Figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on the trade in Antwerp in the first six months of the year demonstrate the city is back on track of the pre-pandemic upturn seen in the first few months of 2020, outperforming 2019 figures on rough trade with double digit growth.
In its financial results update, released by De Beers, the company states revenue compared y-o-y more than doubled to US$2.9bn, from US$1.2bn at the height of the pandemic year 2020, EBITDA rose from a meager US$2m to US$610m, for a total of 19.2m cts (up from 8.5m cts in H1 2020.) . According to comments to JCK, the company attributes the positive results to remarkably strong recovery in the USA, outperforming China's rebound. De Beers average price per carat rose 13%, from US$119/ct (2020) to US$135/ct.
On Thursday 29th July in Antwerp, Grib Diamonds sold $65M of rough diamonds mainly from its wholly owned Russian Mine, as well as some smaller amounts of Angolan Goods. In total 650K carats were on offer and Grib saw continued high demand in its Spot Sale. The highlight of the sale was one Russian Origin 7ct Violet stone which sold for more than $100K per carat. This is the highest per carat stone ever sold by Grib in its 7 year history. Grib’s next Spot Viewings will start from the 10th September in Antwerp.
Petra Diamonds Limited today announced that it has recovered a 342.92 carat Type IIa white diamond of exceptional quality in terms of both its colour and clarity at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The diamond is likely to be sold via the Company’s upcoming tender during September 2021. The news comes just days after Petra Diamonds released its latest market update, indicating revenue for FY 2021 jumped 38% to US$406.9m, driven by the sales of exceptional stones such as the 39.34ct rare blue diamond that fetched over US$40m just weeks ago.
Alrosa today announced that it remains committed to maintaining a healthy balance in the market, as the industry encounters rough supply shortages and demand continues to thrive. The company purchases 70% of the diamonds that were auctioned by the Russian State Fund for Precious Metals and Stones (Gokhran), organized to contribute to market balance. Alrosa gave a welcome opportunity to its Alrosa Alliance customers to purchase the Gokhran diamonds they needed, alleviating the pressure caused by shortages in their manufacturing cycles.
In an extensive article, The Guardian weighs the arguments of many LGD producers who claim the diamonds they produce in a factory are a more ethical alternative, pointing to the devastating effect a complete shift away from mined diamonds would have on entire communities whose livelihoods depend on the diamond industry. Quoting Cristina Villegas from NGO Pact, "framing it as an ethical decision, while in my opinion it is actually the complete opposite", the article states that walking away from mined diamonds will hurt exactly the same communities consumers are concerned about.
Swiss luxury group Richemont, owner of the Buccellati, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry brands, recorded a 129% increase in sales in the three months ending on June 30. The outstanding performance was led by the Jewellery Maisons and Specialist Watchmakers, with a growth of 142%, to €2.52 billion (US$2.97 billion) and 143%, to €849 million (US$1 billion), respectively.
Diamond imports in China have registered a hefty bounce in the first half of the year, after the gloomy market situation in the first half of 2020, followed by the recovery period in the second half. The sudden increase in trading indicates China’s diamond market is walking out of the haze of the pandemic and returning to a growth track. According to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE), From January thru June, the diamond transactions in SDE reached US$3.821 billion, an 86.39% increase over the same period in 2019.
Operations have resumed at Alrosa's Zarnitsa open-pit mine, which the Russian miner had suspended since May 2020 amid the challenging market environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2021, when the demand for rough diamonds had stabilized, ALROSA decided to recommence mining at the deposit from 1 July.
Lucara announced the recovery of a 62.7-carat fancy pink diamond from the Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana. The diamond entitled “Boitumelo” meaning Joy, is a high-quality, fancy pink, Type IIa gem. In addition, a 2.21-carat fancy pink diamond of similar quality was recovered during the same production period, along with two pink gems of similar color and purity weighing 11.17 and 5.05 carats respectively. The 62.7-carat diamond represents the largest fancy pink gem recovered in Botswana and one of the largest rough pink diamonds on record.
