Fintech company Luxus this week launched a platform where it plans to offer investment grade diamonds, fractionalized into smaller shares, modeled after fractionalized investing models such as the art platform Masterworks. The first diamond the company wants to list is an Argyle pink valued at US$400k, divided into 2,000 shares of US$200 each, pending SEC approval this month. Luxus gathered US$2.5m in seed money last summer and is the brainchild of former Blackstone managing director Dana Auslander and luxury PR specialist Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton.
According to CNN Business, lab-grown diamond jewelry sales are surging. But why is that? CNN asked a few diamond specialists to weigh in on this matter.
Independent diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan confirmed the increase. March data showed the number of sold engagement rings with a lab-grown diamond rose by 63% compared to last year, while the sales of engagement rings with a natural diamond declined by 25% in the same period.
Petra Diamonds announced the results of their Tender cycle 5 of fiscal year 2022. They sold 635,806 carats for a total of US$86.1 million. Prices decreased by 23.7% compared to Tender 4 (March 2022) but were up 3.2% on Tender 3 (December 2021).
The tender included a 13.74 ct blue Exceptional Stone for the Cullinan mine. The stone was sold into a partnership with Stargems for US$ 5.7 million, with Petra retaining a 50% interest in the profits.
Australian diamond exploration and development company Newfield announced they signed an exclusive diamond sales and marketing agreement with the Bonas Group. Newfield’s flagship asset is the Tongo Mine Development in eastern Sierra Leone.
Through this partnership, Newfield will be able to fully authenticate the source of the Tongo diamonds sold, via the Sarine Technologies traceability program used by Bonas. Buyers and retailers of those goods will therefore have full traceability of the diamonds’ origin.
Today the step-cut fancy-vivid blue diamond weighing 15.10 carats sold for (450.9 million HKD) US$57.47 million, or over US$3.8 million per carat, at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction.
Iconic diamond miner De Beers this week now officially returns to Angola, as the Anglo American diamond mining division signed two mineral investment deals with the State's mining entity Endiama, giving the miner exploration rights for 35 years in the Northeast of the country. Each exploration concession will have a separate joint venture, with the majority of shares held by De Beers, with an option for Endiama to increase it's share.
GIA announced it is developing “GIA Source Verify”, a service aimed at retailers and consumers, to be launched in the near future, using “third-party verified documents, such as KP certificates and invoices”, to provide “reliable diamond origin information”. Although apart from a landing page, not much information on the process behind the service is yet available, it seems GIA will be focusing on a (digital) paper trail rather than technology for the information it will include in Source Verify, which will be made available for consumers at no additional cost.
In recent weeks both the Arnault family and Tiffany & Co. have made headlines when it comes to the Metaverse. Days after his father, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault signaled his wariness of the metaverse "bubble", Alexandre Arnault changed his profile picture on Twitter and Instagram to a Cryptopunk NFT (PFP). Alexandre, who is the executive VP of product and communications at Tiffany & Co., purchased an NFT titled Punk #3167 for ETH 160, roughly USD 415,000.
Sarine announced it is commencing beta testing of its new AutoScanTM system, an innovative robotic system that executes fast and accurate data acquisition of rough diamonds for traceability and other purposes.
Africa Intelligence reports that Botswana’s President Masisi, speaking at a gala dinner hosted by Lucara Diamonds, is adding pressure to the negotiations with De Beers on a renewed Debswana contract, the 50/50 joint venture between the government and De Beers. In the current agreement, 75 % of Debswana’s rough is sold via De Beers, 25% is sold via the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company, the latter achieving record sales revenue via its sales in Antwerp last year.
Namdia, the state-owned diamond authorized to sell 15% of rough production from the Namibian government and De Beers joint venture Namdeb, has released its updated client list, including nine Antwerp-based diamond companies last Friday. Namdia now has 36 core clients for the next three-year cycle, up from 16 in the previous years (2019-2021). Earlier this year, in February, Namibian President Hage Geingob visited the Antwerp diamond community, to discuss business opportunities.
