It is no secret that since De Beers stopped shouldering the promotional burden for the diamond industry more than a decade ago, investment in category marketing has steadily declined. The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) was created a couple of years ago, but by their own admission their efforts alone are not enough, and more funds are needed.
A 27% decline in the average price per carat led to an equivalent decline in total Q3 proceeds for Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds, as the company sold about the same number of carats as in Q3 last year.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has entered into a partnership with the United Nations Global Compact to develop best practice impact case studies for building awareness and educating key stakeholders across the jewelry supply chain from mine to retail on how businesses can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the RJC recently organized a roundtable discussion with Antwerp-based RJC members.
In the third quarter of 2019, Israel's imports and exports of all diamonds plummeted 28% compared to the same time last year, writes the Times of Israel following Ynet (Hebrew-language publication). Since the start of 2019, Israel’s diamond industry has seen a 22 percent drop in exports of polished diamonds, which Israeli spokespeople say is likely due to the global economic slowdown and international trade concerns.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa increased its Q3 diamond production by 15% year-over-year while the volume and value of carats sold declined, leading to the miner holding 40% more diamonds in stock than at this time last year. However, they write, globally, the second half of Q3 2019 saw an upward trend in rough diamond sales and a turning point in destocking in the midstream, creating a basis for the market recovery in the future.
In a preliminary update for Q3 2019, Singapore-listed diamond equipment and services provider Sarine noted that "the significant drop (40% less y-o-y) in the quantities of rough stones entering the production pipeline" has temporarily eased the excess inventories in the midstream, "somewhat alleviating" the issue of working capital in the short term.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has exported a 46 carat Lulo pink diamond to Antwerp and it is currently undergoing studies for polishing (initial possible polished solutions pictured above). A decision on the optimal polished solutions will be taken by the Sociedade Mineira do Lulo (SML) and the Lulo partners once the studies are concluded. While Antwerp is not the manufacturing center it once was, many of the world's most valuable and complex rough diamonds still find their way to Antwerp for analysis and polishing.
As first reported nearly two weeks ago, the power is still out at Firestone Diamonds' Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. The company said that "whilst every effort has been made over the past week to identify and to resolve the power issue, the Liqhobong mine remains without sufficient power to operate the processing plant."
De Beers Group Auctions today announced the launch of its new auction portal, the company stated in a press release. The new platform "provides customers with an improved bidding experience through a range of enhancements to functionality and to the user experience. The portal harnesses cutting-edge technology and incorporates a range of valuable insights garnered from customer feedback," the Group writes. They describe it as a "better, smarter and faster way for customers to purchase their diamonds." See the announcement in annex below.
Last week, Tiffany & Co. found itself at the center of a social media firestorm after posting an image on Twitter of a woman covering one eye with her hand, leading to accusations that the jeweller supports the Hong Kong protesters and prompting Tiffany's to remove the post. Angry Chinese consumers believed it deliberately evoked a symbolic pose adopted by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators after a woman was shot in the eye with what protesters say was a police beanbag round during violent clashes with police. Her image later popped up in many posters and memes.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has announced that Jean-Marc Lieberherr has decided to step down from his role as CEO at the end of his current contract period on 31 December 2019. Lieberherr served a leading role at the DPA since it was formed in December 2015, initially as its first Chairman, then as its CEO. His replacement, David Kellie, who has held senior positions at Ralph Lauren and Watches of Switzerland, will join the organisation in December 2019.
Beginning this month, De Beers' lab-grown diamond brand Lightbox Jewelry will be available at two select Bloomingdale’s department stores (one in N.Y., one in San Francisco) and 30 Reeds Jewelers stores in a trial run to see whether their product and value proposal perform in traditional bricks-and-mortar retail environments, reports Forbes magazine. Until now, the only way to purchase Lightbox fashion jewelry was through its website or through an occasional pop-up promotion.
The first ever Angola Mining Conference & Exhibition will take place from 20 - 21 November 2019 in Luanda, Republic of Angola. The theme of the conference is “Unlocking the potential of the national mining sector through investment and diversification” and it is being organized by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum (MMRP) in association with AME Trade Ltd, United Kingdom.
Lucapa's latest sales of rough diamonds from its Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) mines totalled $US10.4 million ($A15.5m), taking combined sales to date for 2019 to $US45.9m ($A65.7m).
Petra Diamonds will hold a special tender of the 20.08-carat blue diamond the miner recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa last month, with analysts speculating it fetch as much as $15 million. The stone is a gem-quality Type llb diamond.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has launched what they are calling "an unprecedented, cinematic telling of the natural diamond story" from their genesis billions of years ago to their final destination as a piece of finished jewelry. Sporting the taglines "Three Billion Years in the Making" and and “Before There Was Life, There Were Diamonds”, the campaign focuses on the improbable and epic formation of these rare stones. "The majority of consumers are unaware that diamonds are the oldest thing they will ever touch or own," says DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr in a statement.
