Joseph Lipton, inventor and CEO of VULT - a digital diamond exchange platform seeking to turn diamonds into a true tangible asset class - presented his cutting-edge ideas about the future of global wealth at a very special TEDxFultonStreet Salon about “Things You Can’t Have” with other thought leaders in NYC.
The Antwerp diamond industry is readying to send a large delegation to the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show next week, February 28 - March 4. The Antwerp Diamond Pavilion, organized by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), will host over 80 companies and occupy nearly 1,200 square meters of the Diamond Hall at the AsiaWorld-Expo. As an additional feature this year, exhibitors at the Antwerp Diamond Pavilion will have the opportunity to screen their diamond parcels using HRD Antwerp's
As we noted two weeks ago, word from De Beers and ALROSA was that the sharp decline in low-quality, low-value stones destined for India has abated as the country's cash situation stabilizes post-demonitization, and India's official January trade figures bear this out. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) reports that the volume of rough diamond imports during the month increased 41% over December 2016 and a full 79% since November 2016 when demonitization was introduced.
Russian mining giant ALROSA is stepping up its marketing game beyond its contributions to the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), we were told this past Wednesday at ALROSA Night - a joint initiative between the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and ALROSA at the Belgian Ambassador's Residence in Moscow.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade surged again in the month of January, as the dollar value of rough exports from the diamond capital rose 30% while imports kept pace with a 31% increase compared to the same period in a year ago, according to figures from Antwerp World Diamond Centre. Volumes were up as well, with Antwerp exporting nearly 18% more carats than in January 2016, while rough imports increased by 36%.
"Last year, 1,669 jewelry businesses (including manufacturers and wholesalers) ceased operations in the United States, a 50 percent jump from 2015, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade", writes JCK's Rob Bates. In total, the number of jewelry businesses fell by 6%. He notes that a surprisingly large number of businesses closed their doors in the fourth quarter, traditionally a time when the trade is in full swing. Bates provides the gory details: 1,269 U.S.
Canadian jeweler and diamond industry analyst Mel Moss explores a core dilemma concerning the value proposition of diamonds. It is a dlemma the diamond industry has yet to resolve, leading to confusion and false expectations among consumers: how can a diamond be presented both as a luxury product and a price-based commodity? "Some in the diamond industry are pushing hard to promote generic diamonds as a commodity that can be traded transparently in futures markets, commodity exchanges and as a wealth preservation asset", writes Moss.
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.
After a difficult 2015, the Antwerp diamond industry recorded a 5% increase in trade in 2016, according to a press release from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). This past year, a total of 48 billion USD worth of diamonds were imported to and exported from Antwerp. "The rough diamond market in particular is clearly making a strong recovery. This is positive sign, given that the rough diamond trade is the foundation and heart of the diamond trade.
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Praveen Shankar Pandya told the Press Trust of India he expects gem and jewellery exports to likely witness growth of about 10 percent this fiscal year due to increasing demand in the US and Europe. "We are seeing the markets improve slowly, especially US and Europe to some extent. Looking at the growth in demand in these markets, we are expecting close to 10 per cent growth in the gems and jewellery exports led by polished diamonds," said Pandya.
India's polished diamond exports were sailing along quite nicely in 2016, having put the significant downturn of 2015 squarely behind and having nearly returned to 2014 and 2013 levels, until the bottom fell out in November as exports dropped 53% from $2.52 billion in October to $1.18 billion in November. According to statistics from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), polished exports bounced back in December, increasing 25% from November to reach $1.48 billion, but does not indicate a full return to health.
High price purchases of 'fancy colored' diamonds, once the almost exclusive domain of collectors and connoisseurs, have become more commonplace in recent years, writes The Wall Street Jounal, as investors seek to take advantage of soaring appreciation of these rarest of stones. "Prices are being driven higher by investors who are hoping the hot market stays hot, many of whom have been disappointed by returns from other assets, say industry insiders. Over almost eight years, from the start of 2009 to Sept.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has announced they will open a new International Tender Centre in February during their International Diamond Week in Israel. The IDE will host three tenders of rough and polished diamond by Alrosa, I.Henning and Koin. The establishing of this Centre is an attempt to consolidate as many tenders as possible under one roof.
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.
Citing figures from Israel's Ministry of Economy and Industry, Rapaport News writes that Israel’s polished diamond exports declined in 2016: exports of polished dropped 6.4 percent to $4.68 billion during the year; Exports to the U.S., Israel's largest trade partner, slid 9 percent to $2 billion, while shipments to Hong Kong fell 8 percent to $1.35 billion. Orders from Belgium slumped 16 percent to $349 million. Polished imports fell 6 percent to $3.28 billion. Meanwhile, rough imports increased 17 percent to $3.25 billion, while rough exports rose 23 percent to $2.7 billion.
