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.
According to the Economic Times India, rough prices have risen significantly in recent days - the article speaks of 5-10% -, as reports of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus cause concerns in Surat and Mumbai over supply of rough diamonds, fearing the omicron variety might impact production in Southern Africa. India's manufacturers are worried as polished prices have not gone up at the same pace as the rough, squeezing profit margins while demand is high. De Beers' representatives in India say it is too early to comment on potential impact on the mining activities.
Russian miner ALROSA announced they are implementing a new system for their long-term agreements and rough diamond allocation principles. The new system ensures that specifications meet clients’ requirements as closely as possible by taking the specific business needs of each diamond consumer category - diamond cutters, traders and jewelry retailers - into account, in addition to the client’s purchase history.
According to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the polished diamond business in Antwerp is doing well. Q3 2021 figures already showed the rough business in Antwerp was outperforming pre-pandemic levels of 2019 and now the October figures indicate the polished trade is on track as well.
Rio Tinto announced it became the sole owner of the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada. The company owned and operated 60% of the mine - as the other 40% was owned by Dominion Diamond Mines - but now a transaction has been completed for Rio Tinto’s acquisition of the share held by Dominion.
To support the victims of the flood disaster in Belgium last July, the Antwerp diamond community donated a cheque of €175,112 to the Belgian Red Cross for their solidarity action “Helpen helpt”.
“At the request of several diamond companies, a campaign was launched by 7 sector organizations to support the initiative of the Belgian Red Cross”, said Nader Murad, Antwerp diamond dealer. “Many companies and individuals from the diamond community made a donation, adding up to the €175,112.”
Petra Diamonds Limited announced the first tender of rough diamonds from the Williamson mine in Tanzania, post the restart of operations, will take place in Antwerp from Friday 19 to Friday 26 November 2021.
A parcel of ca. 26,000 carats is available for sale and includes a 32.32 carat pink stone of exceptional colour and clarity.
Appointments to participate in the tender can be made by contacting Greg Stephenson, Group Head of Sales and Marketing, +27 836 379 849, firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Element announces it will cooperate with GIA Antwerp, submitting rough diamonds to the GIA Diamond Origin Program, a traceability program to scientifically match a polished natural diamond to its original rough stone, confirming the country of origin information. First Element will offer successful buyers at their tenders to have the rough stones included in the program. First Element “will ensure the implementation process of the diamonds into the GIA Diamond Origin Program will run very smoothly, thus optimizing the experience for the client.”
On the sidelines of the KP Plenary session, Russia and Belgium signed a memorandum of understanding on the electronic exchange of the Kimberley Process (KP) Certificates. The MOU was signed by Marc Michielsen, Belgian Ambassador in Moscow and Vladimir Bulavin, Head of the Federal Customs Service of Russia. In addition, the signing was attended by Alexey V. Moiseev, Russian Vice Minister of Finance, and the Federal Public Service Economy of Belgium, represented by Belgian Ambassador Michielsen.
After cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization of Baselworld announced they are once again canceling the 2022 edition. The current surge in COVID cases across the globe and the associated uncertainty among customers are making the launch of the new concept - announced in June - very difficult, commented MCH in a statement. Feedback from the Geneva Watch Days and discussions with exhibitors also led to this decision.
Choron Group announced a large tender of rough diamonds sourced from Angola will be hosted exclusively in Antwerp, Belgium.
The tender will be organized together with Bonas Couzyn, who will be hosting the event from Monday 15th November 2021 till Thursday 25th November 2021.
The tender has close to 48,000 carats with an estimated value of USD 45,000,000 including over 60 single stones.
From 8 – 12 November, the 2021 Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary takes place as a hybrid event, combining in-person meetings in Moscow with videoconferences by delegates from around the world. During the opening session, WDC President Edward Asscher reasserted the need for KP members to agree to expand the conflict diamond definition in order to support long-term consumer confidence. Mr.
