According to new research published by the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF), one of the most overlooked facts concerning the diamond industry is that the world’s diamond mines are rapidly depleting. Within a quarter of a century, the majority of the 45 most notable diamond mines operating today will cease to exist, and the last diamond will be unearthed in 60 years. According to the FCRF, diamond prices will rise as supply wanes.
Despite a record year for the recovery of 'specials' (diamonds larger than 10.8 carats), including 33 diamonds in excess of 100 carats, Lucara Diamond earned its lowest revenue in six years due to the lowest average price per carat achieved in five years. Judging by their share prices, however, investors hardly seemed too concerned, as Lucara's stock price took an 8% dip following the announcement, only to regain half its loss back the next day.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) yesterday announced the third wave of the Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond campaign. Entitled ‘For Me, From Me’, the campaign is inspired by the natural diamond industry’s strongest growth engine, women self-purchase, which today represents one-third of all diamond jewelry sales in the US, a $43 billion diamond market that grew +4% in 2017, according to De Beers Group data. The $10 million–$15 million campaign will include digital, print, television, and out-of-home components. Its videos will debut during E!’s Oscar coverage on February 24.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry, from 16 to 20 February 2019 participated in the Belgian Economic Mission to Mexico. Currently, Mexico mainly imports polished diamonds from the United States. The AWDC therefore viewed this Economic Mission as the ideal opportunity to promote the Antwerp diamond trade in Mexico and to ensure that Mexican diamond traders increase their diamond purchases directly from Antwerp.
De Beers reported a 4% rise in total revenue for FY 2018, reaching $6.1 billion, but its earnings slid by 13% to $1.25 billion driven by expenditures such as the $87 million acquisition of Peregrine Diamonds and the launch of Lightbox Jewelry. Rough diamond sales rose by 4% to $5.4 billion (2017: $5.2 billion), driven by improved overall consumer demand for diamond jewelry and a 1% increase in the average rough diamond price index.
Described as “perfect according to every critical criterion,” an 88.22-carat diamond will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, with the auction house expecting the oval-cut gem to fetch as much as HK$100 million (about US$12.7 million). According to an announcement released by Sotheby’s yesterday, the stone is one of only three oval-cut diamonds with a weight greater than 50 carats “to appear at auction in living memory, and the largest to be auctioned in over five years.” The 88.22-carat, D Colour, Flawless, Type IIa, Oval Brilliant Diamond will hit the auction block at Sotheby’s Ho
Expectations of a sluggish start to the year for the Indian diamond trade were confirmed by the January statistics from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), as exports of cut and polished diamonds from India dropped by 16% year-on-year, while rough imports fell by 40%.
Exceptionally large diamond recoveries are, as a rule, an exception, but today we had two announcements of some very impressive stones: Lucara Diamond unveiled 223-carat stone from its Karowe mine in Botswana, while Lucapa Diamond Co. added a 128-carat find from its Lulo diamond field in Angola.
HRD Antwerp, Europe’s leading reference for diamond and gemology education, diamond certification and grading, this summer (June 3-7) is launching a course in Rough Diamond Management and Production Control. The course will introduce the business concepts required to acquire and trade rough diamonds, foremost among which are various techniques for determining the value of rough stones, the key component at the basis of any career in rough diamond trading and management.
Angolan president Joao Lourenço came into power about 18 months ago, stating his intention to fully reform the country's diamond industry, and his progress has been undeniable. Starting with untangling the country from the business interests of his predecessor’s family - president Jose Eduardo dos Santos and his daughter Isabel dos Santos - he set out to increase transparency and promote the country ́s image abroad in order to facilitate the exportation of goods and services and attract direct foreign investment. Lucapa Diamond Co.
Petra Diamonds has appointed highly experienced mining vet Richard Duffy as the new CEO of the company, which has seen its debt pile up amid expansion efforts and watched its shares tumble in recent months. CEO Johan Dippenaar announced his departure last September after 12 years at the helm and has remained with Petra as they sought a suitable replacement. Duffy will officially take over on 1 April 2019.
Holiday retail sales in the U.S. during 2018 grew a lower-than-expected 2.9 percent over the same period in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), falling short of their forecast that holiday sales would grow between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent. From November 1 through December 31 reached $707.5 billion, according to figures from the Commerce Department, whose results were delayed by nearly a month because of the recent government shutdown.