A 10.64-carat Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond sold for US$19.9 million (155,831,000 HKD) earlier this week at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction. That's $1.9 million per carat.
The 10.65-carat, Internally Flawless Type IIa pink fell between its $19.1 to $25.5 million (150 million to 200 million HKD) pre-sale estimate. It is set between trapeze diamonds, mounted in 18 karat white and pink gold. The Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale totaled $300.8 million HKD, or $38.3 million.
Lucapa Diamond Co. and its respective partners have reported record production for the September 2019 Quarter (July - Sept.) as its their high-value Lulo alluvial mine in Angola and the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho achieved combined production of 14,610 carats. The company says its results are "in line with Lucapa’s strategy of expanding high-value diamond production to maximise revenue generation."
Russian diamond miner Alrosa saw its September sales of rough diamonds make a modest recovery after a slow summer, selling $256.5 million, which represents a 42% increase over the $180.2 million sold in August. The company acknowledged, however, that market demand for rough diamonds is still low, as this past month's sale was 27% lower than in September 2018, when they moved $331.6 million of rough goods. Adding $2.2 million in polished-diamond sales (-69% y-o-y), total sales for September were $258.7 million.
Back in May of this year, the Lab Grown Diamond Council (LGDC) trade organization retained a third-party certifier and standards developer, SCS Global Services (SCS), to audit and analyze lab grown diamonds against a stringent set of sustainability criteria. SCS has now launched a pilot project for leading producers and retailers of synthetic diamonds.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has made an unusual find in Yakutia - a diamond with another diamond moving freely inside, making it resemble a traditional Russian Matryoshka doll. According to the experts who have studied the find, this is the first such diamond in the history of global diamond mining. The diamond was mined at the Nyurba mining and processing division.
The Antwerp diamond industry’s import and export figures for the month of September were mainly in line with what we could call ‘2019 normal’ – prices down, polished trade slow – but the volume of rough goods traded in Antwerp’s hit its highest levels of the year, with the quantity of rough exports more than doubling those in August, according to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre's Diamond Office.
India's cut and polished diamond exports declined by 25% year-on-year, totalling US$1.64 billion during the month (August 2018: US$2.18 bn) as the average export price tumbled by 19% to $658 per carat, the lowest level in two years. The August results do indicate a modest 9% upturn from July, when India's polished-diamond exports fell to their lowest point in 2019, at $1.50 billion. All figures are from India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
Firestone Diamonds has announced a production disruption at its 75% owned Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho due to intermittent power supply. The Liqhobong Mine is supplied electricity from the Muela Hydropower Station (MHS) which is owned by the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) and which forms part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 1 Katse Dam.
Diamonds is a business we like a lot. It’s a very high-margin business in line with our strategy of value over volume. It makes a lot of sense. We want to stay in the diamonds business, so we have committed 20% of our exploration budget to diamonds. We are also exploring for mergers and acquisitions.
- Arnaud Soirat, Rio’s chief executive for copper and diamonds, speaking to Bloomberg
With less than two months to go before the Kimberley Process (KP) ends its current reform and review cycle at the 2019 KP Plenary in New Dehli, the World Diamond Council (WDC) met in Antwerp for its Annual General Meeting to refine their System of Warranties and prepare to make a final push to strengthen the definition of conflict diamonds before the reform and review cycle closes.
De Beers Group Auctions has appointed Alastair Bickerstaff (pictured) as the Head of Product Development and Sales. The new role, which was created following the departure of the Head of Sales and CRM, combines those two instrumental elements of the business, and he is tasked with developing more synergy between the product development and sales and to better address their customers’product needs.
Zimbabwe accused the U.S. of ignorance after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it that it is blocking rough diamond imports from the Marange fields because they were produced with forced labor, writes Ray Ndlovu for Bloomberg.
Ahead of the Annual General Membership (AGM) meeting of the World Diamond Council (WDC) in Antwerp, the Government of the Central African Republic launched a "full overhaul of the country’s alluvial diamond mining sector", the government stated in a press release today.
De Beers' rough diamond sales during Cycle 8 in Sept.-Oct. provisionally totaled $295 million, a 39% drop from the $482 million sold in the same period last year. The decline comes as no surprise as it had already been reported that the miner once again offered sightholders several options to increase the flexibility of buyers struggling with an industry-wide slump caused mainly by an oversupply polished stones in the diamond 'pipeline'.
Imports of rough diamonds from the Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe and gold mined in artisanal small mines (ASM) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been blocked by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the suspicion of forced labor. The two items were on a list of five products from five different countries singled out for 'Withhold Release Orders' (WRO) which were issued "based on information obtained and reviewed by CBP that indicates that the products are produced, in whole or in part, using forced labor", the agency writes.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa's Shareholders have decided to pay dividends for the first half of 2019 in the amount of 28.3 billion rubles ($434 million) or 3.84 rubles ($0.059) per share. Therefore, the company will allocate 100% of its free cash flow for the corresponding period to pay out dividends, the miner has stated in a press release. The six months dividend yield will be at around 5%.
