Elena Levina of Rough&Polished has dropped a bombshell in the form of an investigative report entitled, "The virtual miner - investigation", documenting the incredible scam that goes by the name of the World of Diamonds Group (WOD). Following up on an interview (by Aruna Gaitonde, Editor-in-Chief of Rough&Polished's Asian Bureau, entitled "A diamond surprise - Russia comes to know it has a brand-ne
"A Magnificent Diamond Ring" from Van Cleef & Arpels was the top earner at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday. The ring realised a price of $2,587,500, within its pre-sale estimated range of $2.2 - 2.7 million. The D-color, internally flawless, Type IIa diamond is set with a rectangular-cut center diamond, weighing approximately 22.03 carats, flanked on either side by a triangle-shaped diamond. Total sales at the auction were $35.2 million.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of De Beers Group, today announced the launch of a world-first Synthetic Diamond Detection training course. It is the first in a series of education services to be rolled out during 2017, according to a press release. The two-day lab-based course will be unveiled in the U.S. towards the end of the JCK Jewelry show in Las Vegas on 8 and 9 June, and in India at the IIDGR Facility in Surat on 15 and 16 May.
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, established to preserve the world’s most treasured land- and seascapes, granted University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali the funding to launch a knowledge hub for colored gemstones, including signature projects across the globe. This includes Madagascar and South Asia where the projects are focused on miner education as well as health and safety outreach.
Koin International will hold its May rough sales of African diamonds in Antwerp from 8 - 17 May. The tender includes exciting selections of original mine rough productions, including diamonds from Ekapa Minerals (selection of tailings from Kimberley, South Africa), Angola F2M (10.80ct.+ and melee to 4ct. parcels), Diamcor Mining (original run of mine from Krone-Endora mine, South Africa, singles through to melee parcels), Democratic Republic of Congo (Run of Mine) and Guiter Minerals Sarl (Guinea Run of Mine).
The Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) has released its latest Fancy Color Diamond Index update for the first quarter of 2017, which indicates pricing stability across most fancy color diamond categories. Yellow fancy color diamonds are down 2.5% compared to Q1 2016, but have lost only 0.2 percentage points since the previous quarter. Pinks are up 0.8% compared to the same period a year ago, while blue fancy color diamonds jumped 5.7% year-over-year and saw a 1.9% price increase in the first 3 months of 2017 as compared to Q4 2016.
HRD Antwerp officially inaugurated its new lab & office premises in Mumbai on Tuesday April 25, joined by Belgium's Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem. This expansion underscores HRD Antwerp's commitment to fundamentally strengthening the ties between the world's leading diamond trading center – Antwerp – and the Bharat Diamond Bourse - the world's largest diamond bourse. “HRD Antwerp started its activities in India back in 2012, to provide faster and more convenient service to Indian diamond companies”, explains Ravi Chhabria, Managing Director of HRD Antwerp India.
Firestone Diamonds has announced its quarterly update on commissioning activities at its Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho for the quarter ended March 2017 (Q3 of the Company's financial year): with commissioning activities largely complete and final ramp up progressing on track, during the quarter ended March 2017 the plant treated 639,000 tons (Q2: 402,000 tons), achieving nameplate production rates on numerous occasions. 103,000 carats were recovered in the quarter at a grade of 16.1 carats per hundred tons (cpht), against 58,000 carats in Q2 at a grade of 14.1 cpht.
Mountain Province Diamonds announced the production for the first quarter ended March 31 from the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine. The GK Mine declared commercial production on March 1. For the three months ended March 31 the GK Mine treated approximately 492,000 tons of ore through the process plant and recovered approximately 867,000 carats on a 100% basis for an average grade of approximately 1.76 carats per ton.
London Aim-listed Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has announced that Sunland Minerals - its joint venture (JV) with Russian diamond miner ALROSA - has been awarded six new prospecting licences in Botswana. Four are in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and two are in the Orapa kimberlite province and extend to the end of March 2020. Those in the CKGR cover 3,135 sq.km. and those in the Orapa area cover 482 sq.km. The areas were selected following a detailed review of historical data by the BOD and ALROSA team.
Representatives from the Antwerp diamond industry were on board today for Brussels Airlines' first official direct flight from Brussels to Mumbai, where HRD Antwerp diamond certification lab is opening its new, expanded offices and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre is holding an information session for the Indian banking sector. The diamond delegation is participating in a Belgian economic mission to India spearheaded by Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem.
