Twelve suspected Russian gangsters stole $9-10 million in diamonds from wholesalers in Midtown’s Diamond District, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. A long-running investigation into international diamond fraud led to the arrest of ten (or nine, depending on source) Russians who allegedly cost their victims nearly $10 million, reports several U.S. news outlets. The scam victimized diamond dealers in New York City, Las Vegas and Mumbai.
Christie’s upcoming auction of Magnificent Jewels will take place on May 17 at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. Consisting of approximately 250 exceptional jewels, it will include a thematic section comprising 30 exceptional pieces from Italian makers, important gem stones, coloured diamonds and signed jewels.
Sierra Leone's Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and the National Minerals Agency have issued a press release stating that the 709.48-carat rough diamond found in Koryardu village, Tankoro chiefdom in Kono district, Eastern Sierra Leone on March 14 will be sold inside Sierra Leone by international tender. Interested parties from all over the world will have the opportunity to participate.
BBC News and Premier are reporting that an artisanal miner, who is apparently a Christian pastor, has discovered one of the world's largest rough diamonds in Sierra Leone's Kono district. If correct, and if it is gem-quality, the diamond, said to weigh 709 carats, would be one of the 20 largest gem-quality diamonds ever found - coming in at #13, right behind the famous 726-carat Jonker Diamond recovered at the Elandsfontein mine in South Africa on January 17, 1934, and just ahead of the 650.80-carat Jubilee Diamond, discovered in 1895 in South Africa.
Christie's Hong Kong will auction two exceptional articles at the Spring Sale of Magnificent Jewels on May 30. One extraordinary piece is the Emerald and Diamond Palmette Necklace, while the other is the renowned and stunning Harry Winston Jonker V. 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.
Following the resignation of Andrey Zharkov as president of ALROSA, Sergey Ivanov, ex-head of insurer SOGAZ, and senior vice-president of Russia's largest lender Sberbank, was yesterday, March 6, officially appointed as President of the company for a three-year term. His appointment was signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. "The government directive on your appointment to the position of head of the sole executive body of ALROSA has been signed.
Hundreds of former employees of Sterling Jewelers, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate owned by Signet - the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the US, UK and Canada, with about 3,600 stores under brand names such as Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria of Jewelry - claim that its chief executive and other company leaders presided over a corporate culture that fostered rampant sexual harassment and discrimination, according to arbitration documents obtained by
Hollywood's stars got their night to shine on the red carpet at the 89th annual Academy Awards, but their stunning diamond jewelry perhaps shone even brighter. The showstopper was the pair of statement earrings (photo) by Chopard featuring a 25-carat pear-shaped D-flawless diamond and 26-carat heart-shaped D-flawless diamond, 4.55-carats of pear-shaped diamonds and 4.35-carats of brilliant-cut diamonds set in 18k white ‘Fairmined’ gold from the “Garden of Kalahari Collection", worn by Charlize Theron.
The Academy Awards taking place tonight are not only Hollywood cinema's biggest night of the year, but are also one of the most pivotal annual events for fashion, brands and iconic jewelry.
The la Gloria, an 887 ct. museum-quality stone which is believed to be the largest Muzo rough emerald in North America, is to be auctioned by Guernsey’s on April 25 in New York City. The La Gloria and 17 smaller rough emeralds discovered from the wreck of Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, are all from the collection of noted emerald authority Manuel Marcial de Gomar. “It’s very rare for an auction to spotlight emeralds,” says Arlan Ettinger, founder and president of Guernsey’s.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group of Companies, has expanded to 2,000 retail outlets globally with the intention of expanding by an additional 10% this year, said CEO Stephen Lussier. The opening of the 2,000th Forevermark outlet, the Zen Diamond Anatolium store in the city of Bursa in Turkey, was followed by an announcement of a strong 2016. The brand spent US$85 million on consumer-facing marketing activities in 2016 to help stimulate global demand for diamond jewelry.
