While more than 300 million voters go to the polls this week for the European Parliament elections, members of RapNet - the world’s largest diamond trading network - will have the opportunity to vote on whether it should provide diamond listing and pricing services for synthetic diamonds, yet ultimately the organization itself will decide.
A delegation from Angola paid a visit to Antwerp this week as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to restructure and reform the functioning and reputation of its diamond industry, traveling to the diamond capital for consultations regarding implementation of the Kimberley Process (KP) regulations. The visit follows that of President João Lourenço to Antwerp last June, and the Belgian mission to Angola last November, spearheaded by Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Didier Reynders.
The issue of terminology concerning laboratory-grown diamonds has in recent years been a subject of significant debate, deliberation, conflicting guidelines and warnings issued.
Lucapa Diamond Company has recovered of a gem-quality, 126-carat diamond from the new Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho. The 126-carat stone is the largest diamond recovered since commercial mining operations commenced in January 2019 and the largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered from Mothae.
The Antwerp Diamond Bourse (Beurs voor Diamanthandel) has made just one change in its 2019 composition of its Board of Directors, adding Mr. Bhavesh Morakhia as a new director. Jacques Korn remains President, David Gotlib remains the Bourse's Vice President, while Rajender Gehani and Raphael Rubin have been reelected as Executive Directors. Members of the board are elected for a four-year period.
Researchers at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recently identified a natural diamond with a CVD (lab-grown) layer, creating a composite of synthetically grown and natural diamond that added weight and improved the color. Given that this was the second discovery of such a composite, the fist coming in 2017, warning that "this could be a new type of product entering the market."
Russian diamond miner 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 will call upon a U.S. court to obtain discovery of evidence.
De Beers' rough diamond sales in May were (provisionally) $415 million, making sight number four of 2019 the lowest-earning sight of the year to date, the smallest since the October 2017 sight ($370 million, Cycle 8) and the lowest for a May sale since the miner first released sales data in 2016. The $415 million in reported sales represents a 25% decline from sales in Cycle 4 2018 ($554 million). The company cited macroeconomic challenges and a seasonal decline in demand for rough diamonds to manufacture as weighing down sales at the sight.
Russia's Alrosa is the world's largest diamond miner by volume, yet the company has largely flown under the radar in the United States, the world's largest diamond market. Rebecca Foerster, head of the company's North American division, is on a mission to change that, and she says Alrosa's sustainability initatives are the key, according to Richard Feloni of Business Insider. Further, the company's transparent mine-to-retail value chain is an easy sell for American retailers seeking to assuage their customers' desire for responsible supply chains.
Luxury group Richemont, owner of the Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry brands, recorded a 10% rise in jewelry and watch sales for the year ended 31 March 2019. Jewelry sales saw progression in all regions and in all channels, with double digit increases in Asia Pacific - particularly in China - and the Americas, while watch sales increased in most regions with double-digit growth in retail, reflecting strong client demand. Jewelry and watches represent Richemont's two largest product lines at 36% and 35% of group sales, respectively.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa reported significant improvements in revenue and profitability in Q1 2019 as compared to the previous quarter, with the caveat being that their 2019 financial results are lagging far behind the same period a year earlier (Q1 2018).
The Lab Grown Diamond Council (LGDC) was launched today in New York with the objective to develop and implement a multi-tiered, international communications program designed to increase the awareness of, knowledge about, and demand for laboratory-grown diamonds. The LGDC was formed by jewelry industry veterans Chris Casey, the former National Jeweler publisher who will serve as president, and Michael Barlerin, who also heads the Silver Promotion Service and will be its chairman.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board of directors has fired seven senior officials as it seeks to rebuild public and market confidence following allegations of rampant corruption and abuse of office by the executive, Zimbabwe newspapers reported yesterday. Chief Operating Officer Roberto De Pretto, a South African mining veteran who spent the majority of his career at De Beers and Anglo American before becoming COO at Diamcor and then ZCDC, will take over as acting CEO from Morris Mpofu.
Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, have approved the construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel. The new vessel is expected to cost US$468 million (N$7 billion) and represents the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry. The ship will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has recovered a 130 carat gem-quality diamond from its Lulo Diamond Project in Angola. The 130-carat diamond is the 13th diamond larger than 100 carats the miner has recovered to date and the second recovered so far in 2019 from the mine that produces the highest average US$ per carat alluvial diamond production in the world. Lucapa continues to recover large Special (+10.8 ct) white and fancy colored diamonds at the Lulo diamond concession.
The list of Chinese products to be hit by 25 percent tariffs imposed by the U.S. government at the behest of President Donald Trump is expansive and is potentially about to cover the entirety of consumer products from China, including a broad swath of jewelry products, as the trade war escalates rapidly. On May 9, the U.S.