Joint-venture partners Botswana Diamonds and Vast Resources Vast Resources plc have in principle been granted the right to mine diamonds on the Heritage Concession of the Marange Diamond Fields. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly investigate diamond opportunities in Zimbabwe in May this year, and last August were apparently awarded access to the Marange concession.
The state of the diamond mining industry as 2019 enters full swing is concerning to many throughout the trade. The fall in prices of small, lower-quality diamonds, a staple of many miners, had participants at the Africa Mining Indaba last week concerned about the sustainability of their operations if the market does not correct this year, with some even concerned about their survival.
Petra Diamonds, owner of one of the world’s most famous diamond mines - the Cullinan mine in South Africa - could be about a decade away from clearing its multi-million-dollar debts, according to Reuters. As Emma Rumney and Barbara Lewis explain, Petra bought Cullinan in 2008, "aiming to breathe new life into the South African mine renowned for yielding the largest rough gem diamond ever found - 3,106 carats - and being the world’s main source of rare blue diamonds.
The average expenditure on an engagement ring in the U.S. stayed flat in 2018 at $3,388, fitting the new pattern of economizing on the big day and a slight shift away from including an engagement ring, according to a survey from The Wedding Report. The survey concluded that the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. declined by 4%, from $25,764 in 2017 to $24,723 in 2018.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has mentioned several times recently that it is aiming to become the leader in the international market for colored diamonds, and is making its case with a media preview of its collection of large colored diamonds, including unique pink, bright yellow and pink purple gems. The star of the show was a pink oval diamond weighing 14.83 carats - the largest pink diamond in the history of Russia.
Americans are expected to spend a record amount on Valentine’s Day this year despite a years-long decrease in the percentage of people celebrating the holiday, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Of the estimated $20.7 billion the NRF expects US consumers to spend on the holiday, almost $4 billion will be on jewelry, putting it at the top of the list, despite the fact that only 18% of people surveyed are planning to gift jewelry (26% men, 9% women).
BlueRock Diamonds, an AIM-listed junior miner which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has recovered its largest diamond to date: a 16.28 carat gem-quality stone. It is 4.58 carats larger than the next largest diamond the miner has recovered. On Monday, the company announced it has raised an aggregate of £575,000 ($740,000) through a placement.
Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland has launched the first colored gemstone blockchain which will track the provenance of gemstones at every step along the supply chain. Called the Provenance Proof Blockchain, its purpose is to provide the industry with a tool that enables genuine transparency concerning the origin and movement of gemstones. A gemstone’s journey begins at the mine, which is where the blockchain ideally starts.
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the Korea Diamond Exchange (KDE) have signed a cooperation agreement to help with the development of the young bourse in South Korea. Signed on February 6, 2019, the agreement entails that the WFDB will assist with the promotion of the diamond business in South Korea, and will provide assistance to the KDE in lobbying the Korean government in matters that can enhance the diamond business.
Firestone Diamonds has announced the recovery of a 70 carat white, makeable diamond from its Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho.
In 2014, I wrote that the lab-grown diamond industry was out-promoting the natural. That is even more pronounced now. I don’t get many pitches from natural diamond companies. And some of the pitches I do get are kind of dull. By contrast, I get at least two or three pitches on lab-grown diamonds a week. My Facebook feed is inundated with ads for lab-grown companies. The man-made segment claims only a single-digit percentage of the market, but it appears to be doing an outsized percentage of the marketing ... The fact is, the natural diamond industry made itself vulnerable to the threat of lab-growns. The industry didn’t promote its product for a decade. Everything that is happening now with lab-grown diamonds was predictable. The industry knew they were coming for decades. But the trade also failed to understand that the rest of the world wouldn’t see the two products the same way it does.
- Rob Bates, award-winning journalist at JCK, from his article, "The Lab-Grown Diamond Industry Is Still Out-Hustling the Natural"
Gem Diamonds recovered a high-quality 13.33 carat, pink colour Type I diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho on 7 February 2019. The prices for diamonds of this color of diamond are typically exceptional. In the first half of 2018, when Gem recovered 10 rough stones larger than 100-carats at its Letšeng mine, the highest price achieved was $62,433 per carat for a 2.26-carat pink diamond.