Speculation was already rampant about the potentially positive impact of having a First Lady and Daughter with their own retail brands; that impact has arrived in the first month, but whether or not it is positive is another question.
In a major blow to the already struggling jewelry sector in India, the government might cut the threshold limit for the requirement of the permanent account number (PAN) or Unique Identity Code (Adhaar Number) in urban, and Kisan Credit Card number in rural areas for jewelry or bullion purchases between Rs 50,000-100,000 ($740-1,480), writes Business Standard. The Budget, announced Wednesday, is likely to further tighten the noose around black money after the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8, 2016.
Last week - on the occasion of the "Diamond Year" that the City of Antwerp will celebrate from October 2017 through February 2018 - the City of Antwerp dug deep into its "Insolvente Boedels" archive, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage resource, to reveal documents dating the diamond trade in Antwerp back to 1447 - or 570 years ago. The "crown jewel" of the documents revealed is an edict dating from 1447 in which the 'College of Mayor and Aldermen' decree that, "No one may trade in fake diamonds." The College was well ahead of its time.
An armed man walked into a Harry Winston jewelery shop in Cannes without opening fire, before walking away with €15 million ($16M) in diamonds. A man in his thirties showed up at the store on January 18 at the store on the city's famed Croisette waterfront promenade and initially passed himself off as a customer. "He asked to see diamond ornaments on behalf of a sponsor. The saleswoman was suspicious and gave him a catalogue," the prosecutor said. His face uncovered, hidden only behind sunglasses.
Israeli billionaire businessman Beny Steinmetz was released from house arrest Wednesday after he was detained last month on suspicion of money laundering and bribing public officials in Africa, writes The Times of Israel. The diamond and mining magnate was arrested on December 19 and accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes in the Republic of Guinea in exchange for advancing his business interests in the country, according to the Israel Police.
Israeli authorities have placed Israeli diamond and mining mogul Beny Steinmetz under house arrest over allegations of bribery and corruption in Guinea linked to his BSG Resources (BGSR) mining company. One of Israel’s wealthiest men, Steinmetz has been arrested in Israel over claims that he paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure mineral assets in one of the world’s poorest nations.
"Uncertainity looms large over the world's largest diamond cutting and polishing industry in Surat following the scrapping of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency note by the government," writes the Times of India (TOI) on the sudden currency ban.
The Foxfire diamond is the largest known uncut, gem-quality diamond mined in North America. The diamond will be on display for three months at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Nov. 17 through Feb. 16, 2017. This will be the first time it has been made available to the public. Weighing more than 187 carats, the Foxfire diamond will be presented alongside the renowned Hope diamond in the Harry Winston Gallery.
Thirteen years after the the United States government initially banned the import of all gemstones from Burma (Myanmar) to put pressure on the military junta that had ignored democratic elections, placed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, and persecuted minority groups throughout the country, U.S. sanctions on imports of the Burmese gemstones were officially lifted by an executive order on October 7.
The highly anticipated launch of the Diamond Producers Association's "Real is rare. Real is a diamond" category marketing campaign is finally a fait accompli. Two intense ads featuring young couples will air on broadcast television and various digital platforms such as Hulu alongside a social media push. The Diamond Producers Association has also planned a major public relations initiative in its efforts to reintroduce young Americans to the appeal of a real diamond.
- Diamond Producer's Association announces Real is Rare. Real is A Diamond in Antwerp. Keep an eye out for launch of first category marketing campaign for diamonds in more than a decade, Oct. 5 in NY.
To mark the opening of the 28th Biennale des Antiquaires, de GRISOGONO announced the acquisition of The Constellation, the world's most expensive rough diamond, at a press conference held in the Grand Palais today, writes PR Newswire.
Diamonds Unleashed, a “profits with purpose” company with a social mission solely dedicated to the causes of women, has joined forces with Serena Williams – one of the brand’s distinguished ambassadors – to launch a collection this fall exclusively on HSN, announced Diamonds Unleashed by Kara Ross today in a press release. The Diamonds Unleashed for Serena Williams jewelry collection will debut September 12, 2016 during New York Fashion Week. It will accompany Serena Williams’ new fall collection on the runway during her fashion show.
