According to preliminary figures released today, ALROSA’s rough and polished diamond sales for the year 2017 amounted to US$4.27 billion, a 5% decline from the US$4.49 billion in overall sales in 2016 despite an estimated 5% increase in rough diamond production. The Russian mining giant provisionally sold $4.17 billion in rough diamonds compared to $4.34 billion in 2016. They sold US$96.9 million in polished diamonds on the year.
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.
According to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the Antwerp diamond trade experienced an increase in activity nearly across the board in November comparatively, likely tied to events in India and U.A.E. The volume of rough diamond exports surged by 107% compared to October and 142% year-on-year, reaching 14.6 million carats during the month. The value of those rough exports also spiked by 55% compared to last month and 22% year-on-year, achieving $1.28 billion.
ALROSA's first auction for the sale of The Dynasty collection concluded with an average premium of 30% on the reserve prices for four of the five diamonds, with the maximum excess over reserve at 52% the company writes; but they withdrew the 51.38-carat signature stone from the sale. More than 130 companies and private clients registered to participate in the bidding. In accordance with the company’s strategy, the goal of the first auction was to evaluate the upper bound of the price range that might be offered to the market.
As has happened with fine art, wine, and other categories, well-informed consumers are rapidly recognizing the opportunities inherent in jewelry and, in the process, driving up the prices of an already limited commodity. Just 10 years ago, a buyer could have bought a vivid blue diamond for $200,000 to $300,000 per carat; today, that same stone is fetching $2 million to $3 million per carat. This tenfold increase in value surpasses the growth rate of the S&P 500 and most real estate markets ... Though such swift appreciation often leads to a correction, many of the savviest market experts see no signs of a sell-off ... Jewelry’s rising value is now outpacing that of classic cars.
- Jill Newman, from "Why Diamonds and Gems Are Catching the Eye of Serious Investors"
Last week, the Guangzhou Diamond Exchange and Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange, subsidiaries of Guangdong Assets & Equity Exchange Group, held a series of annual meetings around the theme of “Belt & Road, Hand in Hand — International Jewelry & Diamond Conference 2017". China's Belt and Road Initiative, roughly defined, is a development campaign through which China wants to boost trade and stimulate economic growth across Asia and beyond by building massive amounts of infrastructure connecting it to countries around the globe.
On November 29, ALROSA is holding a silent auction for the sale of the unique polished diamond collection, The Dynasty. The Dynasty collection consists of five diamonds and was produced from a 179-carat unique rough diamond named The Romanovs, which was mined from Nyurbinskaya kimberlite pipe in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2015. The main 51.38-ct diamond is a 57-facet traditional round brilliant-cut diamond, Triple Excellent (the best quality cut), D, VVS1. Such characteristics occur in less than 1% of diamonds worldwide.
The scarcity of blue and pink fancy color diamonds on the market is driving prices higher, writes the Fancy Color Reasearch Foundation (FCRF). The Fancy Color Diamond Index for the third quarter of 2017 increased slightly compared to Q2, with a 0.2% total rise for yellow, pink and blue fancy color diamonds in all sizes and saturations. The best performers with regard to prices in Q3 were fancy blue and pink color diamonds, which appreciated 0.4% and 0.3% respectively.
The Antwerp diamond industry had a solid month of trading in October, particularly on the export side, as the value of rough and polished exports both took a turn for the better despite soft midstream demand for rough and a seasonally slow polished landscape. Furthermore, according to figures published by the AWDC, the trend of high volumes of low-value rough exports abated for the first time in months, as the increase in the value of rough exports (+15%) nearly kept pace with the increase in volume (+19%) on a year-over-year basis.
"Diamond prices softened slightly in October amid slow trading as businesses closed for Indian and Jewish holidays," according to Rapaport's latest press release. "Polished inventory levels dropped during the month, but remain higher than usual for this time of year, exerting downward pressure on prices." They note that the number of unique diamonds listed on RapNet has increased 18% since January to 1.4 million, as dealers are holding large volumes of hard-to-move goods and seeing shortages of select in-demand categories, such as RapSpec A3+, SI-clarity diamonds.
According to Rapaport News, based on figures from the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Israel's diamond trade as a whole has slowed in 2017, as exports of polished diamonds to the US, Israel’s largest market, declined 15% to $1.26 billion during the nine-month period. Exports to Hong Kong are also down, but only by 3% to $1.01 billion. Rapaport writes: "The country’s exports of polished diamonds fell 12% year on year to $3.38 billion during the first nine months of 2017, while the volume of goods sent out dropped 11% to 1.297 million carats.
