Rapaport News reports that the Holiday Season rush is boosting markets, demonstrated by a rebound in De Beers third quarter sales, up to 6.6m ct in Q3, compared to barely 300k sold ct in Q2, at the height of the global pandemic. Rapaport calculates that sales increased 10% y-o-y, reflecting pent up demand and easing restrictions in trade and manufacturing hubs across the globe.
In a press release, Russian miner Alrosa has announced it will extend its long-term customer 2018-2020 contracts through to Q1 2021. Normally, the miner would be evaluating its long-term contracts as well as prospective members of its Alrosa Alliance. Due to the pandemic disrupting normal trade and the continued uncertainty, Alrosa has decided to maintain flexibility towards clients and postpone the planned review of clients and the decisions on new three-year contracts for five months.
In a latest update, Australia based miner Lucapa has adjusted its indicated and inferred diamond resource estimates at the Mothae operation to an estimated 280k ct, 3.1cpht at an average value of US$635/ct and 960k ct, 2.44cpht at an average value of US$601/ct respectively. In the release, Lucapa managing director Stephen Wetherall commented on the 280% increase in indicated resource; " The increase in tonnes and carats, ..., strongly supports an expansion in production at Mothae that the partners are considering"
Rob Bates, well-known and widely respected trade journalist and industry expert is debuting as an author with a first in what will be a series of mystery novels, titled A Murder Is Forever. Bates draws from over 30 years experience in the diamond industry and the New York diamond district in particular. Bates says he hopes his friends, sources, and acquaintances in the Diamond District enjoy the novel for its escapism and insider-y details. But he’s keeping his second career in perspective: “I really enjoyed writing the book, and I hope people like it.
Junior miner BlueRock operating the Kareevlei mine in Kimberley, South Africa, reports stronger than expected production and higher grades in Q3, or 5,577 ct compared to 3,973ct in Q3 2019, at an average price of US$330 per carat. In May, BlueRock announced it will be collaborating with Antwerp-based tender specialist Bonas Group for the sale of its rough diamonds.
On November 12, Sotheby's will have another exceptional diamond for sale, with the 14.83ct fancy vivid purple pink elegantly named "the Spirit of the Rose", after the Russian ballet by Niijinsky. The rich pink is one of the largest in its kind and was discovered in Yakutia almost three years ago by Russian mining giant Alrosa. Expectations for the unique diamond are high, with estimates as high as US$38 million.
De Beers reports selling US$467m worth or rough diamonds at its latest sales cycle, 57% more than the same sales period in 2019, 40% higher than the previous sale, further confirming rough demand has picked up significantly in view of the holiday season. The miner, who discounted prices by 5 to 10% according to industry insiders, went through several months of near zero sales, at the peak of the pandemic's first wave, and implemented maximum flexiblity to its long-term customers. In the latest cycle, it also extended the usual one-week sales momentum to more than 3 weeks.
AWDC's Head of Public Affairs, Karla Basselier, is leaving the Antwerp umbrella organization after 9 years in office. The jurist who was, among others, in charge of lobbying for the diamond industry on local, national and supranational political levels, is taking up the post of chief of staff in the cabinet of Belgium's Vice Prime Minister Van Quickenborne, in the recently formed new Belgian Federal government, effective immediately.
The new AWDC Board of Directors has elected Chaim Pluczenik as new President the AWDC among its members replacing outgoing President Nishit Parikh, who retired after two years in office as President and didn’t apply as a candidate in the recent elections. Board members Bart De Hantsetters, representing the (manufacturing) industry and Isi Morsel, representing the trade have been appointed as Vice Presidents.
GIA has launched the earlier announced new grading reports for lab-grown diamonds, LGDR by GIA, a range of four digital reports in which the descriptive terms and grade ranges are now replaced with 4C color and clarity specs, described using the same scale GIA uses for natural diamonds. In terms of look and feel, the LGDR, digital only reports differ from the classic GIA natural grading reports and each stone will be inscribed with a report number and the words "Laboratory-grown", the GIA adds in a press release.