The Bonas Group, a global tender and auction house, announced they are adopting the Sarine Diamond Journey traceability program and will offer stones with a registered geographical origin.
Bonas brings diamond output directly to the market. Therefore, the origin can be confidently assured. The diamonds will be registered using the Sarine Diamond Journey ecosystem. The rough diamonds will be accurately scanned, allowing their subsequent traceability throughout the polishing process, providing retailers reliably traced diamonds from varied origins.
Mining company De Beers and the government of Namibia officially unveiled a new diamond recovery vessel: ‘Benguela Gem’. The vessel will commence operations from next week.
Informa Markets announced the mother of all fairs, Hong Kong September, will temporarily be moved to Singapore, under the name JGW Singapore, taking place Sept 27-30 at Singapore Expo. The move, after two years of absence as international trade show, will allow foreign buyers and exhibitors to attend.
Several media report the global financial watchdog FATF today in Paris at its plenary session has decided to "gray list" the United Arab Emirates over concerns that the UAE hasn't made enough progress in tackling illicit financial flows, Bloomberg stated.
Antwerp Jeweler Beldiamond teamed up with digital transparency company Everledger to offer diamonds backed by blockchain. Thanks to this technology, the journey of a diamond can be entirely traced and recorded, creating its own unique digital identity. According to Beldiamond, blockchain technology paves the way for diamond sourcing to become even more transparent and responsible.
Mountain Province, holding a 49% stake in the Canadian Gahcho Kué mine, reports its latest Antwerp sales, with proceeds amounting to US$41.4m for 322,547ct, achieved a record ROM price of US$126/ct, up another 13% compared to the first sale of the year.
The company also announces a supply agreement with Chow Tai Fook, multinational jewelry retailer with presence in China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and the US, providing the retailer with a select range of diamonds over a one-year, renewable term.
Mining company Lucapa reported a record full-year 2021 total revenue of US$98 million or an average of US$1,564/carat. The miner also announced record operational performances from both Lulo (SML), the company’s 40% held alluvial diamond mining operation in Angola, and Mothae in Lesotho, the latter sold via Antwerp. Both operations processed record volumes, recovered and sold record carats, and made some exceptional diamond recoveries. In addition, Lulo’s exploration sampling includes the discovery of 13 diamonds from the Canguige catchment area, including eight Type IIa diamonds.
According to Richard Duffy, CEO of mining company Petra Diamonds, the long-predicted supply squeeze is being reflected over all diamond categories. This would mark a structural change in the diamond market, with increasing prices creating a robust and supportive market.
Duffy points out the current strong demand pull into an inventory pipeline where inventories are largely depleted. With a very low ability of suppliers to provide inventory, this will result in higher demand than supply and thus increase prices over the entire value chain.
De Beers, part of Anglo American, says industry recovery from the COVID impact is reflected on the company’s 2021 results. Total revenue of the company increased significantly with 66% to $5.6 billion in 2021, with rough diamond sales rising to $4.9 billion compared to $2.8 billion in 2020. Rough diamond sales were driven by positive sentiment and strong demand for diamond jewelry in key consumer markets like the US and Mainland China. Both diamond jewelry markets posted positive growth, not only compared to 2020 but also to the pre-pandemic year 2019.
Miner Petra Diamonds, which sells its entire production via Antwerp, announced they will invest $289 million to extend the life of both the Cullinan and the Finch mine. Thanks to an investment of approximately $173 million in the Cullinan mine and $216 million in the Finch mine, the mines will be able to stay in business until 2031 and 2030 respectively. Expectations are this would yield an additional 30% in revenue. According to Petra, both mines have the potential to produce even longer.
Amid reduced supply, Rio Tinto’s rough diamond sales rose by 9% to $501 million in 2021. Strong diamond jewelry sales and thus growing strong prices bolstered these results.