Chow Tai Fook has partnered with luxury travel retailer DFS Group, a subsidiary of LVMH, to open its second boutique in the United States on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Hong Kong-based jeweler’s branded store will launch in T Galleria by DFS in the heart of Honolulu and close to the iconic Waikiki Beach. T Galleria by DFS is a prime shopping destination for travellers seeking leading international luxury brands; Hawaii is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination, with jewelry fast becoming a key retail category for travellers to the islands.
Petra Diamonds reports its rough diamond output in Q3 2017 (January 1 - March 31 2017) remained steady at 999,768 carats, from 995,905 carats a year earlier; however, the company arrived there by increasing Run of Mine (ROM) production 18% to 760,916 carats while tailings production fell 32% to 238,852, in part due to a planned reduction at Finsch and in part due to heavy rain restricting surface recovery.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) announced their intention to spur demand in the third largest diamond market, India, by launching their “Real is Rare” slogan in September. The DPA - an international alliance of the world’s leading diamond mining companies whose mission is to protect and promote the integrity and reputation of diamonds, and the diamond industry - initially launched its “Real is Rare” campaign in the U.S. in 2016.
In April 2017, a symposium called, “Synthetic Diamonds: Are Watchmaking and Jewelry in Danger?” was held in Geneva, specifically to address the issue of synthetic diamonds in the domain of watchmaking and how it is possible to differentiate natural from lab-grown stones.
Diversified miner Anglo American has released its Q1 2017 production report, announcing De Beers rough diamond production during the peariod increased by eight per cent over Q1 2016 to 7.4 million carats, "reflecting the contribution of Gahcho Kué in Canada, as well as increases in response to improved trading conditions." Q1 2017 production fell slightly from 7.8 million carats produced in Q4 2016.
Sergey Ivanov, the President of ALROSA, participated in the extraordinary business meeting with the company’s long-term clients dedicated to the new contract period, the company writes in a press release. Participants of the meeting from more than 70 Russian and foreign companies had a chance to discuss with ALROSA’s management diamond market trends, the existing market environment, plans for the near future, and the company’s sales structure. A new 3-year contract period 2018-2020 is to start next year.
Against the background of a bear market for iron ore in full tilt, a 43-day strike at the world's largest copper mine causing its output to fall 37% and the Group edging closer to an exit from thermal coal after winning approval from Australia’s foreign investment regulator to sell the bulk of its mines for $2.45 billion, the Rio Tinto Group's Q1 diamond output dropped 8% year on year to 4.152 million carats.
Following the end of year 2016 in which poor sales performance and management changes were overshadowed by the reemergence of allegations of rampant sexual harassment and discrimination, Signet Jewelers is clearly making an effort to polish its i
ALROSA's Q1 2017 diamond production totalled 8.9 million carats, up by 9% year-on-year, to 8.9 million carats from 8.2m.cts. in Q1 2016, which is in line with its 2017 production plan of 39.2 million carats (+5% y-o-y increase). The growth in production was driven by ramping up diamond mining at Aikhal, Mir, International, Udachny underground mines and also by processing of higher grade ore from the Jubilee pipe at its Aikhal Division in Yakutia - an open pit mining operation and its largest, good for 29% of total production.
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
Zimbabwe NGO Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) said the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) does not have the capacity to mine diamonds from kimberlite sources, reports Rough-Polished, adding that the wholly owned state company set up early last year had no equipment of its own, and would likely turn to foreign investors to develop in Tsvingwe (Penhalonga) in Manicaland Province, which is believed to hold kimberlitic diamonds. “A 50/50 joint venture is likely to be negotiated between ZCDC and its partner.
ALROSA’s new President Sergey Ivanov led a senior delegation from the Russian diamond miner to Antwerp today to get acquainted with their partners at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
South African junior miner Rockwell Diamonds has managed to temporarily stay an interim liquidation by applying for business rescue while it waits for a hearing in the Kimberley High Court regarding the order, currently scheduled for April 19.
London-based miner Gem Diamonds has appointed Harry Kenyon-Slaney as an independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Company to succeed Roger Davis, who will be stepping down at the Annual General Meeting on 6 June 2017. Kenyon-Slaney has over 33 years of experience in the mining industry, principally with Rio Tinto.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA might consolidate ALROSA-Nyurba - ALROSA's biggest subsidiary - after closing a deal to buy 10% of shares from Yakutia, said the head of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Yegor Borisov, in a conversation with regional media. "ALROSA might make a decision to consolidate assets with the aim of optimization. The company would become stronger as a result of this and we support it in this. ALROSA-Nyurba could simply be liquidated," Borisov said.