UNI Diamonds, the fintech company today announced the release of a free Diamond Price Calculator app, calculating what the company says "real time estimate prices for natural polished diamonds", underpinned by Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms and UNI Diamonds' trading platform data on sales and acutal diamond prices. . According to UNI Diamonds CEO, Mahiar Borhanjoo, "the industry has relied on complicated price lists that are only updated periodically and are based on data sources that are opaque.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent restrictions make it impossible to bring together the industry for the 2nd African Diamond Conference, which was set to take place in Durban, South Africa in May this year, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) together with its partners, Belgium’s Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs and the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA), have announced a series of webinars, on October 14, 21 and 28, aimed at sharing information on challenges and opportunities for African diamond producing countries and the diamond industry.
CBC news reports that negotiations around the US$126 million sale of a number of Dominion's assets, including the Ekati mine, to affiliates of owner Washington Companies have reached an "impasse" with no chance to reach an agreement before the deadline of Oct 14.
De Beers' LGD jewelry line, Lightbox Jewelry is expanding its scope and will now be sold in 28 additional stores of 10 independent retailers in the US and Canada. Since its launch, Lightbox has been priced uniformly at US$800 per carat. In an interview with JCK News, Nick Smart, the company's commercial director commented that Lightbox products offer "an attractive margin" for the retailer and that in the LGD space, prices have already come down significantly, close to the level of Lightbox' pricing model.
Antwerp’s September figures confirm a further, slow recovery of trade in the diamond city, largely due to increased activity in rough trading, as markets and manufacturing resumed and demand ahead of the holiday season grew significantly. Rough imports amounted to 7.8 million carats, for a total value of US$837 million in September, up 38% in value compared to the same month last year. Rough exports grew 20% in volume and 44% in value, to 12.3 million carats valued at US$1.1 billion compared to September 2019.
Hennig Tenders will be holding a 2nd tender of Angolan RoM goods in Antwerp from 12-21 October, following a 1st succesful tender of +5ct Angolan RoM rough which concluded last week. This follow-up tender of a large volume of rough stones of smaller sizes (4 carats and below) will consist of a combination of bespoke cuts in both the high value 2.5-4 carat assortments and the RoM parcels in all other sizes as well as some fancy colour stones.
In its latest tender in Antwerp, GRIB Diamonds sold over 400,000ct of rough diamonds from its mine in the Russian Federation with proceeds in excess of US$ 25 million as well as US$ 2 million of Angolan goods. According to GRIB Diamonds, prices were slightly lower, on average 5%, as the market recalibrates after the large increase in demand seen in the September GRIB spot sale.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre has announced the appointment of six new Board Members representing the trade on the Board of Directors. In the past two days, the Antwerp diamond community participated in Covid-19 safe elections at the AWDC’s building, choosing two representatives among their peers of small, medium-sized and large companies, as voters and candidates are divided in three categories, according to their average turnover.
Australia based Lucapa Diamonds and Endiama have sold 3,862 carats of diamonds from the Lulo operation in Angola for a total amount of US$ 5.6 million or an average US$1,450 per carat at its latest sale. Earlier this month, the company reported on record-breaking recovery of high value rough diamonds vrom the MB06 flood plain, and the latest sale further strenghtens Lucapa's outlook for H2 2020.
The Economic Times India reports that, with the all but last sale of Rio Tinto's Argyle Pink diamonds, the precious fancy colored stones have become increasingly popular among India's high net worth individuals. In the past decade, the rare pinks' value has grown significantly, year after year, and prices are estimated to go up even further as the world's primary source, the Argyle mine in Australia, is set to close soon. That scarcity is also making other high quality diamonds an interesting investment, as no major mines have been discovered in recent years.
For the first time, the International Standards Organization (ISO) has established guidelines on diamond grading, specifying terminology, classification and methods for grading natural diamonds above 0.25ct in order to create more consistency between grading labs. The guidelines are based on CIBJO's Blue Book and are the result of a request made by the Swiss Association of Standardization. Recently, the ISO guide to the use of terminology for natural and synthetic diamonds and simulants, which defines diamonds as a natural mineral, was reconfirmed in a review.