“We saw a recovery in diamond prices following a pandemic-related buildup of demand and low inventory levels”, Rio Tinto stated.
We were very saddened to receive the news of the passing away of Mrs. Dorothée Gizenga, founding Executive Director of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), now part of Resolve. Mrs. Gizenga passed away of complications from diabetes on February 18 in Kinshasa.
She was a leader in the campaign to end conflict diamonds from the start when the Kimberley Process was established and was a tireless advocate on behalf of the world’s 1.5 million artisanal diamond miners as executive director of DDI.
Mining company Lucara announced that Lukas Lundin, current Chair and a Director of the company, will retire from the Board upon the completion of his term at the company’s upcoming 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
According to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE), the net import of polished diamonds through the SDE in 2021 reached another record high, reflecting the potential and resilience of the Chinese diamond market. Total net polished import reached US$2.924 billion, surging 105.3% year-on-year of 2020, and up 58.0% from 2019. The SDE is the only portal in China to import polished diamonds under the favorable tax policy of 0% tariff and 4% Value Added Tax (VAT), therefore the figure reflects the value of polished diamonds imported for consumption in China.
Auction house Sotheby’s announced they will auction ‘The De Beers Cullinan Blue’ - one of the most valuable blue diamonds ever - in April.
It’s the number one question on the minds of every diamond trader in the last 3 months. Is today’s strong market the result of pent-up demand, and a spectacular jewelry rush in December where the end of the pandemic atmosphere and extra pocket money drove customers to indulge in diamond jewelry? Or is it a full-blown recovery where the market finds a new balance between supply and demand? At least for Antwerp, the results of 2021 and the first results of 2022 hint to where the diamond market is going. We asked a few questions to our new Head of Media Relations: Tom Neys.
Russian miner ALROSA announced its preliminary rough and polished sales results for January totaled $325 million. Rough diamond sales equaled $315 million and polished sales $10 million.
Sotheby’s announced the 555.55 carat black diamond with 55 facets was sold for US$4.3 million in an online auction.
The Enigma is believed to be the world’s largest black polished diamond. The buyer used cryptocurrency for the purchase.
In ‘A Brilliant Recovery Shapes Up, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and leading consultancy agency Bain & Company look at the pandemic’s effects, the industry’s impressive recovery, and the possibilities ahead.
De Beers announced their first sight of the year raised $660 million, a strong increase compared to its revenue at the last December sight, which raised $336 million.
According to Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers, buyers are restocking: “As anticipated, there was strong growth in consumer demand for diamond jewelry over the end of year holiday season. As a result, we saw the continuation of robust rough diamond demand in the first sales Cycle of the year as buyers focus on restocking depleted inventories.”
Cycle 2 takes place from 14 – 16 February 2022.
Vast Resources PLC, the London-listed Mining and Resource Development company that partnered last summer with Botswana Diamonds in a joint venture (Okwa Diamonds) aiming to buy Gem Diamonds' mothballed Ghaghoo mine in Botswana for US$4m, has announced it is pulling out of the deal, without further comment.
Unconfirmed sources say India is planning to lower the much criticized import tax on polished diamonds and gemstones from 7,5% to 5%, as this was mentioned during the budget speech by India's Finance Minister.
To give a boost to the gems and jewellery sector, customs duty on cut and polished diamonds and gemstones has been reduced to 5 percent. "Simply sawn diamond would attract nil customs duty. To facilitate export of jewellery through e-commerce, a simplified regulatory framework shall be implemented by June this year," the finance minister said, according to Moneycontrol.
According to Bloomberg, the UAE Ministry of Finance announced the UAE plans to implement a 9% federal tax on corporate earnings. Businesses will become subject to UAE corporate tax from the beginning of their first financial year that starts on or after 1st June 2023.
Bloomberg reports this shift might be in view of the increasing competition of neighboring country Saudi Arabia in mind. The levy-free regime made the UAE, and especially business hub Dubai, a magnet for businesses from across the world.
