a gold exploration and natural resource development company, has agreed to buy a 74 per cent stake in South African-based diamond company, Blom Diamonds, reports Australian Mining. The deal is reported to be worth up to $4.1 million (AUD 5.5 million).
Rio Tinto has appointed luxury Dubai-based jeweler Dhamani to become one of its Select Ateliers, an exclusive list of jewelers given direct access to Australia’s rare Argyle pink diamonds. The launch of this new appointment correlated with the brand’s new line of pink-diamond jewelry, the DPINK collection, showcasing more than US$25 million of Argyle pink diamond jewelry. “Dhamani are an exciting Middle East luxury jeweler with over four decades of heritage and superb craftsmanship,” said Josephine Johnson, manager of Argyle Pink Diamonds.
Diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky, in his most recent article "A New Diamond Industry", analyzes three significant changes - and the catalysts for those changes - that have been reshaping the diamond industry in recent years: 1) a new operating discipline, 2) a new generation of consumers, and 3) new technology.
Sarine Technologies Ltd, a global leader in the development, manufacture and sale of precision technology products for planning, processing, evaluating and measuring diamonds and gems, reports that it has delivered a record 24 Galaxy-family inclusion mapping systems in Q4 2016, bringing the total number of 2016 deliveries to 84 systems (previous record year saw 48 deliveries). This figure also tops their former quarterly record of 22 systems sold in Q3 2016. The majority of machines sold were of the Meteor variety for small stones (0.25 to 0.89 carat).
Diamond industry analyst Avi Krawitz presents his thoughtful analysis of the year that was in the diamond industry 2016: "The Year Trust Returned to the Diamond Trade".
Rough diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky, whose Diamond Analytics website brings you the Rough Diamond Index, has assembled a Diamonds 2016 Year in Review quiz. Courtesy of Paul Zimnisky, we invite you, our dedicated readers, to test your knowledge of diamond industry developments in 2016 with this 20 question quiz.
Avi Krawitz of Rapaport News details a decision by the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) to enforce a new rule compelling a dealer to cancel the sale of a rough diamond after he failed to disclose that a stone underwent value analysis using a Sarine Galaxy machine. Krawitz has been informed it is the first ever enforcement of new guidelines the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) adopted in May aiming to keep a level playing field between both parties trading rough diamonds.
After being shuttered for several years, New York-based company Almod Diamonds Limited says it plans on opening a diamond polishing and manufacturing factory in Yellowknife in as little as three months. The agreement was announced by Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister Wally Schumann Monday morning. “Diamond polishing and manufacturing is something that has created jobs and economic opportunity in diamond-producing jurisdictions all over the world,” said Schumann.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from The De Beers Group of Companies, unveiled The Forevermark Black Label Collection, a new generation of beautiful fancy shape diamond cuts creating an exceptional sparkle. The brand developed its own propitiatory technology that maximizes the brilliance of each stone, as a diamonds beauty is intrinsically related to the way light is refracted. The new technology allows for perfectly symmetrical cuts which are presumed to be unprecedented in accuracy in every shape.
Small and medium diamond traders in Surat, the world's largest diamond cutting and polishing center, are facing difficult days due to the cash crisis and the government's demonetization decision.
Botswana's diamond cutting industry faces another blow as more jobs are lost due to the fact India based Shrenuj, one of the largest diamond cutting and the single jewelry manufacturing facility in the country, is closing shop. Parent company Shrenuj & C° has been troubled by financial woes over the past months, with reports claiming some 20 Indian banks are said to have exposure to the groups entities amounting to US$450 million which Shrenuj is failing to pay back.
The month of November in Antwerp is replete with rough diamond tenders and auctions from a full range of mining companies, including eight tenders from auction houses Bonas, DDA Trading, KOIN International, First Element and iHennig, three auctions by mining companies Rio Tinto (Diavik & Arg
Two weeks ago, IDEX Online published an opinion piece by Thierry Silber, CEO and founder of Diamaz International and Madestones, entitled "How to Kill Four Birds With One Stone". Here Silber makes the following proposal on the way to tackle the heated issue of undisclosed mixing of natural and synthetic diamonds: "Why not remove the mixing issue by selling both types of smaller diamonds at the same price up to a certain size?" The main problem as he sees it is the cost of detection involved in screening for synthetic diamonds, particularly for smaller manufacturers.
A diamond tycoon in India has again given away more than a thousand cars and hundreds of apartments to his staff as a bonus for meeting company targets. Savjibhai Dholakia, who runs Hare Krishna Exports, a diamond export firm in the city of Surat, announced his company would give 1,260 cars, 400 apartments and pieces of jewelry to his employees ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali which falls on the weekend. “Our aim is that each employee must have his own home and car in the next five years.
The 20-day Diwali holiday vacation has already arrived for most of the small and medium diamond manufacturing units in in Katargam and Varachha, while units in Surat are just starting to shut down. According to The Times of India, "Industry sources said the polished diamond inventory is full and that most of the units had slashed the production by almost 30% in the last few months.