First Element Diamond Services announced strong October tender results. Both tenders, the first one in Antwerp and the second one in Johannesburg, showed high demand and strong interest with over 198 companies with 322 buyers attending the viewings in Antwerp. Over 700 parcels were sold for a total amount of around $30 million. Parcel highlights of the tender included a 16-carat stone sold for over $110,000 per carat.
On Wednesday, the Guangzhou Diamond Exchange (GZDE) and Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange (GDGJE) hosted the sixth edition of the International Jewellery & Diamond Conference.
This year's theme was “Dual Circulation, New Development – From Global Jewellery Factory to Global Jewellery Market”. The speakers, on and offline, were authoritative experts in the field of digitization, economy, and trade. International industry representatives shared their views on further integrating into China’s extensive consumer market and achieving growth.
Lucara Diamond Corp. released its Q3 2021 figures, demonstrating a strong performance in the third quarter of 2021, with strong financial and operational performance. The total revenue of $72.7 million, including diamonds sold through regular tenders, the Clara platform and the HB Antwerp agreement, marks a 57% increase over the previous quarter and results in an average price per carat sold of $619.2.
De Beers announced a new global campaign centered on the iconic words of commitment ‘I do’. Via this campaign, they focus on diverse types of commitment and expand the words’ meaning to stand for personal pledges of all kinds: to love, friendship, family, society, nature and more, marking a new chapter in the company's 133-year history.
China’s diamond imports have maintained a sustained growth momentum in the first three quarters of 2021 thanks to the rapid recovery of the country’s retail jewelry market.
According to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE), diamond transactions via the SDE from January through September 2021 reached USD 5.718 billion, representing an 81.2% increase over the same period of 2019, and approaching the all-time high of USD 5.784 billion in 2018 (January - December).
Gem Diamonds, leading producer of high-value stones, announced they recovered 23,435 carats during Q3 2021 (July-September 2021), resulting in 82,266 266 carats recovered for the year to date, an increase of 14% compared to 2020. The generated revenue in Q3 2021 amounted to US$ 47.3 million, achieving an average price of US$ 1,589 per carat.
Rio Tinto proudly announced its 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds™ Tender collection of 70 rare pink and red diamonds delivered the most significant set of record-breaking results in its 38-year history. Just like the first Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender was held in Antwerp in 1984, the most anticipated diamond sale in the world had its final curtain call after 38 years in the city of diamonds, Antwerp.
GRIB Diamonds has announced viewing dates for its "specials" sale in Antwerp, open for Priority Customers. Viewings start 8th November and end 22nd in Antwerp, Belgium with the auction running from 10:00 (CET) on 23rd November.
Petra Diamonds’ Q1 FY 2022 figures (July-September 2021) show the revenue of the diamond mining company went up 48% to US$114.9 million compared to the same period last year (Q1 FY2021: US$77.7 million). This strong result was driven by proceeds from the Exceptional stones sale during this quarter totaling US$50.2 million. In addition, diamond prices on a like-for-like basis went up ca. 3% compared to Q4 FY 2021.
Production during Q1 FY 2022 equaled 861,991 carats, increasing 8% compared to Q4 FY 2021 when production equaled 794,952 carats.
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s new minister of mines, Mrs Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi and a high-level delegation of representatives of various DRC government agencies supervised by the Mining Ministry was welcomed in Antwerp yesterday by the AWDC and met with several stakeholders of Antwerp’s diamond community. The DRC’s first female mining Minister, a well-known civil rights activist, was appointed to lead the key position in April of this year.
According to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the rough diamond business in Antwerp is outperforming pre-pandemic levels of 2019 and it seems the polished business is on its way to recovery.
From January to September 2021, 69.5 million carat rough diamonds worth 7.8 billion USD were imported in Antwerp, a 31% rise in value compared to 2019 pre-pandemic figures. On the export side, AWDC’s figures show a 21% rise compared to 2019 with 79.1 million carat imported rough diamonds worth 8.2 billion USD.