Mountain Province, owning a 49% interest in the Gahcho Kué mine in the Northwest Territories, resumed Antwerp sales this week for the first time since the pandemic broke out, a positive signal that boosted the miner's stock, up 9% on Monday. “The results of the first small sale, post the covid-19 pandemic are an encouraging start considering that the market has been at a standstill for nearly six months. The results of the sale were a positive sign as the markets for rough and polished diamonds start to return.”, CEO Stuart Brown commented.
Economic Times India reports that this year, some 650,000 diamond polishers in the country's main polishing hub Surat will skip the Diwali holidays this year, as global demand for polished diamonds is ramping up ahead of the holiday season. By continuing to work, many units are trying to make up for losses, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the virtual shutdown of manufacturing. An estimated 5,000 polishing units out of 7,000 total have now resumed activities, at 70% capacity and according to the GJEPC, India's overall exports are now estimated to be at 50%.
In its first ever celebrity campaign, the Natural Diamond Council is featuring Ana de Armas, rising Hollywood star who recently was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in Knives Out and starring in the upcoming No Time To Die Bond film. The new campaign will be released on September 20, during the virtual Emmy awards.
Petra Diamonds today announced that it has recovered five extremely rare blue rough diamonds at its Cullinan mine, of 25.75 ct, 21.25 ct, 17.57 ct, 11.42 ct and 9.61 ct respectively. The last discovery of a blue rough stone dates back exactly one year ago, and blue diamonds are considered as one of the most rare in fancy colored stones, making it all the more extraordinary that five diamonds are recovered in one week's production.
Osisko Gold Royalties, one of the secured creditors which acquired Stornoway's assets and properties a year ago as well as its debts and liabilities yesterday announced the Renard mine operations will resume later this month, after a four-month suspension due to liquidity issues. The restart plan includes a further cost reduction of $30 million and a commitment to boost working capital with another $30 million by shareholders. Stornoway is also expected to bring over 300k carats of unsold rough to the market later this year.
Alrosa announces it sold 133 special (10.8ct+) rough diamonds, with a total weight of 2,173 ct for a value of US$ 7.4 million during its most recent auctions held in Belgium and Israel, to a total of 20 companies. The auctions are the single channel currently for Alrosa's specials. According to Deputy CEO, Evgeny Agureev, the total revenue significantly exceeded expectations, demonstrating demand for high quality rough is high.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre and Israeli Diamond Institute, in collaboration with VDB Expo, this morning kicked off a three day Online Diamond Trade Show, featuring 50 exhibitors from Israel and Antwerp. The event, which is open 24 hours a day and has direct communication features including live videochat, already has 800 registered professional buyers, from over 50 different countries. In the pre-covid era, traders would now be gearing up to ship goods and travel to the Hong Kong September show.
HB Company, the Antwerp-based diamond and manufacturing company is continuing its expansion with the acquisition of the Antwerp manufacturing branch of AMC, diamond manufacturing company and De Beers Sightholder, taking over the entire Antwerp staff, technology and equipment. HB Company, which in past months announced a partnership with Louis Vuitton, to cut and polish the Sewêlo, and Lucara Diamond, to purchase all of their 10.8ct+ rough stones, is planning on more recruiting in the coming months, focusing on innovation and the Antwerp legacy in diamond polishing.
Mining Review reports that Lucapa's Lesotho Mothae mine, which had been placed on care and maintenance due to the pandemic at the end of March, will resume activities later this year. In addition, the Lesotho government has approved a proposal that will allow the Australia-based miner to market its rough diamonds through direct partnerships with diamantaires, similar to what Lucapa has implemented for its Lulo (Angola) operation. “Mothae is a unique mine and an important contributor to the Basotho nation.
Media reports say LVMH has now definitively backed out of the US$16 billion deal that would merge Tiffany with the French luxury conglomerate. In a response, Tiffany has allegedly filed a lawsuit against LVMH, denouncing LVMH's claim that Tiffany had breached its obligations as stipulated in the merger agreement.
Grib Diamonds sold 100% of its wholly owned Russian production in Antwerp yesterday, Monday 7th September. 390K carats of Russian goods were on offer which sold for more than $25M. Over 300 companies were invited to participate in the viewing of which 159 were active in the auction. “Bidding was stronger than any Grib sale seen since December 2019 with nearly 5,000 bids made. Prices rose to levels not seen since the beginning of the 2020, with particular strength noted in the cheaper goods and smalls.”, the company said.