After years of discussion between the Antwerp diamond industry and the Belgian Government, in 2015 it was decided to introduce the “Diamond Regime” tax system, pending European Commission approval. Today the EC announced that the fiscal regime does not constitute State aid, and gave the green light to what has come to be known as the "Carat Tax". Implementation of this new tax regime will put an end to complex discussions between the Antwerp diamond industry and tax authorities on the control and valuation of diamond traders' stock.
The 47th Street Business Improvement District in New York is holding two New York Police Department (NYPD) led seminars for the jewelry and diamond trade to learn how to respond to shooters and terrorism awareness. The seminars will take place on August 29 at 576 Fifth Avenue, JCK reports. “Particularly in light of the many violent events the world has recently experienced, these timely seminars by the experts at the NYPD will be valuable for everyone in the jewelry industry,” the 47th Street Business Improvement District said.
Anglo American has announced the commissioning of De Beers' (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds' (49%) Gahcho Kué diamond mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Gahcho Kué - the world's largest new diamond mine - is expected to reach full commercial production in Q1 2017, producing an average of 4.5 million carats per year over its anticipated 13-year life.
As announced previously, the Russian government has sold a stake in Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer, generating $818 million to help close the country's growing budget deficits.
Rio Tinto has revealedl the world’s first coin to feature a rare red diamond from the Argyle Diamond Mine. Known as The Kimberley Treasure and for sale at AU$1 million (US$760,000), the incredible collectable has been crafted from one kilogram of 99.99% fine gold, and features a radiant cut 0.54 carat red diamond unearthed from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. The Kimberley Treasure is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965.
The highly anticipated auction of the largest gem-quality rough diamond in the world, the historic Type IIa 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona unearthed by Canadian miner Lucara Diamond Corp. in Botswana last November, failed to make auction history as it fell short of its reserve price and did not sell at Sotheby’s June 29 auction in London. The bidding opened at $50 million and was widely anticipated to sell for upwards of $80 million, but the bidding stalled at $61 million, so the diamond went unsold.
The privatization of Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa is planned for July, reports Reuters.
On the eve of the highly anticipated auction at Sotheby’s London of the largest gem-quality rough diamond in the world – the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona – the Diamond Loupe brings you our in-depth discussion with Lucara Diamond CEO William Lamb. During the Antwerp leg of the Lesedi’s world tour, we sat down with William Lamb to discuss Lucara’s management strategy, decision-making process, use of innovative technology and, of course, the magnificent Lesedi La Rona. What lies in store for Lucara’s historic stone?
JCK News director Rob Bates looks at the effect Brexit might have on the diamond and jewelry industry. Bates identifies five potential impact areas. First of all, the vote to exit the EU increases uncertainty and volatility, especially on the financial market, and that is bad news for everybody. Secondly, gold prices are expected to go up, as investors consider it a safe haven amidst the financial turmoil.
The 'Lesedi La Rona', which at 1,109 carats is the largest gem-quality rough diamond in the world, visited Antwerp yesterday, where it was revealed at the MAS Museum to a select crowd of approximately 120 diamantaires, dignitaries and friends of the industry. Hot topics of the afternoon concerned what will happen to the stone next, whether that will happen in Antwerp and, of course, how much it is worth. Lucara Diamond CEO William Lamb considers Antwerp a very logical place for the stone to visit. "Antwerp is and will always be a major diamond center.
The 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction, set a world auction record, selling for more than $58.2 million (including commission and fees) reports Anthony DeMarco of Forbes. "The rectangular-shaped gem, with a high estimate of $46.1 million, was the lead item at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale. It managed to beat the 12.03-carat “Blue Moon of Josephine,” which sold for a world record of $48.4 million in November 2015 . It’s hammer price of approximately $51.3 million easily topped the Blue Moon."