This week, a delegation of NAMDIA representatives visited Antwerp and was welcomed by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. NAMDIA’s General Manager, Lelly Usiku and Company Secretary Marvel Tjombonde paid a visit to the pinnacle of Antwerp’s billion-dollar operations, the import and export authority Diamond Office, as well as AWDC’s in-house tender facility.
Angola's Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas (MIREMPET), Diamantino Azevedo, has announced it will organize its first International Diamond Conference (AIDC) in the recently inaugurated Saurimo Diamond Development Hub, where a wide variety of industry related activities, including local polishing factories are settling in.
iTraceiT, a new and independent technology and service provider, announced it has opened a pilot and will in the short term launch its traceability solution for the diamond and jewelry Industry. The Diamond Loupe spoke with Frederik Degryse, newly appointed CEO of the company.
September sales of Russian miner ALROSA net 298 million USD, including proceeds from rough diamonds sales of $289 million and polished diamond sales of $9 million, resulting in a total of $3,274 million diamond sales during the first nine months of 2021.
The Angolan Ministry of Mines, Minister Azevedo, has announced it has finally signed a deal with Rio Tinto, after months of negotiations, for the exploration of the 108 square km Chiri (kimberlite) diamond concession in the Lunda Norte region of the country. In the initial phase, Rio Tinto Angola has a 75% stake, Endiama a 25% stake, in addition to the establishment of a joint venture.
According to the Namibian, which reported on the accusations of continued underselling of Namibia's rough diamonds via Namdia to Dubai just two weeks ago, local, Namibian authorities last Wednesday blocked a Namdia shipment of rough diamonds worth US$10m.
Opsydia announced they can now place permanent identifiers in melee diamonds without affecting their surface polish. It’s an important advancement for volume manufactures to secure their supply chain and protect it from undisclosed synthetics.
Through this new technology, diamonds that are just 0.5 millimeters in diameter can have an alphanumeric sequence, coded shape or logo placed beneath their surface to create a physical link to a supply chain record or branded jewelry origin.
Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of diamonds, has informed its long-term clients on its sustainability as well as its traceability program, a nano, non-invasive 3D laser marking applied to the atomic structure of diamonds that can be scanned in under a minute using Alrosa’s in-house developed scanning technology.
Announcing its Q3 Antwerp sales results, Mountain Province Diamonds, operating as 49% partner with De Beers in the Gahcho Kué mine in the NWT (Canada) sees the strong prices of the first half of the year continue in Q3 with 1,028,327cts sold for a value of US$74.1m or avg US$72/ct. Year-to-date results amounting to 2,349,644ct or nearly US$170m in sales revenue.
As with all industries, the diamond industry keeps evolving. One such evolution is synthetic diamonds. Despite the similar appearances of synthetic and natural diamonds, these are essentially different products with a very different value proposition. Fortunately, there are many effective Diamond Verification Instruments (DVI) on the market. Enter the brand new ASSURE lab of University Antwerp (UAntwerp), where DVIs are rigorously tested to ensure that the industry has access to objective data when selecting the best devices for them.
Luxury Jeweler Chopard announced it is an official partner of the 25th James Bond film “No Time To Die”. Through the character of Paloma, played by Ana de Armas, the brand will showcase 3 sustainably crafted jewels from their Green Carpet Collection. This collection is the first entirely made from sustainably mined materials in the form of ethical Fairmined certified gold and diamonds from suppliers endorsed by the Responsible Jewellery Council.
HRD Antwerp recently discovered a fake inscription on a 1.50 carat, Type IIa polished diamond, which it received for grading.
Diamonds of this type are always investigated extensively at HRD Antwerp’s Research department to verify that the stone is a natural diamond without any color enhancements, the grading lab said. This closer examination showed the diamond had undergone HPHT color treatment, even though the stone was inscribed with a GIA laser inscription corresponding to a natural diamond grading report, which made no mention of any color treatments.
