Archive

  • Jewelers of America (JA) released the results of their US “Fine Jewelry Industry Consumer and Retail Market Study” conducted by Provoke Insights. The study surveyed two groups, the retailers and the consumers, and Michelle Graff listed some of the key findings. 

  • Rapaport’s Sarah Jordan lists five common misconceptions about the diamond industry and lets industry experts explain the difference between myth and reality.

    Myth: Customers are significantly at risk of buying a conflict diamond
    Reality: The Kimberley Process alongside a multitude of legislation and self-regulation are a guarantee that 99.8% of diamonds are conflict-free.

  • According to The National Jeweler, a Delaware judge this week has dismissed the Chapter 11 cases Exelco NV and its subsidiaries filed in the Delaware (US) Bankruptcy Court, ruling that the cases should be heard in Belgium. U.S.

  • The tax regimes in the four major diamond midstream trading centers - Antwerp, India, Dubai and Israel - have been the topic of great discussion and significant change in recent years. The beginning of this year saw the tax policies in both Belgium (Antwerp) and Israel (Tel Aviv) change. These countries levied a minimum tax on diamond companies, which was levied as a percentage of the turnover. While this was termed as a “turnover-based tax”, it was never truly a turnover-based tax.

  • The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), representing the largest diamond trade hub worldwide, and diamond mining company De Beers today announced at the KP Plenary in Brisbane that they are discussing a potential collaboration in De Beers’ recently announced blockchain platform. De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said that in recognition of the crucial issue of confidence in the diamond industry and the changing expectations across the value chain, the company has been investing in a platform to create, "the first traceability platform to span the entire diamond value chain ...

  • “We want to change the narrative surrounding the diamond industry,” says Diamond Empowerment Fund executive director Nancy Orem Lyman.

  • Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA has become a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) by achieving certification against its Code of Practices through meeting the highest ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the RJC, the two organizations communicated this morning. A large independent audit company has been undertaken to assess ALROSA’s compliance with RJC’s Code of Practices.

  • In Gem Diamonds’ Half Year 2017 results, announced on 17 August 2017, shareholders were notified that an offer to acquire 100% of the Ghaghoo asset ("Ghaghoo") had been received and was being considered by the Board.
    Discussions have not resulted in agreement between parties and this offer has been withdrawn, the company announced this morning.

  • De Beers reports the value of its provisional sales for Cycle 10 2017 (representing sales as at 11 December 2017) at $450 million, a modest drop from actual sales of $466 million in Cycle 9 and a nearly 7 percent increase from the $422 million in sales for the same cycle in 2016. It should be noted that De Beer’s provisional sales value for Cycle 9 was $455 million, later adjusted upward to $466M. For the year to date, De Beers has sold $5.306 billion in rough diamonds (noting the provisional nature of Cycle 10), compared to $5.587 billion in sales last year, a 5 percent decline.

  • Merlin Diamonds is getting ready to process its first kimberlite ore through its new Tomra X-Ray Transmission (XRT) machine at its Merlin Diamond Mine in the Northern Territory, designed to enable the recovery of larger diamonds. Merlin announced on December 1 that the Tomra X-Ray Transmission Machine had been delivered to the mine site and would be commissioned in December. In addition to larger diamonds, the machine is also expected to recover more low luminescing diamonds than previously possible.

  • 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.

  • The government of Zimbabwe has removed the local ownership requirement for foreign investment into the country - laid down in the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act - with the exception of the diamond and platinum sectors, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced in a major policy change by the new administration. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has made job creation one of his priorities, had telegraphed his radical policy shift by dropping the indigenisation portfolio when he named his cabinet last week.

  • Moda Operandi, the American online luxury retailer originally founded in 2011 as a platform to provide consumers access to full collections straight from the runway, has just received a brand-new influx of cash. Billionaire entrepreneur and executive director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Adrian Cheng and Apax Digital co-led its latest round of funding, which totals a massive $165 million in growth capital. That number doubles Moda Operandi's total funding, which had reached more than $130 million as of its Series E round in February 2015.