Russia's Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond miner, could not escape the current trend on the rough diamond market at the start of 2019, as its rough diamond sales plunged by 44% to $278 million from $499 million in January 2018. This is in sharp contrast to December sales, however, when rough sales increased by 46% over the previous year. Polished-diamond sales in January were $3.4 million, bringing total sales for the month to $281.5 million.
"If even a fraction of Chinese production is upgraded to jewelry-quality diamonds, it would have a very significant impact on the global supply which is only in the low-millions-of-carats," independent diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky told Xinhua News journalists Wang Zichen and Shi Linjing.
RJK Explorations, a mineral exploration company with a focus on diamonds, gold, silver and base metals with its resource properties located in Ontario and Newfoundland, is planning to search for the source of the 800-Carat Nipissing Yellow Diamond in southeastern Ontario. The Bishop Nipissing Diamond Project came about when RJK entered into a property option agreement with Anthony “Tony” Bishop for the Bishop Nipissing Diamond Properties, exploration properties totaling 2,090 hectares encompassing at least 18 potential kimberlite pipes, according to a press release.
Dutch Diamond Technologies (DD) has created the world’s first ring that is entirely made from a lab-grown diamond. ‘Project D’, DD’s name for the ring, took a year to manufacture and was created in honour of the company’s 10th anniversary. For grading this unique piece of jewelry, DD turned to HRD Antwerp, Europe’s leading authority in diamond grading, writes the grading lab in a press release.
Gem Diamonds had a banner year in terms of recoveries, sales and average prices acheived for its diamonds unearthed from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. In addition to setting a company record for recoveries in a single year of diamonds larger than 100 carats (15) and of diamonds larger than 20 carats (257), in 2018 Gem's carats recovered increased by 13% to 126,875 carats (2017: 111 811 carats), sales jumped 29% to $267 million from $207 million, and the average price rose by 10% to $2,131 per carat, up 10% from $1,930 per carat in 2017.
The South Korean government, following years of negotiations with the Korea Diamond Exchange (KDE), has abolished the special 26% Individual Consumption Tax (ICT) on imports of loose polished diamonds exceding KRW 5,000,000 ($4,460), leaving in place only the simplified rate of 5% import tax and 10% VAT which already applied to all imports. KDE President Nam Chang-Soo said, "We hope that the abolition of the tax will have a very positive effect on diamond jewelry sales in South Korea."
A quick comparison of retail prices show a price difference [between LGDs & naturals] of 20-40%, depending on the specific goods and the retailers’ branding, market positioning, etc. Wholesale prices behave very differently. In the wholesale market diamonds are priced as a commodity ... a much more accurate way of measuring price changes over time. Polished wholesale prices of LGDs are 50-85% lower than those of natural diamonds ... the smaller the goods, the larger the price difference. On average, 1-ct. lab-grown goods were priced 64% lower than natural diamonds at the end of December, while third-carats were 75% cheaper. If you are wondering why the price gap in retail prices is so much smaller, the answer is simple: retailers are keeping a wider margin.
Edahn Golan, from his diamond research blog, "LGD Prices – Not What You Might Expect"
The price of vivid yellow diamonds is expected to rise this year as a result of declining supply, according to Q4 figures from the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF). Jim Pounds, FCRF advisory board member and executive vice president of diamond at Dominion Diamond Mines, which has produced high levels of vivid yellow as its Ekati mine in Canada, commented, "as the mine transitions from open-pit mining to underground, a substantially reduced amount of stones will be available during 2019. Therefore, we anticipate a slight increase in vivid-yellow prices.”
Diamond tender house Koin International will hold two rough diamond tenders for original African productions this February in Antwerp. From 11 – 14 February, Koin will tender the KEM (Kimberley Ekapa Minerals) production from Kimberley, South Africa. This is a full Run of Mine tender including large single stones and fancy colors. KEM's sought-after production was previously offered only in South Africa, but Koin held a successful initial tender in Antwerp last August-September.
South Africa's Mining Charter III "heaps more pain on South Africa’s alluvial diamond producers who already face enormous cost burdens and high risks," writes Gert van Niekerk, Chairman of the South African Diamond Producer’s Organisation in a recent opinion peice in Mining Review Africa.
RapNet, a member of the Rapaport Group of Companies and the world’s largest diamond trading network, will be introducing jewelry into its global trading network, as announced yesterday in a press release. RapNet members can now upload jewelry images and data, perform detailed searches, and directly trade jewelry with each other without any fees or commissions. There are no additional fees to use this service.