HRD Antwerp today launched its new diamond ID CARD: a highly affordable grading report for diamonds that weigh between 0.08 and 0.998 carats. "With this new product, we aim to bring a comprehensive solution to one of the diamond market’s main current challenges: ensuring confidence in small-sized diamonds," says Michel Janssens, CEO of HRD Antwerp.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds gained nearly 6% in value year-over-year in September, reports the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The Indian trade exported $2.65 billion worth of polished diamonds in September 2017 compared to $1.82 billion in the same month a year earlier, according to provisional data. For the first half of the financial year to date (April-September), India's polished exports are up by 1.7% in value terms, currently sitting at $11.9 billion, compared to $11.7 billion a year earlier.
A legendary 19.07 carat pink diamond of historic Royal French provenance will be offered for sale at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on 14 November 2017, the auction house reports in a press release. The magnificent stone has been in the collection of four kings, four queens, two emperors and two empresses, starting with the Sun King, Louis XIV. It is one of France’s most storied gems, with three centuries of royal provenance.
Sotheby’s will be presenting ‘The Raj Pink’, claimed to be the world’s largest known Fancy Intense Pink diamond, weighing 37.30 carats, at its auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva, on 15 November 2017. Its estimate is $20 million - $30 million. “The discovery of any pink diamond is exceptional, but the Raj Pink’s remarkable size and intensity of colour places it in the rarefied company of the most important pink diamonds known,” says David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.
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.
Diamond industry analyst Ehud Laniado takes a helpful look at the, "trends, anomalies and problems in the wholesale sector of the diamond market" as we approach the holiday season. As anticipated, demand is rising, but changes in the nature of that demand are causing some concern; in particular, the steady shift to lower-priced goods, lower peaks in demand and an overall decline in polished prices.
The trend of high volumes of lower-priced rough diamond exports from Antwerp that started in full force during May continued to define the rough trade through the third quarter (July-Sept.), while the diamond capital’s polished trade recorded somewhat soft results. According to figures published by the AWDC, on a year-over-year basis, the volume of rough diamond exports during the quarter increased nearly 12%, totaling over 27 million carats, while their value actually declined by 13% to $2.7 billion. The volume of rough imports also increased 1.5% while their value also tumbled by 13%.
According to three of the leading polished price indexes - Rapaport, IDEX and PolishedPrices - September polished diamond prices trended downward, though they steadied toward the end of the month. PolishedPrices pulled the alarm bell mid-month, with the headline, "Polished index falls to lowest level since December 2009", noting that "The overall index is 4.7% lower than this time last year and has lost 2.2% since the start of the year," before bouncing back the next week.
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.
A massive emerald-cut diamond fashioned from Lucapa Diamond's 404 carat rough stone - the largest rough diamond ever recovered in Angola - will go under the hammer on November 14 at Christie’s in Geneva. "Set into an asymmetric necklace designed by de GRISOGONO, this 163.41 carat, flawless D-colour emerald-cut diamond is the largest ever to come to auction", reads the press release from the auction house. In February 2016, Lucapa Diamond Company announced the discovery of the biggest recorded diamond in Angola, confirmed as a Type IIa D-color gem-quality stone.
A Fancy Intense Blue diamond which has been held in a private collection for nearly 30 years sold for $3.6 million (£2,685,000), smashing its $2 million high estimate, at Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale in London on September 20. The 4.03-carat pear-shaped diamond, "became the subject of a fierce bidding frenzy before it finally went under the hammer, selling to Graff Diamonds for $853,203 price per carat," the auction house writes.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds fell by 6.5 percent year-over-year in August, reports the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The Indian trade exported $1.82 billion in August 2017, a decline of 6.5% as compared to the $1.94B in the same month a year earlier, according to provisional data. The $1.82 billion was however higher than the $1.67 billion exported in the month of July. For the financial year to date (April-August), India's polished exports are up by a half percentage point, currently sitting at $9.25 billion, compared to $9.20 billion a year earlier.
Alrosa today announced the results of its rough specials and polished diamond auctions, held at the Eastern Economic Forum. The rough specials of 10.8+ carats, 1,293cts total achieved a total sales price of USD14.8 million, while 33 of the 36 polished stones, 2 to 12 carats were sold for a total sales value of USD 1.7 million. According to Alrosa VP Okoyomov the auctions were attended by some 50 companies from the US, India, Israel, Belgium and the UAE.
The value of polished diamond exports from Antwerp jumped by 7% y-o-y as their volume surged by 30% in the month of August. The sharpest value increase was in exports to Switzerland (+84%), while those to the US remained flat and those to Hong Kong fell by 10%. Polished imports fell by 14% in volume but only 3% in value. Meanwhile, the volume of rough diamond exports from Antwerp remained comparatively high in the holiday month of August as the industry took a three-week break.