At 1,109 carats, the Lesedi La Rona diamond that Canadian miner Lucara Diamond unearthed at its Karowe Mine in Botswana in November 2015 ranks second among the largest rough diamonds ever discovered, and as a Type IIa stone, it is also of the highest gem quality.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has sold its 813 carat diamond for $63 million, the highest price ever achieved for the sale of a rough diamond. The exceptional 812.77 carat, Type IIa diamond recovered from the Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015 sold for $63,111,111, or $77,649 per carat. As part of the sale, Lucara has partnered with Nemesis International DMCC, and retains a 10% interest in the net profit received from the sale of the resultant polished diamonds. The 813 carat diamond has been named, "The Constellation".
Lucara Diamond Corp. has reported strong first quarter 2016 revenues of $50.6 million or $649 per carat and cash of $144.3 million. The company’s revenue for the period represents a 41% increase year-on-year compared to the $29.6 million in the first quarter of 2015, gained from an average of $278 per carat.
Brazilian prosecutors filed a $44 billion civil suit against two of the world's largest mining companies, Vale SA, BHP Billiton Ltd. and their iron-ore venture over a November dam rupture which has been called, “the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history”, killing as many as 19 people and causing severe environmental damage.
India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has issued a press release stating that exports of cut and polished diamonds in FY16 (April 2015 - March 2016) fell 13.66% to $20 Bn, while net imports of rough diamonds dropped 16.17% to $14 Bn. Cut and polished diamonds accounted for 52% of gross gems & jewelry exports in FY16. Overall, India’s exports of gems and jewelry dropped 3.46% in FY16 to $38.6 Bn as compared to $40 Bn in FY15. Mr.
De Beers, the world’s largest diamond company, is to leave its London headquarters after almost a century, as parent company Anglo American trims costs, reports Bloomberg. About 300 staff were told on Friday that they would be leaving 17 Charterhouse Street, from where De Beers once controlled the flow of diamonds around the world. Charterhouse Street became the centre of De Beers’ empire – and therefore the global diamond trade – in the early 1930s. The building no longer holds the company sights, which moved to Botswana in November 2013.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for a "Landmark to increase visibility of Antwerp's diamond industry". The press release reads, "The City of Antwerp and the diamond industry have been inextricably linked for more than 550 years. To celebrate this unique connection, from late 2017 to early 2018 the City will be organizing a diamond year - “Antwerp, shaping the Diamond Story” - that will highlight all aspects of the industry with numerous events.
The Indian government says it will make every effort to bring back the 106-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is part of the British crown jewels, only days after its solicitor general told the supreme court it would not request their return, writes The Guardian.
The 2016 Kimberley Process (KP) Chair issued a communication dated 14 April informing all KP Participants and Observers that the Central African Republic region of Berberati in the southwest of the country has been declared a "Compliant Zone" as per the requirements of the Administrative Decision and Operational Framework for Resumption of Exports of Rough Diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR). The KP Monitoring Team for CAR is currently in the process of agreeing with the country's KP Authority on a schedule for the team's monthly inspections of export shipments from Berberati.
The femous Koh-i-Noor diamond that is part of Queen Elizabeth's crown was given to Britain and not stolen, India's government told the Supreme Court on Monday, which is hearing a suit seeking its return, writes India's Khaleej Times. The 105-carat Koh-i-Noor gem, which came into British hands during the colonial era, is the subject of a historic ownership dispute and has been claimed by at least four countries including India.
Reports from multiple sources are starting to detail the murky structures hiding the tremendous wealth accumulated by certain players in the diamond and gold trade that emerged through last week's release of the Panama Papers.
The Indian Express has written that one of the largest diamond trading firms in the world, Antwerp-based Rosy Blue, has been linked to at least 24 offshore companies in the Panama Papers, "and these are shown to have been registered in the tax havens of British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Anguilla and Mauritius ... Most companies," the paper writes, "were registered by Harshad Ramniklal Mehta, with a capital of $50,000 each, between 2004 and 2008.