Firestone Diamonds, a diamond producer with operations focused in Lesotho (Liqhobong Diamond Mine), reported "reasonsable" results in the quarter ended 31 December 2018 (Q2), increasing sales despite the "deterioration" in demand and prices for smaller, lower value stones. The miner sold 191,735 carats during the quarter, a slight decline from the 194,206 carats sold last quarter, realising revenue of $13.9 million (Q1: $13.5 million) at an average value of $72 per carat (Q1: $70 per carat).
Lucapa Diamond Co. sold seven large, top-quality diamonds weighing 498 carats at the inaugural competitive tender under Angola’s new diamond marketing policy, earning US$16.7 million, representing an average price of US$33,530 per carat. The exceptional stones from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola were offered for sale via electronic tender organised by Sodiam (Angolan state diamond marketing company) in Luanda.
Mountain Province Diamonds will include in its upcoming, February rough diamond sale an exceptional quality, 60.59-carat, fancy vivid yellow rough diamond. The diamond was recovered at the Company’s Gahcho Kué Mine in October 2018. Also included in the sale will be more than 50 other large, high-quality white and fancy-colored rough diamonds. Viewings will take place between February 11 to 21 at the offices of Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp, Belgium.
BlueRock Diamonds plc, the AIM-listed junior mining company which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has recommenced operations after South Africa's mining regulator ordered a temporary suspension on January 24 following an accident. The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) imposed a section 54 notice - which concerns the code of practice relating to the operation of trackless mining machines - following an event involving an external contractor.
South Africa-focused miner Petra Diamonds has seen its shares tumble 27% since Monday's announcement of its H1 2019 results, despite an 8% increase in sales and a 10% rise in production. The culprit? Near-historical low prices earned from its rough diamonds from its flagship Cullinan mine. Prices achieved from the miner's Cullinan goods slumped 31% compared to last year, earning just $96 per carat, and compared to a nine-year average of $140 per carat from 2009 to 2018, the miner said.
The partial shutdown of the US government is likely to have had a negative impact on exports of small diamonds from India to the US, according to Colin Shah, vice chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). This comes as unwelcome news to an industry that is already experiencing sluggish performance, with The Economic Times citing an 8.5% decline in the value of polished exports in the first nine months of FY2018, sitting at to $22.41 billion.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group, recorded revenue of €46.8 billion in 2018, an increase of 10% over the previous year. LVMH's results have upset prevailing wisdom about the health of China’s shoppers with its latest results. The luxury bellwether, which owns some of the world’s most valuable brands including Christian Dior and Givenchy, said Tuesday that demand from Chinese consumers strengthened in the three months through December, defying analysts' expectations for a decline in luxury spending.
De Beers' first sight of the year provided no indication that the sluggishness of the market for lower value rough is ready to subside. The January sight is typically one of the largest of the year, as manufacturers restock after the Christmas season in preparation for the holidays ahead, including Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day. De Beers rough sales in Cycle 1, however, were much lower than the two previous starts to the year.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa expanded the long-term customer list for the three-year contract period 2018-2020, and has added two Belgian companies to its ALROSA ALLIANCE. Participants in the ALLIANCE obtain the right to use the logo that confirms not only regular rough diamond supplies from ALROSA, but also the reputation of a client as a reliable and trusted participant of the world diamond complex. Becoming an ALROSA ALLIANCE participant makes the company a candidate to potentially sign a long-term agreement.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has announced a 54% increase in the indicated resources of the South Lobe of its Karowe Mine in Botswana, as it undertakes its feasibility study for a potential underground operation. The significant increaase in the availability of diamonds, as well the increased contribution of the higher grade, higher value EM/PK(S) geological ore unit, where some of Karowe's most valuable diamonds, including the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona and the 813 carat Constellation were found, signfies a significant boost to the future of the mine.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa and China’s Anjin Investments have been selected by Zimbabwe’s government to partner with the state diamond company ZCDC, reports local paper The Herald. The Zimbabwe National Diamond Policy says the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Murowa Diamonds and two other private companies would be permitted to undertake diamond exploration and mining. The Russian and Chinese miners have now been announced as those foreign companies.