  • De Beers Group has announced that its Auction Sales business is to transition Fixed-Price Forward Contracts to core business status, following the success of the pilot program that was launched in January 2017. Fixed-Price Forward Contracts offer the opportunity for Auction Sales customers to secure guaranteed access to bespoke future supply contracts, with certainty over the price to be paid when each contract reaches maturity.

  • As the Kimberley Process 2017 Plenary is set to start in Brisbane on Saturday, December 9, The Diamond Loupe sat down with the Acting President of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre Stéphane Fischler to discuss the industry oganization's recommendations and what they are expecting from this Plenary.

  • A "superb twin-stone colored diamond ring by Graff" soared past its $6,500,000 - $8,500,000 estimate to earn $12,575,000 at hammer time yesterday during Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale. The remarkable sale comes just a day after another blue diamond fetched $15.1 million at Sotheby's New York auction.

  • Last month, The New York Times posted an article entitled “Atelier Swarovski Turns to Man-Made Gems”. Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, would call this an oxymoron. Gems by definition are not man-made, not to mention the fact that calling them such contradicts the standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

  • In November 2017, ALROSA Group sold US$334.2 million worth of rough and polished diamonds. Rough diamond sales by value amounted to US$325.8 million, while polished diamond sales earned US$8.4 million during the month. This follows a month in which the Russian miner sold $326.7 million in rough stones, and represents a 36% increase compared to rough diamond sales in November 2016. Polished sales declined slightly from the $9.6 million in polished diamond sales in the same period last year.

  • A 5.69-carat fancy vivid blue diamond fetched $15.1 million at Sotheby’s New York yesterday, making it the top lot of the day and confirming once again that purchasers are willing to pay top dollar for blue diamonds that carry the ultra-rare “fancy vivid” classification. The hammer price, which is equivalent to $2.66 million per carat, came in slightly above the pre-sale high estimate of $15 million. The emerald-cut gem, which is set in a platinum ring and flanked by two baguette-shaped diamonds, has a VVS1 clarity grade.

  • 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.

  • 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, today called for an open discussion around Kimberley Process reform at the KP Plenary meeting to be held in Brisbane, Australia December 9-14, 2017.

  • The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has undertaken a sensitization initiative for border communities in the Mano River Union (MRU) region - which comprises the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire - to raise awareness of the Kimberley Process requirements and strengthen local capacity to monitor the flow of diamonds.

  • De Beers Group today announced three changes to its Executive Committee. Neil Ventura, currently Executive Vice-President, Auction Sales, will become Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Innovation. Paul Rowley, currently Executive Vice-President, Global Sightholder Sales, will become Executive Vice-President, Diamond Trading. Alessandra Berridge, currently Lead Legal Counsel for M&A at Anglo American, will become Executive Vice-President, Commercial and Partnerships.

  • Angolan state-owned diamond company Sodiam will divest a stake in Geneva-based jewelry maker De Grisogono - a Swiss firm controlled by the husband of the billionaire daughter (Isabel) of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos - for “reasons of public interest and legality,” report Henrique Almeida and Candido Mendes for Bloomberg Markets. The move comes, the journalists write, as Angola’s new leader, President Joao Lourenco, untangles the country from the business interests of his predecessor’s family. 

  • Today, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) have announced they will join forces in rolling out an industry-wide Know-Your-Customer (KYC) exchange platform, MyKYCBank. The MyKYCBank platform, which had been launched by the GJEPC through an independent subsidiary, provides a centralized platform for companies in the industry to complete and manage their KYC in line with global standards.  Users can easily and quickly share their own KYC data among trade connections as well as banks and othe

  • The 709-carat "Peace Diamond", considered the 14th-largest rough diamond in history and recovered by artisanal miners in Sierra Leone’s Kono district in March, sold at Rapaport's auction in New York for $6.5 million, approximately $1.2M less than was originally offered for the stone. This despite - or perhaps because of - its tour through the major diamond trading centers. Renowned jeweler Laurence Graff was the buyer. Martin Rapaport, surrounded by Sierra Leonean officials at their press conference in New York, apologized that his efforts did not yield what they had hoped.