DIAMONDS ALROSA will auction its own polished diamonds during the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair in September, the company announced in a press release. The first auction will take place on September 13-17, introducing large colorless diamonds, as well as certified fancy colored diamonds, including yellow, green, orange and purple colors. The second auction will be held on September 19-22. Diamonds of small and medium sizes as well as brown diamonds will be introduced there. “We’ve chosen this assortment in accordance with demand on the Asian market.
After bouncing back strongly in the first quarter of 2017, Israel's polished diamond exports slowed significantly in the second quarter, according to data from the Economy and Industry Ministry. Rapaport News writes that Israel's exports of polished diamonds for the half-year ended June declined 3% to $2.55 billion excluding returned goods, while volume fell 6% to 919,422 carats.
India's polished diamond exports showed little movement during the month of July, a traditionally slow period in the diamond and jewelry industry. According to figures published by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), July exports remained flat at $1.65 billion despite a notable 25% increase in the volume of carats exported, jumping to 3.14 million from 2.5 million carats, continuing the ongoing trend toward high volumes of small, lower-quality goods. The price per carat fell accordingly to $524 from $660.
Laurelton Diamonds, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tiffany & Co., will be holding the viewings of its next Tender of Polished Diamonds at the Laurelton Diamonds offices in Antwerp, Belgium. The Tender will include a selection of single GIA certified stones and grouped lots of GIA certified and non-certified polished diamonds. These include rounds ranging in size from caraters to melee. The tender is scheduled from Tuesday 22nd August to Tuesday 29th August in Antwerp. Viewing appointments can be booked.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
While their methodologies and results vary to some extent, even a cursory glance at the major diamond price indexes (RapNet, IDEX, Mercury, PolishedPrices) reveal an undeniable trend of continuing and sustained polished price declines.
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
The Argyle diamond coin trilogy sold within a month, according to a press release from Rio Tinto. "The Australian Trilogy", is an US$1.4 million (AUD$1.8 million) one-of-a-kind coin collection featuring a pink, purple pink and violet diamond from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. Released by The Perth Mint, The Australian Trilogy was sold to an anonymous collector from Asia within a month of its unveiling.
"Polished diamond prices softened in June after the JCK Las Vegas show demonstrated a cautious and changing US market," announces Rapaport News in a press release on polished prices in June. Their message confirms the trends noted in recent months: retailers reducing standard inventory, which is contributing to a build-up of older stock midstream, while consumers seeking lower price point jewelry.
Antwerp's diamond trade in June mirrors the trends we have seen from the diamond capital over the first half of the year 2017, with significant volume increases of lower-priced rough exports and a persistently soft polished trade. On a year-over-year basis, the volume of rough diamond exports increased for the second month in a row by more than 50% (53%) while their value rose only 24%. The volume of rough imports also surged 31% while their value lagged behind at 5%.
In ABN AMRO's lastest iteration of the biannual Diamond Market Outlook, Coordinator FX & Precious Metals Strategy Georgette Boele writes, "The recovery in the diamond trade has grinded to a halt at the start of 2017", as US consumer spending has been disappointing in Q1, lower consumption in Hong Kong and Macau has negatively affected demand (according to company reports from main jewelers in the region) and Chinese retail sales were weaker in January and February.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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%.
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.
The lastest disruptive online diamond sales platform, a "reverse auction site" startup called Legemdary, purports to serve the interests of diamond buyers and wholesalers by cutting out retailers altogether, writes Rachelle Bergstein for Forbes, introducing the company to a global audience. Legemdary calls itself the only straight to wholesale online diamond marketplace, connecting prospective engagement ring buyers directly with wholesalers who bid to supply the consumers' needs.
Christie's Hong Kong yesterday auctioned off the famous 'Jonker No. 5' diamond for $5.3 million, soundly beating the pre-sale estimate of $2.2 million to $3.6 million. The 'Jonker No. 5' is part of a legendary collection of 13 stones fashioned from one of the most famous diamonds in history: the 726-carat piece of rough discovered by Jacob Jonker in South Africa in 1934, which at the time was said to be the fourth largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered. The Type IIa stone is D color, VVS2 clarity, rectangular-cut and weighs 25.27 cts.
Forevermark diamond, part of the De Beers Group, announced it had inscribed its two millionth diamond, a 3.48 carat round brilliant which now bears the unique inscription of ‘2,000,000’. The diamond was mined, cut and polished in Namibia, then inscribed in the Forevermark Diamond Institute in Surat and will be set in a piece of jewelry at the Forevermark Design innovation Centre in Milan, Italy.