Australian miner Lucapa discovered a massive 170ct pink diamond at its Angolan Lulo mine, believed to be the largest pink recovered in the past 300 years. The incredibly rare find is named "The Lulo Rose".
Since March 2022, both the polished diamond import and diamond retail market have taken a toll from a new wave of Covid-19 pandemic in China, as the local administrations nationwide have strengthened preventive and control measures.
Israel-based diamond tech company Sarine Technologies and the Chinese state lab National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC) announced a partnership that includes Sarine’s light performance technology (“Sarine Light”) has resulted in a co-branded new industry standard for this grading feature on the Chinese market. NGTC will include the light performance grading in its grading reports.
Last week, Van Cleef & Arpels revealed its Legend of Diamonds, 25 Mystery Set jewels. The process took four years to complete, from the moment Antwerp based diamond companies and manufacturers Taché and Samir Gems bought the 910ct, type IIa Lesotho Legend discovered at the Lesotho Letšeng mine, in 2018 to the 67 diamonds that were cut by Antwerp’s high-tech diamond polishing company Diamcad, to the creation of a bespoke Mystery Set collection of 25 unique pieces incorporating the polished stones.
The “Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030”, initiated last year by Cartier (Richemont) and conglomerate Kering, has appointed Belgian Iris Van der Veken, former Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), as Executive Director and Secretary General. Van der Veken’s task will be to set up a governance structure that can help the initiative to reach its goals, enabling participating brands and companies to achieve commitments regarding climate, diversity, health and safety, labor conditions etc.
On Tuesday, President Masisi of Botswana, the First Lady, and a large delegation including the country's Minister of Minerals and Energy Moagi and Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Kwape visited the Antwerp diamond community.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the industry organization representing Antwerp’s 1600 diamond companies and service providers, has appointed David Gotlib as its new President, replacing outgoing President Chaim Pluczenik. The Board also appointed Sahag Arslanian and Amish Jain as Vice Presidents.
By Mark Hanna
The Financial Times reports that the Angolan Government has blocked and taken over the 18% stake of the Chinese company LLI (part of Sonangol) in Catoca. The Government now holds 59% of shares in Angola’s largest mine through IGAPE, the state body managing govt shareholding in companies active in the country. The move is considered another step in President Lourenço’s reform policy, reducing the interdependence with China that was established under the Dos Santos regime, when deals between Angola and China, especially in the oil business, were booming.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced that it has started a winddown of its paper reports, starting with its most popular article, the Diamond Report, to go digital only in January next year. Graded diamonds will be returned with a QR code and the report can be consulted online or via GIA's new app. GIA is also launching an AI-based (Artificial Intelligence) service for diamonds graded in the new system, matching the inscribed diamonds with the digital grading report via a dedicated instrument, which will be available later this year at US$695, JCK News reports.
Israel-based Lusix, producer of lab-grown diamonds completed an investment round of US$90m, and counts LVMH Luxury Ventures as one of its newly onboarded investors. The company will use the money to expand its production capacity later this year. In a Q&A with JCK News, industry analyst Paul Zimnisky discusses LGD trends, saying LGD prices have been dropping significantly lately as supply is booming. A 1.5ct for example dropped from US$3,500 to US$3,000, Zimnisky noted.
Australia-based Newfield Resources, concluded its maiden sale of 5333ct rough produced in the miner’s Sierra Leone Tongo mine, via Antwerp tender specialist Bonas Group successfully, with total revenues amounting to US$1.44m. Strong demand pushed prices for the 15 trial sale lots to an average of US$269/ct, well over Newfields estimation of US$222/ct. Newfield will conduct more sales this year as the company starts production at two of the five identified kimberlites on the Tongo mining leases.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent, they have obtained evidence that over US$ 20m of diamond revenues was siphoned out of the country as the state-controlled diamond sales agency fails to handle continued corruption and malpractices. In its most recent tender, the four parcels on the block were won by two companies, Diamore DMCC (3 parcels) and NRTS Diamonds Ltd (1 parcel).
During a kickoff meeting that took place in Kananga, in the DRC’s Kasai region last week, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), together with the DRC’s Ministry of Mining and its subdivisions SAEMAPE and CEEC, NGO DDI@RESOLVE and tech company Everledger initiated OrigemA, a pilot project that aims to set up a fully transparent, digitally enabled mine-to-market program for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) cooperatives in the DRC.
1,5 years after the closing of the famous Argyle mine in Western Australia, which produced the vast majority of the world’s fancy pink diamonds, Rio Tinto announces a partner program that will continue the legacy of the Argyle Pink Diamonds brand, releasing the names of the first two “Icon Partners”, John Calleija and Joh Glajz, both having worked with Argyle’s precious pink diamonds for decades.
Australia-based Lucapa acquired the Merlin Diamond Project in the Northern Territory, Australia in 2021. The miner is currently progressing the Merlin Feasibility Study and assessing different mining methods for the kimberlite pipes including vertical pit mining (VPM), illustrated in this animation.
First Element reports extremely strong results from their Antwerp sale of Jagersfontein Developments and Rooipoort Developments production which closed on Monday (23rd May) at the Antwerp Tender Facility. 100% of the parcels on offer were sold with increases in prices seen across all categories, especially in the smaller goods. There were 112 companies who placed bids with 62 of them being successful. “It appears that the diamond market has recovered exceptionally well after the uncertainty seen in recent weeks.
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.