Mountain Province announced the results of their first diamond sale of the year in Antwerp. The company sold 181,851 carats of diamonds recovered from the Gahcho Kué mine for total proceeds of US$25 million. This results in an average value of US$137 per carat for the Antwerp tender, which is 84% higher than the average price per carat of all diamonds sold in 2020.
Sarine Technologies announced the French High Jewelry Maison Boucheron is launching a new fully-traceable bridal jewelry line, Etoile de Paris, for which it has partnered with Sarine to provide Boucheron-branded digital diamond reports "powered by Sarine".
Closing its latest sale in Antwerp yesterday, Grib Diamonds reported selling 560,000 carats of complete mine production from the Grib Diamond Mine, for a total of US$73m. The average price was US$130/ct, up a whopping 35% compared to the recent sales results of the same production by Stargems in Dubai, which achieved US$94/ct just two weeks ago.
Grib stated to be pleased with the support of over 300 customers present in the auction, with a record demand of 174 companies placing competitive bids. There were 47 winners and a total of 4,870 bids added.
Russian diamond miner ALROSA reported the company’s diamond production equaled 32.4 million carats in 2021. They sold 45.5 million carats with proceeds equaling $4.2 billion, $4 billion from rough and $200 million from polished diamond sales. Gem-quality diamonds accounted for 67% of total sales. In 2021, revenue per carat for these gem-quality diamonds equaled $128, a year-on-year increase of 17%.
De Beers Group announced that Stephen Lussier, executive vice president for brands and consumer markets, will step down from his executive responsibilities on April 1. After a distinguished 37 year career with the company, he will continue to contribute to De Beers as a strategic advisor. He will remain in his role as a Chairman of the Natural Diamond Council.
This summer, French luxury house Balmain will debut their first fine jewelry collection of gender-neutral and socially conscious pieces. The company shared they would use ethically sourced 18-karat gold, “conflict-free minerals”, and traceable gemstones.
Petra Diamonds’ H1 FY 2022 figures (July – December 2021) show the revenue of the diamond mining company went up 49% to $264.7 million compared to the same period last year. This strong result was particularly driven by the sale of Exceptional Stones totaling $77.9 million, but also supported by the strong diamond market with rough prices going up.
Exceptional Stones sales results:
Auction house Sotheby’s announced an extremely rare black diamond of 555.5 carats with a 55- facet cut, called the Enigma, will go under the hammer in February.
The Enigma was listed in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records and will become the largest of its kind to be put up for auction. Sotheby’s expects the stone to fetch between $4.1 and $6.8 million.
According to the auction house, the Enigma is a rare piece that cannot be compared to other diamonds or even other black gemstones sold in the past.
"And let it be said, the lab-grown companies aren’t exactly charities – they’re like any other technology company out there to make money."
Results from Mountain Province Diamonds on Q4 and the full year (2021) reveal the miner, operating the Gahcho Kué mine in the Northwest Territories are in line with production guidance (1% below) while preliminary cost per tonne was down slightly. The miner sold 808,739 cts for US$65,7m in Q4 in Antwerp, at an impressive average of US$83/ct, well above the US$65/ct achieved in the same period in 2020.
Botswana Diamonds announced the preliminary kimberlite assessment on the Thorny River prospect in South Africa is encouraging, with projected volume of kimberlite in the area exceeding previous estimates, to ca. 2m tonnes. The company is now investigating mining options, and has yet to make an assessment on potential diamond grade. John Teeling, chairman, commented: "The estimated kimberlite volume in the River area is considerably better than expected. Botswana Diamonds will now determine the mining potential. Let me put this in context.
Rough & Polished reports, based on a local TV interview with CEO Sergei Ivanov, that the company is optimistic about restoration of the Mir diamond mine, and is in the final stage of a feasibility study which will determine the course of action, to be decided by a review committee in H1 of 2022.