Stornoway Diamond Corporation saw its losses widen in Q1 2019 as the miner faced "continued downward pressure on the market price for rough diamonds." The Canadian miner reported a net loss of C$48.4 million (US$36 million) in the first quarter of 2019, in comparison to a net loss of C$11.0 million (US$8.2 million) in the first quarter of 2018. The latest results follow a year in which Stornoway encountered a host of difficulties on its way to a US$246.8 million (CA$329.4 million) loss, substantially widening the loss of US$85.6 million (CA$114.2 million) recorded the year prior.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa was unable last month to follow up on their modestly encouraging rough-diamond sales from March, as the $316 million earned in April represents a 14% decline from March 2019 and a 20% decline from April 2018. Polished-diamond sales during the month did not fare any better, as Alrosa earned $2.9 million, a 64% decline from March ($8 million) and a 68% decline from April 2018 ($9.1 million).
Canadian miner Lucara Diamond has reported the best quarter in the history the Karowe mine in Botswana in terms of ore processing performance, lowering the cost of its operations and achieving the best results from its regular diamond sales in over a year. This was before the April recovery of the largest diamond to be mined at Karowe to date, an unbroken 1,758 carat near-gem-quality stone, which became the largest diamond recovered in Botswana and one of the largest diamonds in recorded history, superseding the spot held by the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona recovered from Karowe in 2015.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the coordinating federation for the Antwerp diamond industry, is joining forces with Ars Nobilis, the umbrella organization for the Belgian jewelry sector, in an effort to streamline the Antwerp diamond trade with jewelry manufacturers and retailers in Belgium. The two representative bodies yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding stating that the members of Ars Nobilis will be able to call upon the services of the AWDC regarding legal advice, training, public relations and communication, advocacy and security.
It is a joint decision of the profession and the French Union of Jewellery not to grade synthetic diamonds, unlike other international laboratories. These stones do not have to be evaluated on the same scale as natural ones, because they are an imitation of the diamond and must remain so. This decision is unanimous in the profession except for those who want to promote this [lab-grown] material. But it must be remembered that the increase of synthetic diamonds on the market will bring down their price. Natural diamonds will always be desired for what they are, a rare and precious natural resource. If [synthetics] are graded, this must also be done for other synthetic stones. Not grading these stones helps to differentiate and isolate them.
- Aurélien Delaunay, Director, French Gemmological Laboratory, in Rapaport Magazine
Leading Hong Kong jeweler Chow Tai Fook is expanding in North America, this week announcing the establishment of a "business hub" in Boston to supply products and services - jewelry and technology - on a wholesale basis to US retailers. Chow Tai Fook North America (CTFNA) says it "will offer customized, specialty collections in the diamond and fine jewelry segments, as well as private label offerings, to address the evolving needs of jewelry consumers." CTFNA, which owns diamond jewelry brands Hearts on Fire and Mémoire, recently moved Hearts On Fire President Caryl Capeci into the role of
Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi was denied bail for the third time by a UK court in his extradition case to India to face charges in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud & money laundering case. He will continue to be lodged in a Wandsworth prison in south-west London, which his lawyers described as "unliveable". His bail had already been rejected twice before by Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, at least in part because of Modi's "lack of community ties" in the UK, having been based in London for only a "short period of time" since 2017.
Antwerp’s polished-diamond trade continues to see rising prices in 2019 following a year which the industry recorded its highest ever average price per carat for polished exports. According to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), year-over-year, the average price of polished-diamond exports rose by 42% in April to $2,663 per carat from $1,871 per carat in April of 2018. This led to a 14% increase in the value of polished exports in April despite a nearly 19% decline in the volume of goods exported.
This weekend, May 11 -13, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will be hosting what it is calling the "first-ever rough laboratory-grown diamonds tender" on its Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE). According to a press release, 50,000 carats of Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) lab-grown diamonds will be on offer. "The tender is in line with DMCC’s strategy to attract, facilitate and drive new trade flows through Dubai," the organization says.
Continuing its its non-core, non-diamond-related assets disposal program, from January to March, Alrosa disposed of RUB 1.24 bn ($19 million) of its non-core assets by selling, liquidating, transferring without consideration or exchanging them, the company has announced in a statement. The most significant transaction included the sale of a 100% stake in JSC Golubaya Volna Resort, which was sold in February at an open auction for RUB 1.21 bn ($18.5 million), almost RUB 70 ($1.07 million) above its book value.