Some interesting industry developments took shape at last week's Diamond Detection Expo and Symposium sponsored by India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
The world’s largest jeweler, Hong-Kong based Chow Tai Fook, reports strong retail sales growth in the fiscal fourth quarter, reversing 12 consecutive quarters (3 years) of same store sales decline in Hong Kong and Macau, dating back to Q4 2014. The uptick was strongest in Mainland China, where overall retail sales value increased 16% while same store sales rose 12%. Overall and same store sales in Hong Kong and Macau rose by 1% and 4% respectively.
Dominion Diamond Corporation reports strong growth in gross margins, adjusted EBITDA and net income of $5.6 million - despite a 27% decline in sales - in Q4 of the fiscal year ending January 31, 2017. This was attributable to ramp up of high value production at Ekati and steady performance at Diavik. The sale, late in the quarter, of Ekati mine goods from higher value Misery Main open pit and Koala underground ore processed in late Q3 fiscal 2017, together with higher processing volumes at the Diavik mine in the same period, paved the way for their stronger consolidated gross margin.
Australian junior miner Lucapa Diamond Co. reported a significant increase in diamond recoveries and processing from their Lulo Diamond Project in Angola in the March quarter of 2017, according to an ASX announcement. Lulo alluvial mining company, Sociedade Mineira Do Lulo (40% owned and operated by Lucapa) achieved record throughput volumes of 70,967 bulk cubic metres in Q1, a 91% increase over the same period a year prior. The increased processing resulted in a 33% increase in diamonds recovered to 4,098 carats.
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.
‘Chocolate’ diamonds have gained in popularity in recent years, to the chagrin of many purists. For years some diamond jewelry companies have been accused of generating a hype about diamonds traditionally seen as bottom-the-barrel stones, effectively deceiving end consumers by rebranding brown diamonds as ‘chocolate’. Jezebel and the Daily Mail have gone so far as to call these jewelers “liars” who are “fooling women”, claiming the name and marketing of the chocolate diamond is insulting: “Women won’t be able to resist, because it’s chocolate!
The De Beers Group made headlines last month when it announced the end of its joint venture with LVMH with the aquisition of their 50% share in De Beers Diamond Jewellers (DBDJ), a move that Chaim Even-Zohar characterizes as, "brilliant and long overdue." He writes, "With De Beers at the helm, the venture will get a realistic chance to succeed.
Australia's Lucapa Diamond Co. has earned $2.5 million (A$3.3M) from a parcel of 1,919 carats at their third sale in 2017 of rough diamonds from the Lulo Project in Angola. This represents an average price of $1,317 (A$1,742) per carat, and brings their total 2017 sales to $13.2 million at an average price of $2,055 (A$2,696) per carat.
Necklaces with detachable pendants that double as brooches, tiaras fit for royalty that can also be worn as bracelets, and earrings which can transform into haircombs are making their way back this season. High Jewelry brands such as Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arples, Cartier, Bulgari and Graff have re-embraced the notion of transformable jewelry. The versatile trend is“perfectly adapted to our times,” says Jean-Marc Mansvelt, CEO of Chaumet.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's largest luxury producs group, recorded revenue of 9.9 billion Euros ($10.51 billion) for the first quarter 2017, an increase of 15%. Organic revenue (with comparable structure and constant exchange rates) growth was 13% compared to the same period of 2016, an increase attributable to all business groups.
With 850 million active users monthly, western luxury brands have been quick to embrace China’s “most important platform for luxury brands”, WeChat. Local and international brands have realised the potential of the platform to make them key players in China’s $103 billion jewelry market. Western companies have used it for flash sales as well as marketing and customer interaction. While these flash events have spurred sales, China’s online sales remain limited, says Antoine Pin, managing director of Bulgari in greater China.
Fun fact: Retail trade lost more jobs in the past 2 months than coal mining lost in the past 20 years.
Economist Paul Krugman responding to Bloomberg article, "America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever"
Diamcor Mining Inc. has moved forward with the testing, commissioning and calibration of its new operational items and expansions at the company’s Krone-Endora at Venetia Project and expects the finalization of these facilities to be completed by April 30, 2017.
R2Net, which owns JamesAllen.com, the fastest growing online diamond retailer, obtained a $140M growth equity investment from Francisco Partners to further accelerate the company’s rapid expansion, the company announced in a press release. “Anyone who has ever bought a diamond or an engagement ring appreciates how intimidating the process can be for the consumer,” said Matt Spetzler, Partner at Francisco Partners.