For the second consecutive month, Lucapa had a record-breaking production at its Angolan Lulo operation, recovering 3852 ct, as mining focused on the MB06 Ieziria flood plain.
According to industry insiders, some 120 people were arrested last week, as Chinese authorities carried out a raid in several cities in a case of diamond smuggling. Idex Online reports that the arrests were made at Indian-run diamond factories in China, further straining trade relations between India and China, after a couple was caught with 150 parcels of undocumented diamonds, allegedly smuggled into mainland China via Hong Kong, in Shenzhen.
Ireland headquartered Botswana Diamonds is looking to raise £300,000 (US$394,403) via a share offering to fund further exploration and development of its assets in South Africa and Botswana this year. In South Africa, the company is drilling on the (M8) Marsfontein concession and other identified kimberlite targets at Thorny River, while in Botswana, efforts are focused on the recently acquired Sekaka Diamonds KX36 project.
Tender company Hennig Tenders will be holding a dual tender with viewings both in Ramat Gan and Antwerp of a large volume of original run of mine Angolan goods of 5ct and up, both single stones and parcels. The tender will also include a signicant selection of fancy colour stones, with a 45ct exceptional pink rough as the standout stone at the tender.
Bloomberg, citing the encouraging jewelry sales results of brands like Signet, Tiffany and Macy's, reports that US shoppers - at least those who can - are spending their money on diamond jewellery, rather than trips or restaurant visits. High-end products have been performing particularly well in the last quarter and those spending are spending more than normal on items, the article states.
In a Q&A following the announcement of interim results, GEM Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said the company is not pursuing any of Petra's assets. "They are lovely assets but there is a massive debt pile and everyone looks at this in the same way … We’re near the end of all this.”, Elphick said. In the first half of 2020, GEM Diamonds reported a US$1.7 million loss, compared to a US$ 4.2 million profit in the same period last year, and the Letseng mine production forecast was adjusted to 96,000ct down from 100,000ct.
According to an opinion piece by Rough&Polished's Sergey Goryainov, the Russian State Repository may be in the process of buying US$ 1 billion worth of (rough) diamonds from Alrosa, the Russian mining giant, to alleviate the pressure on the company as the industry suffers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The author believes that what he describes as a "bailout" for both the industry and Alrosa by the Gokhran is inevitable and necessary move.
In a virtual preview, Rio Tinto has showcased its 2020 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, entitled One Lifetime, One Encounter, one of the last of a series of annual tenders held since the exceptionally rare pink, violet and blue diamonds were first discovered in the Western Australian Argyle mine in 1979. This year's tender features 2.24ct Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond, named Argyle Eternity, the largest Fancy Vivid round brilliant ever offered at the tender.
Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Signet Jewelers CEO Gina Drosos is rolling out the Path to Brilliance transformation which focuses on dramatically changing the customer experience by bringing it into the digital world, with virtual appointments, Live experts and events and tying into customers' personal social media channels. The transformation process, which had been initiated before the pandemic, also aims to maximize on current trends focusing on value, values and trust consumers place in Signet's brands with an omnichannel approach.
In a press release, Antwerp-based HB Company, announces that Boaz Lev, top man at diamond shipping and logistics firm Malca Amit for the past twelve years, is joining the company as one of its managing partners.
With the announcement of the cancellation of the November GemGenève Show, it seems like the last international offline trade show is now officially off the calendar. Today, Informa Markets issued a release that states "Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong (JGW) goes virtual for 2020", with the traditional trade fair resuming in September 2021.
After major miners De Beers and Alrosa announced price cuts, Bloomberg reports that the combined sales of their recent long-term client sales amounted to US$500 million, in stark contrast with the near-zero sales of the past six months, as the pandemic broke out and both companies decided to maintain pricing but maximize flexibility to their clients to defer contract purchases.