While the volume of carats Gem Diamonds sold in Q1 2019 (Jan. 1 - March 31) from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho fell by 18% from the previous quarter to 27,335 carats, those sales packed a punch, generating $51.9 million in value, a 24% increase from Q4 2018. Still, the miner could not keep pace with its torrid start to 2018.
Jewelry maker Pandora, known for its charm bracelets, intends to make another 1,200 workers in Thailand redundant while speeding up its marketing spend as its new CEO looks to turn around the struggling jewelry maker after another disappointing quarter. The company already laid off 700 of their nearly 14,000 employees in Thailand, which is almost half of its 32,000 global workforce.
India's rough diamond imports continued its first quarter recession in March, signalling a slowdown in manufacturing amid a tightening of available financing; polished exports also declined for the third consecutive month. Rough diamond imports fell by 16% in value during the month to $1.4 billion on a more than 9% decline in the volume of rough imports, and their value has declined by 24% during Q1.
Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds has added two diamond industry veterans and a long-time investor to its board of directors as the company looks to "execute our strategy to deliver long-term value to our shareholders." Among the new appointees is William Lamb, the former CEO of Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp. (May 2011 to February 2018), who brings 25 years of experience in mining operations and project development to the Canadian miner.
The overall prices of fancy colored delinced by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2019, influenced mainly by the continuing decline in the yellow category, while pink diamond prices performed best, rising by 0.5%, according to Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF). The Q1 2019 Fancy Color Diamond Index also concludes that blue diamonds showed a very slight decrease of 0.2% during the period, while yellow diamonds prices decreased by 1.5%.
Global demand for gold jewelry rose 1% in Q1 2019 to 530.3 tonnes, driven by the Indian market, writes World Gold Council (WGC). A lower local rupee gold price in late February and early March coincided with the wedding season, which is the traditional time for significant gold purchases, lifting jewelry demand in India 5% higher than the same period last year. The 125.4 tonnes purchased makes last Q1 2019 the highest Q1 since 2015.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on Tuesday published its second sustainability report (available to download here), looking at the impact the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry has with regard to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), locally as well as internationally.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA), a global alliance of the leading diamond mining companies, which represents 75% of the world’s diamond production, today released its first independent research report on Members' impact on local communities, employees and the environment. The report, authored by Trucost and titled The Socioeconomic and Environmental Impact of Large-Scale Diamond Mining, is the world’s first comprehensive analysis of the contributions of DPA Members, examining socioeconomic and environmental benefits and impacts.
As of yesterday, May 1, Signet Jewelers' e-tailer James Allen will offer laboratory-created diamonds, becoming the first Signet-owned entity to do so, reports Rob Bates of JCK. "This is a test," says Oded Edelman, president of the James Allen site, which was Signet Jewelers purchased in 2017. "If consumers adopt it, then maybe it’s a sign for the rest of Signet to adopt it as well. We’ll wait and see how it goes.”
A spectacular and comprehensive trove of nearly 400 diamonds, colored stones and the finest jeweled objects from the Mughal Empire (1526-1857) to the present day, with provenance including the royal and noble families of India, will be offered in a landmark auction this June at Christie's in New York. Christie’s anticipates the Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence jewelry auction could rank as one of its most high-profile and high-value jewelry auctions ever, featuring some incredible dia
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is enhancing its ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) program. As of May 1, the GIA will require all new and current laboratory clients to confirm the identity and ownership of their businesses, and to provide identifying information for all authorized representatives conducting business with GIA on their behalf. "These requirements are recognized globally and are not unique to GIA," reads a statement from the GIA.
Just about wherever one looks in the diamond industry - natural or synthetic - demand is not keeping up with supply, or is out of balance, writes Edahn Golan on his Diamond Research & Data site.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa recently held two auctions of special-sized rough diamonds (+10.8 carats) in Vladivostok and Dubai, earning a total of $18.6 million from the two sales. The miner's haul from the Vladisvostok auction exceeded $9.65 million, with 29 companies from Belgium, India, Israel, the UAE, the USA, Hong Kong and Russia participating. A total of 150 diamonds with a total weight of 2,482 carats were up for sale, with 121 stones (2,030 carats) sold. Two especially large diamonds were sold, weighing 58.92 and 41.48 carats.
A mechanical breakdown and the mining of a lower grade area of the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho led to a signficant production decline for Firestone Diamonds during the quarter ended 31 March 2019 (Q3 of tFY 2019), but revenue rose on a rebound in the average price per carat and the sale of high value stones.
Senior officials of the World Diamond Council (WDC) have provided an overview of the organization's revised System of Warranties (SoW), during two sessions on April 24 at the 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.