Grib Diamonds reported another excellent sale in Antwerp. The company sold about 550 carats with a revenue of approximately 45 million US dollars.
“Overall prices for Grib rose 5-7%, with particular strength seen in larger yellow diamonds and small goods below 3 gr. +2 carat gem white goods were notable for the decreases in the price of high single digits to low double digits”, according to Grib Diamonds.
Grib’s next auction is planned for mid-October.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is developing its first-ever standard for laboratory-grown diamonds and gemstones. According to RJC, many of its members today are selling both natural and lab-grown products, which led to this decision.
Tiffany & C° is on a roll adding yet another hip face to the list of brand ambassadors. Barely 18 years old, British Emma Raducanu conquered all hearts winning the US Open Grand Slam in New York two weeks ago and was instantly propelled into stardom.
The World Diamond Council, the body representing the diamond industry from miners to retailers within the Kimberley Process (KP) today launched the implementation phase of the updated System of Warranties (SoW), an industry self-regulation system set up nearly two decades ago which requires buyers and sellers of diamonds to include a warranty statement on all invoices and memo’s.
US Ambassador to the European Union Stavros Lambrindis today announced on Twitter that the US will lift the travel ban to the US and will allow vaccinated and pre-flight tested EU citizens to travel to the country in early November. Travelers will have to demonstrate they are fully vaccinated as well as provide a recent (3 days) Covid-19 test with proof of negative results. Once arrived, contract tracing and wearing a face mask will be required but travelers will not need to quarantine.
This week, Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa announced that the first initial tests by local scientists and company experts on how kimberlite waste ore – what’s left of the super hard rock in which rough diamonds are found once the diamonds are recovered – can be used to absorb carbon dioxide, showed promising results, potentially even compensating the 997k tonnes of CO2 emissions generated by the entire company in a full year. The company aims to further reduce its footprint by shifting from fuel-powered to renewable energy throughout its operations.
According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, US jewelers can expect a very good holiday shopping season as they predict revenue from jewelry sales in the US between November 1 and December 24 will grow 59% compared to the same period last year. When they take the “75 days of Christmas” into account – from October 11 to December 24 – jewelry sales will climb 60% in comparison to 2020, they anticipate.
Lucapa Diamond and Petra Diamonds both released performance updates with record revenues. For Lucapa, revenue from Mothae (Lesotho, sold via Antwerp) and Lulo (Angola) was up nearly 300% to US$27m total in H1. Petra Diamonds 2021FY revenue, marketing its goods via Antwerp, was up 65% to US$402m, with the highest contribution from exceptional diamond sales in the history of the company.
The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) released a new ad featuring actress Ana de Armas for the second time. The ad is the latest instalment in the “For Moments Like No Other” campaign.
According to the Namibian, allegations of irregularities at the state-owned Namdia and rough being sold below value to a select club in Dubai continue. The newspaper claims Govt officials at the ministry of mines haven been informed of the continued underpriced selling of rough diamonds to select companies, the article cites Dubai –based SBMH Group DMCC and Neil Haddock as main beneficiaries of the system.
Jing Daily reports that Mainland China has taken over Hong Kong’s position as the largest export market for the Swiss watch industry. Hard luxury sales more than halved in the past 5 years, to US$2.5bn, from US$ 5.7bn. After a turbulent few years with typhoons, enduring political unrest and the pandemic restrictions imposed on travel, Chinese shoppers are moving away from shopping in Hong Kong and luxury brands have responded to that trend quickly by expanding their online and offline presence to mainland China, especially to the tax-free hub in Hainan.
Meya Mining (Meya), owner of a large, 129 square km kimberlite-rich concession in the eastern region of Sierra Leone, has announced a financial and commercial partnership deal with Antwerp-based Samir Gems and Taché Company. In 2017, just 7 days after commissioning its plant, the miner recovered a 476 carat diamond called the Meya Prosperity.