Opportunities for growth within our industry will not be possible if we, as industry players, do not work together through partnerships. If we do not engage as a region, we are at risk of a missed opportunity that might lead to regional competition, to the detriment of our industry. Whether we are regulators, producers, cutters and polishers or jewellery manufacturers, until we recognise and increase our interdependency as partners, we will never get our local diamond industry back on its feet.
- De Beers Consolidated Mines CEO Phillip Barton, on importance of regional integration in the Southern African Development Community, at South Africa Diamond Indaba
According to statistics published by India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), as summarized by Executive Director Sabyasachi Ray, India's cut and polished exports continue to make a gradual recovery in the first five months of fiscal year 2016 (April - August) after seeing polished exports decline 13.66% during the fiscal year 2015.
The income tax department conducted raids and surveys on over 50 jewelers and bullion traders across Maharashtra in the last week for alleged tax evasion, writes The Indian Express, while sources said similar tax raids have been conducted on over 100 jewelers and bullion traders across the country. In Mumbai alone the tax department raided and surveyed at least 17 wholesale jewelers on September 14. According to a jeweler who was surveyed by the tax department, the tax officials have directed the jewelers to declare undisclosed excess stocks and cash.
In his latest installment, diamond industry analyst Ehud Arye Laniado looks for a plausible answer to the following question: if consumer demand for polished diamonds is not rising, and inventory of said stones is not decreasing, what explains the currently strong - even "hot" - demand for rough diamonds? To give an example: "During De Beers’ Sight last week, the company raised prices by 2-4% on average, according to traders. Sightholders that chose to sell rough diamonds from the Sight reportedly sold them for higher premiums.
A new initiative to encourage the involvement of younger diamantaires in the industry is moving ahead, with its first major networking event to take place on September 15 during the Hong Kong Gems and Jewellery Fair. The event will be broadcast live to Belgium, Israel, and India where other Young Diamantaire events are being planned, Rapaport reported. The Young Diamantaires project grew out of a need to encourage trade members aged under 45 to become involved in the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), explained Rami Baron, Chairman of the WFDB’s Promotion committee.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 2016 India International Jewellery Show, Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, confirmed that De Beers has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to develop a category-based marketing campaign over the key selling season in India.
Comparing the current mentality of the diamond industry - in particular the midstream manufacturers - to that of mass production in the textile industry, Ehud Arye Laniado argues that the way to restore dwindling profitability is by restoring the luxury aspect of diamonds, and not by slashing labor costs, seeking favorable tax regimes and free trade zones. "How is it possible that an industry that manufactures luxury products is operating as though it provides low cost, price-point driven items?
In a major, even historic development, the United States will be guaranteeing loans to diamond manufacturers in Botswana. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution that, "mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy", has today issued a press release announcing a financial partnership to provide access to credit for Botswana’s diamond cutting and polishing industry.
Botswana's Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Minister Kitso Mokaila told parliament that two of the country's cutting and polishing firms closed down at the end of last year leaving just 19 such operations. Local manufacturers have been hit by the value of rough diamonds supplied to them dropping by nearly half in 2015 due to Botswana's reduced output and soft global demand. Mokaila said the value of rough diamonds supplied to the local cutting and polishing industry dropped to $502 million in 2015 from $936 million the year before.
De Beers has selected five black-owned cutting and polishing companies for special attention towards meeting the South African government’s demands for beneficiation of the country’s mineral wealth, writes Business Day. Mpumi Zikalala, a director of De Beers Consolidated Mines – the South African division of De Beers – said the companies would receive assistance and "bespoke" rough diamond supplies to ensure they could compete locally and overseas.
With the abolition of the 6.5% export duty on rough diamonds fast approaching on September 1, writes Kommersant Daily, the Russian diamond cutting industry is asking the government to provide large-scale support to withstand competition on international markets - in particular from Indian diamond manufacturers.
Hundreds of diamond brokers from Varachha and Mahidhapura diamond markets have got together to form their separate association to take up the issues pertaining to the trade and the merchants, reports The Times of India. Diamond merchants took the decision two days ago after the police - following a complaint from the regional chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Dinesh Navadiya - arrested two merchants in connection with a cheating case reported one year ago.
How does one cut a massive, 404-carat diamond? James Tarmy of Bloomberg discusses the strategy behind cutting the 404-carat diamond that Lucapa Diamond discovered in Angola’s Lulo mine, making it the largest diamond ever found in Angola. It is also the 27th biggest recorded diamond in the world and the biggest diamond ever discovered by an Australian company.
Citing a publication from The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM India) - which together with the Thought Arbitrage Research Institute published a study titled "Gems & jewellery industry: Contributing to Make in India" - Rapaport News writes that, "Salaries in India’s gem and jewelry sector are half of those in other industries, according to a report that highlights a labor shortage driven by rock-bottom pay and dangerous working conditions. Workers in the industry earn an average of $3,
Polished markets cautious. Hong Kong show begins with low expectations for Chinese demand after relatively weak JCK Las Vegas show. Prices stable at De Beers sight with boxes selling at mid-single-digit premiums amid concerns that rough market fails to reflect sluggish polished demand. Manufacturing steady.