On the occasion of the launch of their latest Progress Report, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) released its ‘Create Beautiful’ video, to showcase and encourage sustainability action throughout the supply chain. The video features CEOs from some of the leading names in the jewellery and watch industry, as well as special interest groups.
Petra's has announced the sale of the exceptional TypeIIb blue 39.34ct, which was recovered at the Cullinan mine in South Africa earlier this year, and started its viewing tour in Antwerp to a partnership between De Beers and Diacore, for a whopping US$40.180.180 or over US$1m per carat.
In Sotheby's single-lot live auction in Hong Kong, the pear-shaped, 101.38-carat, D-color diamond known as "The Key 10138" sold for US$12.3 million. The sale marks an industry-wide breakthrough, making the price achieved for this diamond the highest for any jewelry or gemstone purchased with cryptocurrency. The buyer was a private collector.
Lucapa diamond company announced a strong first half of 2021 in its Q2 results. Both Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) processed record Q2 volumes and record half-year revenues.
Lulo continued exceptional large stone recoveries, including three +100 carat founds, and its single largest sale ever of A$28.3 million, representing an average price of US$34,548/carat, led to record revenues for the first half-year of 2021. Mothae also noted exceptional large stone recoveries and regular sales also led to record revenues for the first half of 2021.
In May and June, ALROSA held auctions in Antwerp, Dubai and Ramat Gan, selling over 400 lots weighing almost 6,600 carats. The total revenue equaled US$32.4 million.
Under Russian law, ALROSA sells special-size diamonds at international auctions only. These auctions allowed clients to purchase goods they need despite international travel restrictions.
ALROSA introduced its revolutionary diamond-tracing technology using non-invasive laser markings. Unlike traditional laser engraving, these inscriptions could not be destroyed or polished off. The markings are made inside the crystal lattice, across the atomic structure of the entire diamond, making it invisible without a scanner. These diamonds can, and have, been certified by the GIA. The purpose of these markings would be to distinguish ALROSA diamonds from others, including lab-grown.
Firestone Diamonds announced it had entered a binding share sales agreement for its Botswana operations. Botswana-owned Visionary Victor Resources will acquire the BK11 mine, as well as Firestone’s 90% interest in its local subsidiary, Monak Ventures, for US$50,000.
Firestone Diamonds has been trying to offload their Botswana asset for nearly six years, as the project has been on care and maintenance since 2012. At that time, the mine plan estimated it still had 1.2 million carats in reserves.
Cartier recently shared China was the first market to offer the French luxury goods brand a robust rebound in sales since the pandemic broke out. The brand shared that e-commerce sales in China also saw a phenomenal rise since the outbreak, prompting the company to solidify its plans to raise investments in the country. The rebound and growth are attributed to the solid performance of pandemic-related travel restrictions, causing Chinese consumers to purchase luxury goods locally rather than abroad.
Opsydia, a UK-based diamond security innovator, announced former De Beers Group Senior Executive, Jonathan Kendall, would join their non-executive Board of Directors, starting immediately. The company, known for its sub-surface laser technology, can create nano-scale identifiers requiring a 100x microscope to be legible.
Swiss luxury group Richemont announced it had acquired Belgian leather goods label, Delvaux. The group didn’t disclose the terms of the transaction but shared the deal would have “no material financial impact” on the net of the firm’s assets or operating results. According to a Citigroup analyst, the estimated cost of the deal could be as much as 250 million euros ($296 million), adding the move was “consistent with Richemont’s desire to grow in the leather accessories segment.”
ALROSA has launched the new phase of its digital and operational transformation intended to improve the efficiency of its production assets. The project sets out to combine the management teams of the Mirny and Nyurba Divisions. This move would enable the Company to manage its assets more efficiently and free up part of the management team by combining the engineering and supporting functions. The core production personnel will remain unaffected.
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) recently analyzed and graded a 6.18 carat round brilliant-cut stone submitted for grading as a natural diamond, then identified as a lab-grown diamond. The stone was sent for verification purposes and came with a report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) stating it was a natural diamond, D color, flawless clarity, and triple-excellent cut, reinforcing the growing importance of secondary review from gemological institutes.