According to Morgan Stanley analysts, in the 2nd half of 2020, De Beers' sales could rebound to US$1.6 billion, a recovery they believe will be driven by the holiday season, traditionally a strong sales period. The miner, for 85% owned by Anglo American, clocked an EBITDA of only US$2 million in the first half of the year, as De Beers' sales of rough diamonds dropped to nearly zero due to the global pandemic.
In a communication to its clients, Petra Diamonds has announced it will be charging its India-based clients an additional 2.041% on purchases through its Online Bidding Platform as well as on purchases made through Petra's other branches (Petra Diamonds Ltd and Petra Diamonds Belgium).
Gem Diamonds announced the recovery of a massive 442ct Type II rough at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, one of the larger high quality stones recovered this year. The discovery is welcome news at a time when the global pandemic is putting a lot of strain on the global diamond industry, miners in particular. The London listed company's stock jumped 10.7% as the news came out. "A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this diamond will be used to fund a special community project, as agreed with our partners the Government of Lesotho", Clifford Elphick CEO of Gem Diamonds commented.
Figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre on the first six months of the year indicate that in terms of value, trade in the world’s diamond trade hub halved as a consequence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global diamond and jewelry business.
According to figures released by the GJEPC, India's rough imports plummeted to 82% in the period between April and July, as a consequence of the global pandemic as well as a voluntary ban on rough imports that was implemented for several months. In value, rough imports decreased sharply from US$ 4 billion to US $712 million, while polished exports fell 47% to US$ 2.7 billion (compared to US$ 5 billion year-on-year).
Tiffany & Co announced it will be detailing the entire journey of each and every diamond in one of their jewels, complete from mine to finished jewelry piece, in a "full craftsmanship journey". In a dedicated certificate, for each stone, Tiffany will tell the story of the diamond's origin, where it was cut and polished, graded and set and in which circumstances. The company believes that by doing so, they will not only tap into consumer demands for transparency, but as an iconic brand also aims to create awareness and inspire others to bring about broader change.
ABN AMRO, the Dutch bank, is closing its Hong Kong diamond business as part of a global trimming of the bank's operations, predominantly outside of Europe. In 2018, ABN AMRO already shut down its US and Dubai diamond operations. A few months ago, the bank reported a net loss of 395 million euros, the first loss in years, and announced it would be reviewing its strategy.
In his latest blog, industry analyst Edahn Golan isn't sugarcoating the message, the diamond industry is suffering as the pandemic is exacerbating the long-term downward trend of polished wholesale prices as well as the steep decline in jewelry share of wallet.
A recent survey, conducted by De Beers, gauging consumer sentiment among 2,800 men and women aged 20 to 65 with household incomes of at least US$75k or similar parameters in the US, India and China, concludes that while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh heavy on sentiment, respondents feel they are returning to (a new) normal and regaining confidence, with the most positive feedback coming from Chinese respondents.
Alrosa today announced that the company has mined the largest Russian, natural colored rough diamond to date, a 236ct stone of intense yellow-brown color, from its Ebelyakh mine in Yakutia, Russia. The stone is sent Alrosa's research center where it will be studied to decide whether the company will sell it as a rough or cut it in-house. It is not the first time natural colored diamonds are discovered at the alluvial diamond deposit, located on the Anabar River of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
Following the success of the Online Diamond Trade Show, held earlier this year, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI), have re-joined forces to host a second edition of the show from the 14th till the 17th of September. The 'virus-free trade show' will take place on VDB Expo, a platform for conferences and trade shows created by and powered by Virtual Diamond Boutique.
First Element Diamonds Services recently held the Jagersfontein Developments and Rooipoort Developments tender which concluded on Friday the 7th of August at the Antwerp Tender Facility. According to the company, the tender was exceptionally well attended and delivered strong results. Both of the mines offered their full Run of Mine productions which consisted of everything from Special +10.8Ct stones down to Melee goods.
Alrosa, the Russian mining giant says it is close to finalizing a deal in which the Gokhran, the Russian State Repository will buy a significant volume, ranging between US$500 million and US$1 billion, worth of diamonds. “It’s a question of state-government support to our company,” Evgeny Augurev, Alrosa's Vice CEO commented, “And not only to our company, but to the whole industry.”