  • Recognizing the crucial issue of confidence in the diamond industry and the changing expectations across the value chain, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver today announced the company has been investing in a blockchain platform to create, "the first traceability platform to span the entire diamond value chain". Consumer expectations regarding the level of confidence "that a diamond has been responsibly sourced, confidence in its value and confidence that it is the real thing", is obviously on the rise.

  • Firestone Diamonds commenced production at the Liqhobong diamond mine in Lesotho in October 2016, developing the new mine on time and under budget and hitting its early operational targets; however, lower than expected diamond prices achieved have forced the young miner to revise their plan. They held their first sale in Antwerp in February 2017, and on 30 June 2017 achieved commercial production. In late September, they reported they have sold all 505,706 carats recovered, for US$41.3 million, at an average value of US$82/ct.

  • The vanguard of independent diamond-industry journalism, Chaim-Even Zohar, last week announced his retirement, bringing more than 40 years of uncompromising investigative reporting to an end.

  • 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.

  • On November 9 in Sierra Leone, Meya Mining recovered a 476-carat Type IIa, D color diamond (the highest category of purity & color) from the very first sample of ore they put through their processing plant. An astounding recovery.

  • ABN AMRO announced on November 30 that Diamond & Jewellery Clients (D&JC) will become part of Trade & Commodity Finance (TCF) within ABN AMRO’s Commercial & Institutional Banking business. It also announced that Geert van Reisen has been appointed interim Global Head of Diamond & Jewellery Clients, until all internal formalities have been arranged, with effect from 1 December 2017. Geert van Reisen takes over from Erik Jens who has decided to pursue his career outside the bank. 

  • 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 ...

  • Tiffany & Co. saw its worldwide net sales increase 3% to $976 million in the third quarter for the three months ended October 31, 2017, while comparable store sales declined 1%. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, their comps held steady. Their net earnings increased 5% to $100 million from $95 million. The uptick in net sales was driven by a 15% rise in the Asia-Pacific region, to $283 million, as strong growth in mainland China contrasted with declines in most other countries, which the jeweler attributed largely to lower Chinese tourist spending.

  • Lucara Diamond has published its Operating Outlook for 2018, forecasting revenue at $170 million to $200 million, excluding the sale of high-quality exceptional stones, from 270,000 - 290,000 carats mined, bringing them back up to projected 2017 levels. Production levels in 2017 had to be scaled back as a result of extracting less ore than planned from its Karowe deposit, forcing the company to focus on mining waste material to ensure future access to larger volumes of ore from the lower-grade but higher-value south lobe.

  • An incredibly rare 14.93-carat Fancy Vivid VVS1 pink diamond, which Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery at Christie’s, described as the "Picasso of the Pink Diamond world," sold for $31,861,000 (HKD 250 million), or approximately $2.13 million per carat, at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Hong Kong auction on November 28. The diamond, referred to as The Pink Promise Diamond, is an oval-shaped fancy vivid pink Type IIa diamond, weighing approximately 14.93 carats, set within a circular-cut diamond surround, gallery and hoop. Its Fancy Vivid Pink color (as opposed to Fancy Intense Pink) is a designation given by the GIA and represents the most prized color grading in a pink diamond. 

     
  • 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.

  • Peregrine Diamonds reports that its 2017 resource expansion drill program has confirmed the high-grade CH-6 kimberlite extends from surface to 540 metres below surface (mbs). This represents an additional 280 metres below the 260-metre depth of the current CH-6 Inferred Resource announced on April 7, 2017. The CH-6 kimberlite remains open below 540 mbs, the current limit of drilling. Tom Peregoodoff, Peregrine’s President and CEO, said: “The results confirm that the high-grade CH-6 kimberlite extends well below the current resource base of 260 metres.

  • "ALROSA will play its role in diamond mining in Zimbabwe", said Zimbabwe's ambassador to the Russian Federation, Mike Nicholas Sango, to TASS news agency. Following Robert Mugabe's resignation and the transfer of power to former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, countries and natural resource companies will be testing the waters of the new administration, and Russia's ALROSA will apparently be one of them.