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has developed an illustrated booklet, “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners,” to help small-scale miners learn more about the quality and classification of the gems they recover, and ultimately to obtain greater market value. As Russel Shor explains, the two pilot projects GIA initiated with Pact, a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental development organization with offices in Tanzania, are having an impact on these miners' lives.
UK-based and AIM and BSE listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds plans to raise more than $480,000 (£370,000) from investors, the company said Wednesday.
Multiple forces seem to be conspiring against the diamond industry these days, and if mining stocks are any indication, the wider market takes a pessimistic view of its prospects. But as independent analyst Paul Zimnisky explains in his latest analysis, "Don’t Give Up on the Diamond Industry Just Yet", to take this attitude as a foregone conclusion is to underestimate the resilience of the industry as a whole and overlook not only the enduring intangible value of diamonds, but also the impact of what may well become their much more tangible rarity.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has announced its production results for 2018 and Q4 2018, reporting that annual production declined by 7% to 36.7 million carats, while an 8% decline in carats sold was offset by a higher average price per carat, leading revenues to rise 6% to $4.5 billion. The miner attributed the fall in output to the shutdown of the Mir underground mine and the completion of open-pit mining at the Udachnaya pipe.
The De Beers Group has announced its production results for 2018 and Q4 2018, reporting that annual production increased by nearly 7% to 35.3 million carats, while a 4% decline in carats sold was offset by a higher average price per carat, leading revenues to rise 2% to $5.4 billion. They said the rise is production was due to a planned increase at the Orapa mine, although the group's output was in the lower half of the production guidance range of 35 to 36 million carats.
Charterhouse-backed Siaci Saint Honore (SSH), a leading France-based insurance brokerage and consulting firm with a strength in jewelry insurance, and Lloyd's coverholder Driesassur, the Belgium-based global market leader for insurances for the diamond trade and a jewelry and fine art insurance specialist, have agreed to join forces.
The Diamond Pro, described as "an unbiased online diamond jewelry advisory website," has launched Ringo, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that helps any online diamond buyer determine the best diamond options based on their specific requirements. The "first-of-its-kind tool" is intended to enable buyers to determine if a diamond is clean to the naked eye based solely on its picture, and be assured they are making the best purchase based on certification, desired shape, setting style and precious metal type.
The value of India's polished-diamond exports grew by approximately 6% to over $24 billion in 2018 despite a 10% downturn in the volume of goods exported, according to figures from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The rise in value is attributable to a 17% higher average price per carat, calculated at $775, for the 31.5 million carats exported, reflecting an industry-wide trend in 2018 of softening trade in smaller, lower-quality goods and more robust demand for larger goods.
The Antwerp diamond trade was nothing if not balanced in 2018. The industry traded a total of $46 billion in 2018, representing an increase of less than a percentage point over 2017 ($45.9 billion). The value of value of the goods flowing in and out of Antwerp was once again divided equally between rough and polished goods, with the polished trade good for $22.9 billion and the rough trade representing $23.1 billion.
International Mining and Dredging Holdings (IMDH) will be holding its first tender since 2016 of Namibian marine-mined rough diamonds at Bonas-Couzyn’s Antwerp offices. Bonas said the first sale from IMDH will bring to market approximately 47,000cts of original marine goods of gem quality, mined by the specialist mining vessel, the Ya Toivo. “This exciting source will be holding regular ROM production tenders with Bonas-Couzyn in Antwerp throughout 2019,” the tender house said.
Russia's Alrosa has appointed Rebecca Foerster as President ALROSA USA Inc., and will mainly be responsible for the development of polished diamonds sales and customer service. ALROSA’s office in New York was opened in 2006, but it has not been operating since 2016 for organizational reasons. The full-scale operation was resumed in 2018, when two rough diamond auctions were held there. This year, ALROSA plans to hold four rough diamond auctions in New York and significantly increase its office activity in selling its own polished diamonds.
Rio Tinto's diamond production for the year fell by 15% to 18.4 million carats from 21.6 million carats in 2017, as production at the Argyle mine in 2018 fell by 18% compared to 2017, when production was enhanced by the processing of higher grade alluvial tailings. The fourth quarter in particular put a drag on the annual figures, as the 3.2 million carats unearthed represented a 48% decline from Q4 2017 - albeit against a high base of 7.21 million carats - and a 16% decline from last quarter.