India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has become a full member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), marking the first time a non-bourse organizaion has been admitted as a full member of the global diamond organisation, finalizing last week's announcement.
According to a Rapaport press release: Polished diamond prices softened in December as Indian liquidity dried up due to the government’s demonetization policy eliminating 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. Trading slowed with dealers taking vacation during the holiday period," The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat, RapSpec A3+ diamonds fell 1.3% in December. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds edged up 0.2%, while RAPI for 0.50-carat stones fell 2.2%. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds slid 1%. RAPI for 1-carat diamonds declined 3% in the fourth quarter and 5% for the full year.
According to a press release from the Israeli Diamond Industry: Alrosa will hold a tender of both polished and rough diamonds during Israel’s sixth International Diamond Week (IDWI), February 13 – 16, 2017 at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE.) The auction will offer 108 boxes of rough diamonds of 11 to 199 carats, and several unique white and fancy color polished diamonds, weighing from 10 to 80 ct, including five that were cut from one huge rough stone.
According to provisional data provided by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), India’s November polished diamond exports fell 53% in value from total exports in October, from $2.52b to $1.18b, and declined 10% year-over-year for November. In terms of volume, polished exports fell 51.5% from 3.3 million carats to 1.6 million carats compared to October.
Harrods, the luxury department store in Knightsbridge, unveiled a hidden treasure, a 228.31-carat diamond. The pear-shape diamond has been graded a G color, VS1-clarity stone by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Chief merchant at Harrods, Helen David, said: “We are thrilled to unveil one of the world’s rarest diamonds, the so-called 'Harrods Diamond', named after the iconic Knightsbridge store."
From 11 through 14 December, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and HRD Antwerp are participating in the City of Antwerp's economic mission to Seoul, South Korea, after which it heads to Shanghai. Highlights of the trip to Seoul include HRD Antwerp's announcement it will be offering bilingual diamond grading reports as of February 1, 2017, with the first reports available in English/Korean and English/Chinese. HRD Antwerp will gradually offer bilingual grading reports in other foreign languages over the course of the next year.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of The De Beers Group of Companies, has unveiled a US$5 million expansion of its diamond grading and testing centre in Surat, India. The move follows the Group’s initial investment of US$10 million in 2015 to establish the facility, which has the capacity to process over US$500 million of diamonds every year.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade surged again in the month of November, as the dollar value of rough imports to and exports from the diamond capital rose 60% and 63% respectively compared to the same period in a year ago, according to figures from Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). These figures essentially seal the positive verdict on Antwerp’s 2016 rough trade, as rough exports for the year (January through November) have risen nearly 10% in carat volume and 11.50% in value; rough imports fared just as well, recording a 10.40% increase in volume and a 10% increase in value.
The diamond market has been going through difficult times for a while now, but diamond trade data paint a far more optimistic picture than in June, signalling that trade has turned the corner, writes Georgette Boele of ABN Amro in their "Insights" report. Back in June when ABN last published their diamond insights report, Boele still doubted if global diamond trade would improve, but trade data have clearly improved in all centres, most noticeably in Antwerp, Israel and India.
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.
Rare Diamond House – Antwerp (RDH) holds the world’s largest selection of investment grade D Flawless diamonds of 10 carats and up. Since 2008, RDH has been involved in buying, selling or valuing the majority of diamonds of this caliber that have appeared at auction.
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.
For the past three days a delegation of 21 leading jewelers from China, who collectively represent more than 8,000 points-of-sale, have been getting acquainted with the Antwerp diamond industry. The visit took place in the framework of a new initiative by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the “Antwerp Diamond Experience”, intended to provide groups of foreign jewelers, wholesalers and manufacturers inside access to the world’s diamond capital. Seeing as how China is currently the second largest jewelry market following the United States, this served as an incredible opportunity.
Two investment bubbles, 340 years apart, provide living proof of Edmund Burke’s famous observation that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Rough diamond broker and founder and president of N.Rothmann, Nurit Rothmann recounts the history of two remarkably similar speculative bubbles: the spectactular rise and sudden collapse of the tulip market in 1637 and the rough diamond market in the late 1970's and early '80s. Reprinted here by special arrangement.
India's diamond industry continued in October its strong recovery set forth the first half (April - September) of 2016, as preparations for the Diwali holiday season had a positive effect on the month prior to the holiday recess, and the upheaval of the government's demonitization policy had yet to be unleashed.