Hennig Tenders has announced it will present for sale an exceptionally large selection of polished diamonds in all sizes, shapes, colours and qualities. Viewings will take place at the Hennig Tenders Antwerp office between Thursday 23rd September and Monday 4th October 2021 by appointment.
To book an appointment, contact Hennig Tenders at email@example.com or call 03 500 8050.
HB Antwerp has kicked off its Innovation Lab in Botswana, welcoming 30 graduates in the field of Engineering and Technology, with a special focus on creating diversity and gender parity in the diamond industry, engaging young women through a collaboration with pan-African incubator WomHub. HB Antwerp’s Botswana program intends to allow the participants to develop industry-specific knowledge but also helping them finetune their talents such as leadership and intrapreneurial skills.
US retailer Signet Jewelers reported its May, June & July sales more than doubled to $1.79 billion compared to the same period last year, says Rapaport. The company outperformed expectations in this second fiscal quarter, concluding their strategic changes more than paid off.
According to Rapaport, diamond prices were steady in August, which is traditionally a slower period for the diamond trade. Activity picking up at the Vegas shows, where jewelers signaled they need goods, reflected driving demand at the US market. Even though fewer exhibitors and visitors were able to make it to the JCK shows, due to COVID-19, those present did some good business.
As of September 1st, the Belgian government has eased travel restrictions for travelers who want to travel to Belgium, the ban on non-essential travel to Belgium no longer applies to travellers who, prior to arrival on the territory, hold a “vaccination certificate” including those issued in a country not belonging to the European Union and containing at least the following information in Dutch, French, German or English will be accepted:a vaccination certificate issued in a country not belonging to the European Union and containing at least the following information in Dutch, French, Germ
In the presence of the representatives of several diamond producing, trading and manufacturing hubs, including Belgian Ambassador Jozef Smets, Angolan President Lourenço last week officially opened the Saurimo Diamond Development hub, aimed at reinforcing development and employment in Angola’s diamond-rich Lunda Sul province. The large Diamond Hub site already hosts three diamond manufacturing plants and will be completed with other diamond related services and training centers, as well as banks, restaurants, shops, convention centers and residential areas.
De Beers has joined National Geographic to help with one of the biggest conservation challenges in Africa: preserving the source waters of the Okavango Delta and the lives they support. Surrounded by the dry sands of the Kalahari Desert, seasonal rains from Angola’s highlands supply the Okavango Delta each year, making them vital for its survival.
According to a survey, conducted by the Plumb Club, self-purchase is the most important jewelry purchase motivation amongst college-educated Americans between 25-60, reported InStoreMag. The survey provided vital information on the preferences and motivations of today’s jewelry buyers.
A few of the most important findings:
Botswana Diamonds PLC and Vast Resources PLC have announced a joint venture (Okwa Diamonds) has acquired – pending regulatory approval – Gem Diamonds’ mothballed Gaghoo diamond mine, a 10.8ha mining area in central Botswana, fo US$4m. James Campbell, MD at Botswana Diamonds commented: “Working with our joint venture partner VAST, we have completed thorough due diligence on Ghaghoo.
Russian miner Alrosa will be tendering a total of 10,836ct of goods, including fancy colors from August 25 to Sept 3 and auction from Sept 3 to Sept 23, including specials for a total of 2,140ct in Antwerp.
Tiffany & C° yesterday announced their new campaign, to be launched in print Sept 2 and campaign video and musical score on Sept 15, starring celebrity powercouple Beyoncé and Jay-Z - "The Carters", with the two as an iconic example of modern love.
As of October, De Beers' LGD brand Lightbox will be expanding its LGD offering with bigger varieties of its 800$/ct lab-grown diamonds and higher quality LGD for 1500$/ct, with a maximum size of 2ct. Up until now, Lightbox stuck to a linear 800$/ct, less quality colors and clarity - G-J, VS, very good cut, but in its "Finest" collection will now also offer D-F, VVS, excellent cut diamonds of 1ct for nearly double the price, 1500$/ct, setting another standardized price benchmark for higher quality LGD stones.