In his final address at last week's Kimberly Process, virtual intersessional, organized under the Chairmanship of the Russian Federation, World Diamond Council President Edward Asscher, representing the diamond industry in the tripartite organization established to eradicate conflict diamonds from the trade, left little room for interpretation on the consequences of a status quo withing the KPCS.
On April first, Tiffany & Co. had us all fooled by introducing their new house color #TiffanyYellow, which garnered nearly half a million likes on Instagram. But was it a prank? Or was it all part of LVMH's rebranding strategy? A mere month later, Tiffany opened a pop-up store in Beverly Hills with everything — from furniture down to the shopping bags — glazed in a lemon yellow.
Lucapa, Endiama and Sodiam announced the sale of seven exceptional stones, weighing 620 carats, for a total sales price of $21,4 million, representing an average price of $34,548/carat. The large, top-quality and fancy colored diamonds, recovered at Lulo this year, were sold via tender organized by Sodiam in Luanda.
BASELWORLD, which was pronounced dead last year after a mass exodus of exhibitors following the mishandling of the postponement and refunding of deposits for exhibitors, is back!
After a turbulent period, the sun finally shines on Arctic Canadian - quite literally - as the company’s reboot included the successful sale of the stunning 204-carat yellow "Dancing Sun" through a Christie’s auction earlier this month.
On Monday 21 June, Grib Diamonds sold over $40 million rough diamonds of Russian origin through its online, ascending clock auction software in Antwerp.
According to Grib Diamonds, all lots of 520k carats were sold and prices hit record levels in every category. Especially the smaller goods marked strong price increases.
Grib’s next sale of Russian and Angolan goods is scheduled to start on 12 July.
Namakwa Diamonds & Storm Mountain Diamonds announce the discovery and upcoming sale of ‘The Pink Palesa’.
The 21,86 ct natural pink diamond will be sold in Antwerp by Bonas Group. The stone was discovered on the 18th of May at the KAO mine in Lesotho. The Palesa, derived from the local Sesotho word for ‘flower’, will travel to Antwerp to be offered for sale during KAO’s next sale.
In Kwahlathi, a village in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, over 1,000 people are looking for diamonds after a man dug up an unidentified stone in an open field. According to Reuters, people are traveling across South Africa to join the villagers who have been digging since Saturday.
Debswana, the joint venture between the Botswana government and Anglo American’s De Beers unit, announced the recovery of a 1,098-carat diamond. Initial analysis suggests the rough stone could be the world’s third-largest gem-quality diamond ever to be recovered after the 3,100-carat "Cullinan Diamond", was discovered in South Africa in 1905, and the 1,109-carat "Lesedi la Rona", was found in 2015, in the Karowe mine in Botswana.
Earlier this year Petra Diamonds announced the recovery of a 39.34 carat Type IIb blue diamond from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The diamond, known for its exceptional quality in terms of both its color and clarity, is currently in Antwerp for viewing, is expected to yield upwards of US$1 million per carat. Next week it will continue on its world tour till early July. Bidding will close on Monday, July 12.
May sales of Russian miner ALROSA net 365 million USD, including proceeds from rough diamond sales of $346 million and polished diamond sales of $19 million, resulting in a total of $1,926 million diamond sales during the first five months of 2021.
Lucara Diamonds announced the recovery of a 470 carat top light brown clivage diamond from its Karowe Mine in Botswana. This recovery headlines a series of top-quality gem and clivage quality diamond recoveries during a recent production run, including 5 other diamonds of 265ct, 183ct, 161ct, 116ct and 106ct, and 13 diamonds between 50 and 100 carats.
Grib Diamonds’ Ascending Clock Spot Auction of Friday 4 June in Antwerp was very successful. They sold 38,000 carats of Angolan Run of Mine goods for $27 million, achieving high prices across all categories of diamonds. 134 diamond companies worldwide bid in the auction on over 100 Lots. Grib Diamonds received nearly 1,800 bids.
The next viewing for Grib Diamonds starts on Wednesday 9 June. 520,000 carats of Russian production for the Grib Diamond Mine are being auctioned, with the auction itself on 18 June.