The Panama Papers is an unprecedented investigation that reveals the offshore links of some of the globe’s most prominent figures, writes African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR).
A 10.10 carat blue diamond, named "De Beers Millennium Jewel 4", went under the hammer today at Sotheby's in Hong Kong, selling for $31.8 million.
Set to be the largest Vivid Blue diamond ever to appear at auction, a classical emerald cut stone weighing 14.62-carats, the Oppenheimer Blue is one of "the rarest gems in the world, the gem of gems", says François Curiel, Chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific and China. The stone will lead Christie’s auction of ‘Magnificent Jewels’ to be held at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva on 18 May. The diamond - named after its previous owner, the late Sir Philip Oppenheimer, who died in 1995 - is estimated at $38m to $45m (£26.5m-£31.4m).
Indian Prime Minister Modi is paying a visit to Belgium today. Given the importance of diamonds in the trade relations between Belgium and India, the Indian Prime Minister personally welcomed members from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre’s Board of Directors. AWDC is the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry. Belgium is one of Europe’s top three trade partners with India, and is the second largest exporter of goods to India. This is primarily attributable to the diamond trade.
To raise public awareness on the Marcos' two-decades of plunder during martial law from 1965 to 1986, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) on March 16 launched an online exhibit of selected pieces from the Hawaii jewelry collection, one of the three massive jewelry collections hoarded by Marcoses. This collection was seized by the US Bureau of Customs upon the Marcoses’ arrival in Hawaii in 1986 and is currently stored at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
In an expression of solidarity with the victims of yesterday’s appalling and tragic attacks in Brussels, a minute of silence will be held today at 12:00 noon in the Antwerp diamond district. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre, which is has taken the lead on this gesture, also cancelled a Purim concert yesterday, “in light of the horrific incidents in Brussels this morning, and out of respect for the victims of this attack and their families,” said CEO Ari Epstein in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the victims, and to all those who lost loved ones,” he added.
A rare blue diamond ring belonging to the late Shirley Temple, Hollywood’s most famous child actress in the 1930s and 40s is going up for auction starting at $25 million, auctioneer Sotheby’s said Thursday. The 9.54-carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond ring was purchased by Temple’s father for $7,210 in 1940 around the time of the actress’ 12th birthday. A private buyer bought the ring from her estate and is now putting it up for auction.
In the summer of 2013, India-based diamond trading company Winsome Group allegedly defrauded a number of public-sector banks of several billions of rupees and routed most of the money offshore, accumulating defaults upwards of $1 billion on loans from a consortium of 15 banks in India. This made the diamond house the country's second-largest wilful defaulter after Kingfisher Airlines.
Sally Morrison, Managing Director of Marketing of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), will leave the organization in May to pursue another professional opportunity. Morrison, a veteran of Forevermark, World Gold Council (WGC) and the De Beers account at JWT joined the DPA late last October, so today's announcement comes a mere five months after her appointment. To ensure continuity of momentum in the DPA’s U.S.
The Russian government is discussing the sale of 10.9% of shares in diamond miner Alrosa in the course of its privatization program in 2016, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed to reporters. Deputy Russian Economic Development Minister Nikolai Podguzov also told reporters that a new round of privatization of Alrosa is possible in 2017-2018 following the sale of 10.9% of the diamond miner's shares this year. Russia, through the Federal Property Agency, owns 43.9% of Alrosa, and Yakutia owns 25% plus one share and does not intend to privatize its stake.
The Zimbabwe government cabinet has approved the takeover of the Chiadzwa diamond fields to be run 100% by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) after mining companies failed to renew their licences. Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said their was no going back on the shutting down the operations of the mining companies, and said that they would not be welcome even if they made a U-turn and decided to join the consolidated company after all.
In a follow-up article to Chaim Even-Zohar's bombshell about CVD synthetic diamonds being sold on Alibaba with GIA natural diamond certificates, the Diamond Intelligence Briefing (DIB) identifies the name behind the fraud: Diwakar Dhyani.