ALROSA, the world leader in diamond mining, has announced rough and polished diamond sales results for October 2016. Rough diamond sales in October 2016 amounted to USD 430.8 million. Polished diamond sales for the same period amounted to USD 8.2 million. Total diamond sales in October 2016 amounted to USD 439 million. “Demand remained strong in October even on the threshold of the holiday season during the celebration of Diwali in India-–the largest cutting and polishing center,” says Yury Okoemov, ALROSA Vice President.
Diamond manufacturing technology company Sarine Technologies announced in a press release the unveiling of it, "new groundbreaking technology for clarity and color grading", which it claims, "will revolutionize the way the diamond industry and consumers perceive clarity grading, and transform the polished sourcing and sorting process ... Technological standardization translates into greater credibility for the industry and increased trust for the diamond consumer." They say while carat size has traditionally been the only objectively measurable factor of the 4C’s in diamond grading, Sarine
According to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the volume of rough as well as polished imports to the diamond capital rose during the month of October compared to the same period in a year ago, while exports of both categories slowed. Rough imports increased nearly 11% in volume to 8.4 million carats, representing the highest volume of October rough imports since 2012, though the value of those imports fell 7% to $900 million.
According to Rapaport News as gathered from U.S. Census Bureau data, U.S. polished diamond imports surged 33% to $2.18 billion in September. In terms of volume, imports rose 7% when compared to September 2015, with 988,097 carats being traded.
According to a company press release, Rio Tinto’s 2016 Pink Diamonds Tender collection of 63 rare pink, red and violet diamonds from its Argyle mine has delivered a record result, reflecting strong global demand for these increasingly rare diamonds. Known as The Chroma Collection, the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender comprised the highest quality, size and colour composition in the Tender’s 32 year history and was highly sought after, with winners from 10 countries including a strong representation from the sophisticated US collector market.
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.
The De Beers Group of Companies has announced that its Auction Sales business will offer midstream diamond companies the opportunity to sell certain types of polished diamonds to other trade participants on its auction platform, the company writes in a press release. The new limited scope, business-to-business pilot is an extension of the service for rough diamonds that was launched earlier this year. It follows existing customer demand for an equivalent service for their polished diamonds.
According to polishedprices, the polished diamond price index slumped to its lowest level since March 2010, while Rapaport writes that its polished price index dropped 4.3% in the first ten months of the year. Both index leaders view the Chinese, Jewish and Indian holidays as exerting downward pressure on the markets in October, with this week's traditional slowing coming ahead of the Diwali holidays. Rapaport also says that, "Trading slowed as larger U.S.
Diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan takes a close look at US consumers' polished diamond purchasing trends based on data that retail metrics research firm NPD collected from nearly 4,000 specialty jewelry retailers. Golan says that, "One of the biggest issues in the diamond industry, especially in the manufacturing sector, is a lack of impartial and detailed data about consumer purchasing habits.
Graff Diamonds unveiled “The Graff Venus”, calling it, "The largest D flawless heart-shaped diamond in the world." They say it took 18 months for Graff's master craftsmen to analyse, cut and polish the magnificent type IIa 118.78-carat diamond from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho - operated by Gem Diamonds. Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds said, "We were given a once in a lifetime opportunity and we created absoulute perfection."
Anyone telling you that lab created diamonds are cheaper [than natural] is straight out lying (they just use weaker certificates to make inflated quality claims; the oldest scam in the book) ... You shouldn’t ignore value entirely. Say an average natural diamond retains roughly 50% of its value after purchase. Eventually the value of the diamond will rise, so if you ever try to sell it, you should be getting at least half (or possibly much more) of the original purchase price. Lab-created synthetic diamonds have no resale value. So, from a value perspective, you would need to buy the lab-created diamond at a massive discount to justify giving up the value retention of natural diamonds ... The companies selling lab-grown diamonds claim that their diamonds are 30-40% cheaper. That is an outright lie. So If you are planning on buying a diamond and looking to get the best bang for your buck, natural diamonds are a far better choice than man-made diamonds.
- The Diamond Pro, on the losing value proposition of synthetic diamonds.
Gujarat chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), saying it would put the city and the state on the map of world. "With this complex becoming operational, Surat will find its place among the world diamond trading hubs. This will boost the trade prospects for diamond traders from Surat," said Rupani. SDB is a company floated by diamond barons who plan to invest Rs1.25 trillion to establish it over a period of four years.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds trended upward during the first six months (April-September 2016) of fiscal year 2017, rising by 10.71% to $11.20 bn, according to the provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). During the fiscal year to date, imports of rough diamonds rose to $8.85 bn, an increase of 27.20%.
JCK's Rob Bates writes that one of the largest remaining specialty jewelry chains in the US, Helzberg Diamonds, will no longer carry synthetic diamonds. "Last year," writes Bates, "Helzberg Diamonds’ experimented with stocking lab-grown diamonds. It was the largest jewelry retailer to do so.