China’s National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC) recently tested a new variety of yellow CVD laboratory-grown diamonds. According to NGTC, they tested stones between 1 – 2 ct, the color of the stones varied from pale yellow to dark brownish yellow, including pure bright yellow. NGTC identified some typical inclusions, including pinpoint dark-color inclusions or dark-color inclusions distributed layer by layer. After production, these lab-grown diamonds are processed in high temperature and high-pressure conditions to remove the brownness hue and enhance their transparency.
A selection of De Beers signature high jewelry designs dazzle in the Disney film “Cruella". The film starring Emma Stone as young Cruella, an aspiring fashion designer, and Emma Thompson as Baroness Von Hellman, the villainous owner of a renowned but tired fashion label, is set against the backdrop of 1970s London. The new take on the Disney classic 101 Dalmatians follows the rebellious early days of one of cinema's most notoriously fashionable villains.
Grib Diamonds, the Belgian rough diamond company owned by AGD Diamonds, is joining the Sarine Diamond JourneyTM traceability program. The company, which has mining operations in Russia, can now offer customers stones with "birth-registrations" authenticating their origin. By augmenting their data to include the registration of origin and other information derived at the source, Grib will enable their midstream manufacturing customers to provide their downstream retail clients with fully documented traceable diamonds from the mine and throughout the polishing process.
Russian mining giant ALROSA, together with the Embassy of Russia in Angola, has donated 25,000 doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to the Angolan government. The miner provided financing and delivery of vaccines from Russia to Luanda, where the Minister of Health, Dr. Silvia Lutucuta, received the cargo. The second shipment of 25,000 doses should arrive in Luanda within a month.
Christie’s upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction in New York consists of 143 lots, including six diamonds ranging from 14.52 to 1.06 carats and the ever spectacular Dancing Sun, a fancy intense yellow diamond of 204.36 carats.
Gem Diamonds' Letšeng Diamonds has acquired and donated 20,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to the Government of Lesotho. The miner has contributed significantly to the national effort to control the spread of the virus, engaging extensively with the Ministry of Health. The distribution will happen according to the Government's vaccine rollout plan.
In April this year, Petra Diamonds announced the recovery of a 39.34 ct. Type IIb blue diamond of exceptional quality in terms of both color and clarity at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The stone will be sold via a special tender with viewings starting in Antwerp from 14 – 18 June 2021, followed by Dubai from 22 – 23 June, Hong Kong from 29 – 30 June and New York from 7 – 9 July 2021.
In August, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the University of Antwerp (UA) will host the fourth edition of the Antwerp Summer University (ASU) ‘From Mine to Finger, discover the world of diamonds in every aspect’. During this fully-fledged digital summer school, participants will get to know the diamond industry inside out thanks to an intensive program including fascinating virtual site visits, lectures, workshops and keynotes by internationally renowned academics and professionals.
48 hours after announcing their intention to purchase the Merlin Mine, Lucapa hosted an invite-only event showcasing two of the largest, most expensive, and rare diamonds ever seen in Australia. The diamonds were a 15-carat heart-shaped pink gem and 213-carat top-color white gem.
The 15-carat pink gem was polished from a 46-carat diamond recovered from the Lulo mine in Angola. Lucapa recovered the 213-carat rough white diamond from the Mothae mine in Lesotho. Recent auction sales of similar diamonds place the combined value of the stones at more than US$10 million.
In their latest update, Australia-based miner Lucapa Diamond Company has struck a deal to buy the Northern Territory's Merlin diamond mine for US$17.8 million, which they intend to fund with private and public sales of its shares.
At Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Hong Kong, the 15.81 carat Sakura diamond set the world-record auction price for a purple-pink diamond at US$29.3 million. At almost $1.9 million a carat, the cushion-cut stone became the most valuable diamond sold at auction so far this year. The diamond was purchased by a private Asian buyer. The Sakura diamond was named after the cherry blossoms at the beginning of spring in Asia, as it resembles its color.
The Angolan state National Diamond Trading Company SODIAM announced its 3rd rough diamond tender in Luanda, Angola in June 2021. The sale will include a selection of exceptional Single Stones from the Catoca, Luele, Lulo and Uari mine, as well as an assorted run-of-mine cut across all sizes of (the highly expected) Luele Kimberlite production. The total value of tendered goods is an estimated 27 – 30 million USD.