GRIB Diamonds, the Antwerp-based rough diamond selling arm of AGD Diamonds, has kicked off 2022 with its first Spot viewing for Regular Goods in Antwerp today, with the spot auction slated for January 24th. Interested parties can apply via GRIB's website to schedule an appointment.
Australian mining company Rio Tinto announced they appointed Angela Bigg as president and chief operating officer of the Diavik diamond mine. She will be the first female to lead the mine and its 1,100 employees. She joined the Diavik team in November 2017 as vice president, Finance. Angela Bigg will succeed Richard Storrie, who left the company after 26 years.
De Beers Group announced they extended their existing sales agreement with the Government of the Republic of Botswana for the sale of Debswana’s rough diamond production until the end of June 2022.
The agreement was due to expire at the end of 2020 but was already extended for a year because of continuing logistical challenges due to Covid-19. This second extension period will provide both parties with some extra time to complete discussions about the renewal of the contract after the good progress made in 2021.
Petra Diamonds announced the results of Tender cycle 3 of FY 2022. The company sold 885,136 carats for a total of US$ 128.3 million. The tender cycle included a 295.8 carat white stone from the Cullinan mine, which was sold for US$ 13.9 million, and the first parcel sold on behalf of Williamson Diamonds Limited since they restarted operations.
Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), the state-owned rough diamond marketing company entitled to sell a portion of the country's rough resources outside of the De Beers joint venture, has announced a record-breaking revenue for the first eight months of the year through its sales via Antwerp, amounting to US$830m, a whopping 484% increase compared to the US$181m achieved in 2020 and well beyond the average of US$500min a regular year.
Petra Diamonds announced it reached an agreement in principle with the Government of Tanzania regarding the operations of the Williamson Mine. With this agreement, Petra Diamonds aims to establish a sustainable future for the joint venture between Petra and the Government, held through Tanzanian company Williamson Diamonds Limited.
To align with the country’s new mining legislation, Petra Diamonds will reduce its stake from 75% to 63%, with Tanzania’s stake increasing from 25% to 37%.
Lucapa Diamond Company, already operating mines in Angola (Lulo) and Lesotho (Mothae) has finalized the acquisition of the Northern Territory (Australia) Merlin Diamond Project through its subsidiary Australian Natural Diamonds.
Russian miner ALROSA reports its preliminary rough and polished sales results for November totaled $334 million, $310 million of rough sales and $24 million of polished sales. This marks a total of $3,915 million for the first eleven months of 2021.
At its most recent December tender in Antwerp at Bonas Group, Mountain Province reports 388,573 carats were sold for a total of US$33.3 million, resulting in an average value of US$86 per carat, continuing the steady improvement through Q4 2021. These proceeds mark an aggregate sales result of US$67.5 million for 808,739 sold carats in the fourth quarter of 2021, equaling an average value of US$83 per carat.
The Antwerp World Diamond (AWDC) and ALROSA renewed their cooperation agreement to further expand and strengthen their relationship over the course of the next years.
Lucapa, Endiama and Rosas & Petalas announced the sale of 6 exceptional Lulo diamonds, weighing 336 carats, for a total sales price of US$12.8 million, representing an average price of US$38,006/carat.
The four large, top-quality white diamonds and two fancy pink diamonds were recovered from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola and sold in Luanda via international tender by Sodiam E.P, the Angolan State Diamond Marketing Company.
Israeli news outlet Globes reports that the widely acclaimed Abraham Accords, often cited as a major breakthrough for intensified trade relations between Dubai and Ramat Gan, are in fact anything but conducive. Firstly the article says that in spite of what is often claimed, diamond trade between Israel and Dubai was significant before the diplomatic normalization.
Industry analyst Edahn Golan takes an in-depth look at US jewelry sales trends and sees a lot of indications it is going to be a terrific holiday season.
Reprinted courtesy www.edahngolan.com.
After a roller coaster 2020, 2021 continued the upswing in jewelry sales to a degree few if any expected. Sales in October rose 37%, and we expect holiday jewelry sales to top that and close a fantastic year for the industry.