Warning - gory financial details ahead
The eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York - Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson - granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and latest newsworthy royal millennial, Princess Beatrice of York, became engaged earlier this month to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Mozzi enlisted contemporary British jewelry designer Shaun Leane to create the princess’ diamond and platinum engagement ring.
Richemont luxury group has acquired 100% of Buccellati Holding Italia S.p.A., the owner of renowned Italian jewelry Maison Buccellati, in a private transaction with Gangtai Group Corporation Ltd, a privately held conglomerate. The price of the acquisition is undisclosed. With the takeover, the luxury conglomerate adds to its brand portfolio that includes Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Montblanc, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Baume & Mercier.
With their Annual General Meeting kicking off tomorrow in Antwerp, the World Diamond Council (WDC) today issued a statement concerning rough diamond exports from the Central African Republic (CAR). The WDC is an industry organization representing the full range of diamond-related organizations, including miners, manufacturers, retailers and trade organizations.
According to the latest reporting by Thomas Biesheuvel at Bloomberg, at Sight 8 (23 Sept. - 27 Sept.) De Beers has once again offered several options to increase the flexibility of buyers struggling with an industry-wide slump caused mainly by an oversupply polished stones in the diamond 'pipeline'.
Members of the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be traveling to Antwerp, Belgium, for the organization’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place October 2 and 3, 2019. The yearly gathering of the WDC membership will provide the opportunity to review the position of the diamond and jewelry industry regarding the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, less than two months before the KP ends its current reform and review cycle.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered an "exceptional" blue, 9.74-carat gem-quality diamond and a 4.13-carat pink gem-quality diamond from direct milling of South Lobe ore from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana, the miner announced today. This follows the recent sale of a 2.24-carat blue which sold for US$347,222 per carat and other historic colored diamonds that have been recovered from Karowe in the past, including the 9.46ct "Aven Blue" which sold for US$477,000 per carat in 2012.
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) says it will conduct another diamond auction before the end of the year, and is aiming to sell between 400,000 and 500,000 carats. Two weeks ago, the MMCZ conducted its third auction this year, where they auctioned 316,000 carats and attracted 25 companies from around the world.
Diamcor Mining, a publicly-traded junior diamond mining company with a strategic alliance and first right of refusal with Tiffany & Co. Canada, reported a 22% decline in rough diamond sales in the second fiscal quarter due to the sale of a higher percentage of smaller, lower-quality rough diamonds than in the same period last year.
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) today (Sept. 25) unveiled the redesigned and upgraded Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) auction facility, which it is calling the world’s largest diamond trading floor. Located at the Almas Tower in Dubai, UAE, the refurbished trading floor has 41 viewing stations with specially designed lighting and high-resolution cameras. Designed principally for rough and polished diamonds, the DMCC says that changes have been made to the DDE windows to enable trade of colored gemstones.
As has been anticipated for some time now, the Supervisory Board of Russian diamond miner Alrosa has green-lighted the acquisiion of a 100% stake of Production Corporation 'Kristall' from the Russian Federation. The move brings the leading polished-diamond manufacturer in Russia and Europe under the Alrosa Group umbrella. The value of the 100% equity interest in Kristall was determined on the basis of an independent appraiser's report at RUB 1,886 million, approximately US$29 million.
UK-based technology company Everledger, which specializes in asset traceability, provenance and supply-chain transparency solutions, has completed its $20 million Series A funding with the backing of Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s leading internet-based services provider and the company behind WeChat, among other applications. Graphene Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Rakuten, Fidelity and Vickers Venture Partners have also participated.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group, has launched its latest consumer campaign, #TrustForevermark, in India, aiming to help prospective buyers allay their doubts, fears and questions that arise when buying diamonds, according to a Forevermark press release. Forevermark is rolling out a multi-media campaign including events, PR, digital, print, television, radio, outdoor and social media content. The #TrustForevermark campaign the brand's largest yet in India and will be rolled out nationally over the next three months targeting nine Tier I and 41 Tier II cities.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD), together with its associate Vutomi (BOD interest 40%), has signed a contract mining and processing agreement with Eurafrican Diamond Corporation (EDC) to mine and process the diamond-bearing gravels and residual stockpiles on a portion of the Marsfontein farm. It also allows for the continued contractual bulk sampling on the Thorny River project, according to a press release.
Petra Diamonds has recovered an exceptional 20.08-carat blue gem-quality Type IIb diamond from the Cullinan Diamond Mine in South Africa, which has been the world's only consistent source of some tremendous blue diamonds in the past.