Dharmanandan Diamonds (DDPL), a De Beers sightholder company, has become first to launch an online auction platform - the Diamond Carnival - for polished diamonds, writes The Times of India. Available for clients in India and abroad, the new monthly auction platform is accessible through the Internet as well as iOS mobile applications. The first auction in the series on the new platform opened at 12:00 PM on October 17 and will be live for three days, the company said in a release.
Wedding planner website The Knot asks a common question to diamond ring purchasers: “How can you be sure your stone is conflict-free?” The fact that this question is still a concern to consumers even today, when ‘conflict diamonds’ have been all but eliminated from the supply chain, points to a misconception that most, if not all natural diamonds are considered conflict diamonds. But what exactly is a ‘conflict diamond’? Why do people still hold to the misconception that there is a great risk of buying them? And what steps can consumers take to be absolutely certain?
According to diamond pricing giant Rapaport, "Diamond markets were steady in September. The polished market was supported by relatively high rough prices as suppliers held polished prices firm, preferring to delay sales rather than suffer losses from expensive rough." The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for one-carat, GIA-graded polished diamonds declined 0.2% in September. The index dropped 2.7% in the third quarter and is down 2% since the beginning of the year. Prices for three-carat stones also remained flat at -0.2% after declining 1.5% in the third quarter and 9.8% for the year.
Antwerp's rough diamond trade experienced a significant if not extraordinary rise in September, according to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, while the polished trade could not shake its downward trend. Rough exports in September increased a whopping 61% in value year on year to $1.42 billion on a 26% increase in volume traded. Antwerp exported 10.8 million carats during the month, compared to 8.5 million carats traded a year ago. These volumes also exceed by more than a million carats - nearly 12% - the rough exports from the record year of 2014.
As announced last week, the Antwerp diamond bourses will make it possible for all its members to avail of HRD Antwerp screening technology at no cost. This initiative adds a second layer of confidence, as polished diamonds imported to Antwerp from India are already checked at AWDC's Diamond Office.
Last Friday, September 30, the second of three rough diamond valuation forums initiated by the current Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, was held in Antwerp.
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 Hong Kong Accredited Diamond Exchange (HKADE), backed by a renowned Hong Kong serial entrepreneur Mr. Shih Wing-Ching, provides the first online peer-to-peer (P2P) global diamond marketplace with its reliable verification service and unique features for investment consideration with the support of non-physical settlement, according to a company press release. "There is a big gap between the retail price and resale price of diamonds," Mr. Shih stated. "This is because information about the diamond market is not always clear.
The Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA) will launch a U.K. chapter in London to facilitate networking among members of the trade and increase the public’s awareness about colored stones, writes Rapaport News. “Whilst the public is increasingly knowledgeable about white diamonds, there is still a lack of reliable information about natural-color diamonds,” the NCDIA said. “The NCDIA seeks to address this by disseminating the most up-to-date gemological information to their members and supplying them with trustworthy marketing and promotional tools.” The first U.K.
Rio Tinto’s 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is being showcased in Hong Kong against the backdrop of the annual Hong Kong Gems and Jewellery Fair. The 2016 Tender collection features 63 unique diamonds. The centerpiece of the collection is The Argyle Violet, the largest violet diamond unearthed from the Argyle mine and the largest diamond in the 2016 Tender.
Pin Lee, writing for the South China Morning Post, spoke with insiders from the Hong Kong and Asian diamond market to get their opinions on diamonds as an investment. While not without risk, as with any investment, by making a careful choice and focusing on the highest quality and rarest of stones, one should end up with a rock-solid investment. "Generally speaking," said Chin Yeow Quek, Sotheby’s deputy chairman of Asia and chairman of international jewellery in Asia, "diamonds do not fluctuate but, as with most items of value, there will be some ups and downs.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre's "Diamond Pavilion" at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair starting September 13 will be replete with no less than 115 diamond trading companies, topping last year's numbers when the Antwerp diamond contingent was among the largest at the show. The Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair is beyond a doubt the most important appointment in the year for the worldwide diamond and jewelry industry.
One-carat diamond prices remained under pressure with low trading volume during the August vacation period, according to a statement from the Rapaport news service. Inventories of polished are building up due to steady manufacturing and soft demand as dealers prepare for the fourth-quarter holiday season. However, there is some improvement in items weighing less than one carat as Chinese bridal demand stabilizes.
According to figures release by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Antwerp's diamond trade this past August - and in particular exports - reversed the fortunes of August 2015, as the value of rough diamond exports increased 23% while polished exports were up 17%. August is always the slowest month of the year, as the industry takes its traditional summer recess at this time, but what trading did take place was on the positive side.
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.