Viewings will take place from 9 to 23 June 2021 at the SODIAM viewings facility in Luanda. Bid submission ends on 24 June 2021, 11:00 Luanda time.
ALROSA, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds in carats, announced it would invest nearly US$60 million (at least RUB 4.2 billion) in the next five years for the social and economic development of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and local communities in the regions. The miner is committed to a socially responsible way of doing business, ensuring social and economic stability in Yakutia, one of the most remote regions in the Northeast of Russia with a harsh climate and sophisticated logistics.
The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group (CTF) announced an exclusive strategic partnership to advocate the “Natural Diamonds Dream”. The partnership aims to introduce Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation, to the value of diamonds and enhance their confidence and desire for the precious gem.
Lately there has been another avalanche of press releases and media attention drawn to Laboratory Grown Diamond (LGD) producers and retailers who decide to jump on board of the LGD train. Before everybody starts to scream bloody murder, the whole LGD debate, this opinion piece included, is not about one versus the other. The point is precisely the opposite.
Rio Tinto unveiled a preview of its final showcase of rare Argyle pink, red and blue diamonds from its iconic mine. As mining ceased at Argyle on 3 November 2020, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender showcases the final collection from the last year of Argyle operations, with viewings set to take place in Perth, Sydney, Singapore and Antwerp over the course of the next three months.
Lucapa announced it had recovered another large stone, 138-carat diamond, from Mining Block 46 (MB46) in the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola. The diamond is the seventh +100 carat diamond recovered in 2021 so far and the 24th +100 carat stone recovered at Lulo since exploration and mining operations began.
In Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva, "The Alrosa Spectacle Diamond", weighing an astonishing 100.94 carats, went under the hammer for US$14,2 million. Total sales during the May auction of 144 lots garnered US$63.8 million Christie's announced.
The global diamond market is under restraint as the supply of polished goods is delayed due to the Covid-19 surge in India. Trade has shifted to leading centers like Antwerp, where dealers are busy filling orders, predominantly through online and remote selling.
Overall the rough market in Antwerp appears to be stable as the center will host ten tenders this month. Year to date, Antwerp has hosted nearly 40 tenders. There is consistent demand for 1 to 3-carat polished diamonds, ranging from D to J color and IF to SI clarity.
Russian miner ALROSA records a strong performance with total sales in April amounting to US$401 million, which includes proceeds from rough diamond sales of US$383 million, and polished diamond sales of US$18 million. For the first four months of 2021, total rough and polished diamond sales accounted for US$1,561 million, of which US$1,509 million for rough diamond sales and US$51 million for polished.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Belgian Embassy, supported by the Angolan Ministry of Minerals and Petroleum (MIREMPET), organized a 2-day visit to Angola, bringing the CEO's of 20 Antwerp diamond companies. The mission signals a renewed interest from both Antwerp and Angola to work together more closely.
First Element Diamond Services announced its cooperation with the Del Gatto Diamond Finance Fund (DDFF), offering their clients pre tender financing for their diamond production. This includes not only the full run of mine production but also any special stones that may be recovered.
Thanks to this cooperation, diamond producers and buyers will be able to receive funds before tender sales, which marks a first.
In April, ALROSA, the Russian diamond mining giant, completed an online auction for special-sized rough where nearly 95% of the lots sold. The auction, which took place without physical viewings, used digital twin technology so clients could analyze goods remotely and trace polished diamonds back to their mine.
The miner sold 142 lots, weighing approximately 2,040 carats, for US$8.8 million. The auction had 238 registered clients, of which 27 placed winning bids and were from Belgium, Israel, India, UAE, Russia, and the USA.
After jewelry sales in the US doubled in March, they almost tripled in April according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Compared to a year ago, jewelry sales increased 255%, benefiting from a strong base comparison as US stores were forced to close in April 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumers are anticipating a return to gatherings and events and government stimulus payments, warmer weather and a broader reopening also foster spending.