The Government of India has succumbed to internal and external pressure and lowered the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate for wide variety of products and services - including 'job work' in the diamond industry - in an attempt to revive the economy. The announcements come as welcome news and should provide a much-needed boost to the gems and jewelry industry in India, hopefully stemming the tide of job losses in the sector.
The 21st Presidents’ Meeting of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) begins today, September 23, in Dubai. It will take an in-depth look at the issue of synthetic diamonds with a panel discussion dedicated to this issue, while another panel will discuss traceability, provenance and blockchain technology.
In a remarkable constellation of art and science, artist Diemut Strebe, in collaboration with MIT scientist Brian Wardle, has used the blackest black ever created to make a 16.78-carat yellow diamond completely “disappear.” The project is called "The Redemption of Vanity", and the super-black diamond currently sits on view in an unlikely, but very fitting venue: the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
The Plumb Club - one of the jewelry, diamond and watch industries' leading supplier organizations - today announced that its members have voted to require all new and existing Plumb Club members to become Certified Members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The Plumb Club, a current RJC association member, is the first organization of its kind to require its members to follow the RJC Code of Practices.
Gem Diamonds on September 11 recovered a D-color, type II diamond weighing 127 carats from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. The lastest find is the fourth exceptionally-sized (+100 carat) white diamond unearthed this year. Together with the three yellows stones larger than 100 carats recovered this year, their total of exceptional finds now sits at seven: the miner this year has recovered gem-quality white diamonds weighing 123.5, 127, 140 and 161 carats to go with gem-quality yellows weighing 114.2, 134 and 135 carats.
The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) says the country’s third diamond auction for this year, which closed last week, attracted 25 companies from around the world. The tender of 316,000 carats opened on September 9. MMCZ general manager Tongai Muzenda said “We had invited 28 companies for this third diamond auction and three did not come, and this means we attracted 25 companies." The results of the tender are not yet avaiable, with Muzenda saying they are currently working on the bids made by the prospective buyers.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered a 123-carat gem quality top white Type II diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana. The miner also recently recovered a 375-carat gem quality diamond at Karowe from the processing of historic DMS recovery tailings, generated prior to the incorporation of Lucara's XRT diamond recovery circuits.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa, the world leader in diamond production, confirmed its status as a leader among gold and diamond mining companies in terms of investments in social programs, according to a study conducted by the PwC Advisory. The study, which is based on the official reports of companies who mine precious metals and rough diamonds, covers the period from 2016 to 2018 and focuses on key aspects of sustainable development, including investments in social programs and environmental protection me
H.E. Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), today paid a visit to the Antwerp diamond industry in the context of a broader mission to improve the relationship between Belgium and the DRC, which has been on the rocks in recent years. As President of the fourth largest diamond-producing country by volume, President Tshisekedi was welcomed by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), representative of the world’s largest diamond trade center.
Sales of jewelry at dedicated jewelry stores in the U.S. fell by nearly 5% (-4.6%) to $14.4 billion from $15.1 billion in the first half of 2019, according to figures from the US Census Bureau (see link). In June, the decline was the sharpest of the year, falling 10.5% to $2.31 billion from $2.58 billion in the same month a year ago. This would indicate a downturn in consumer confidence, although provisional figures from July show a 1.3% increase July 2018, at $2.41 billion.
An American court has granted Russian miner Alrosa's request for the discovery of documents from banks active in New York over alleged embezzlement of funds from its Angolan diamond mine Catoca, Africa Intelligence reports. As reported last May, Alrosa believes that the former and current management of Angolan diamond mine Catoca - in which Alrosa holds a 41% stake - is responsible for secreting away nearly $10 million, and called upon a U.S.
The World Gold Council (WGC), the market development organisation for the gold industry, last week announced the launch of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMP). The RGMPs are a framework that set out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. The WGC, working with its members, the world’s leading gold mining companies, has set out the principles that it believes address key environmental, social and governance issues for the gold mining sector.
The ongoing slump in the global diamond industry is having a negative impact on jobs in the expansive diamond manufacturing industry of India. The world's largest cutting and polishing centre appears to be heading toward an employment crisis, at least in the short-term. Estimates from industry insiders are that the diamond industry in Gujarat have seen job losses of up to 10%-15% already, with more on the way if consumer demand does not pick up in the near future.
Despite a comparatively modest decline in revenue in fiscal year 2019 (ended 30 June 2019), Petra Diamonds saw its profits decline by 22% this past year, falling short of industry estimates and sparking a downturn in the company's shares, which hit their lowest level ever. The stock is down about 80% this year as the miner is focusing on reducing its sizeable debt incurred by investments in its flagship Cullinan mine in South Africa. Revenue for the year fell 6% to $463.6 million from $495.3 million, with their average diamond prices achieved falling approximately 5%, which is slightly bett