De Beers Group reported a diamond production decline in the first quarter of 2019 driven by a 65 reduction in South Africa as the Venetia mine as it approaches the transition from open pit to underground mining. Venetia yielded only 0.4 million carats due to lower mined volumes, while the Voorspoed mine was placed onto care and maintenance in Q4 2018 in preparation for closure. De Beers' production guidance for 2019 remains unchanged at 31 - 33 million carats, subject to trading conditions.
Mountain Provice Diamonds recorded a 3% year-over-year drop in recovered carats at the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine during Q1 2019 despite a 11% increase in tonnes of ore treated, as the average recovered grade slipped by 13%. Rough diamond sales also fell by 12% as a result of a 28% decline in the average price per carat sold, offsetting the larger volume it marketed through Bonas tender house in Antwerp.
Billions of dollars’ worth of gold is being smuggled out of Africa every year through the United Arab Emirates, a Reuters analysis has found. In a devastating exclusive report (and video), authors David Lewis, Ryan McNeill and Zandi Shabalala write that customs data shows the UAE imported $15.1 billion worth of gold from Africa in 2016, more than any other country and up from $1.3 billion in 2006, but much of the gold was not recorded in the exports of African states.
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) yesterday launched the Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS) an innovative certification system that enables an ethical production of diamonds by artisanal and small-scale mining operations, through the adoption of standards and best practices.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa unearthed a gem-quality stone weighing 118.91 carats on April 16th, the eve of the launch of Zarya - a new deposit of ALROSA at Aykhal Mining and Processing Plant. It is the largest gem-quality diamonds found at the ‘International’ pipe over the past two years. The mined crystal is one of the largest gem-quality diamonds extracted from the ground at the mine ‘International’ in recent years; a similar large gem-quality diamond (109.61 carats) was mined here in summer of 2017.
De Beers Group has announced it is expanding its pilot project in Sierra Leone called GemFair, an innovative project to trace and sell ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds. The development of a toolkit that can be used in the field should help to create a secure and transparent route to market, a genuine sore spot for ASM diamonds.
The Shirley Temple blue diamond caught everyone's attention exactly three years ago when it hit the auction block at Sotheby's New York with an estimated price between $25 million and $35 million. The highest bid was $22 million, which was below the ring's reserve price and it failed to sell.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) today launched its new Code of Practices (COP). The COP defines responsible, social and environmental business practices for companies in the jewellery supply chain and commits members to adhere to a robust set of comprehensive auditable standards. This marks the third iteration of the COP since the RJC formed in 2005, and reflects the evolving needs of the industry and demands of consumers globally.
The Guangzhou Diamond Exchange (GZDE) last week signed strategic cooperation agreements with China’s major laboratory-grown diamond suppliers, designer associations and other partners to jointly develop and promote LGDs, with a particular focus on design and fashion. The GZDE held a forum entitled “Discover the Magic of Lab-Grown Diamonds” during the 2019 China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shenzhen (Shenzhen Jewellery Fair), with a view to finding greater commercial application.
"Meet Argyle Octavia" writes Rio Tinto on its Twitter account, referring to a rare 28.84-carat diamond discovered at the Argyle mine in east Kimberley, Western Australia. Named for her octahedral shape, the Argyle Octavia is one of the largest gem quality white diamonds ever found at Argyle, and may be one of the final significant finds from the famous diamond mine, which is scheduled to close in 2020. The 28.84-carat stone was discovered in March and will be sold by tender in Antwerp later this year.
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains kicks off today in Paris, and the World Diamond Council (WDC) will be an active participant.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has decided to further develop the Aikhal underground mine to 300 meters in depth, making it possible to replenish the raw material base and extend the mine life up to 2044. Implementation of the project to strip and mine the Aikhal pipe reserves at the levels of -100 meters/-400 meters will replenish the miner's reserves by almost 20 million carats and maintain the annual production level of 500,000 tons of ore up to 2044.
De Beers Group announced last week that Nancy Liu will become the new Forevermark CEO, stepping up from her current role as COO and taking over the day to day responsibility for the leading diamond brand. Stephen Lussier, Executive Vice-President of Consumer & Brands for De Beers Group, will continue to oversee the strategic role Forevermark plays within the Group’s brand portfolio as Forevermark Chairman. Lussier has been the brand’s CEO since 2009.
Earlier this year in a cost-cutting move, Signet Jewelers, which claims to be "the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry," asked its employees in Akron, Ohio and Dallas, Texas to apply for a "Voluntary Transition Program" out of the company. “Based on participation," the company wrote, "we may need to take additional actions including an involuntary reduction-in-force.” The message wasclear enough: take the buyout or risk being fired without one. Not enough people took the severance package and assistance in finding a new job voluntarily, and the firings have arrived.
Tiffany & Co has been expanding its workforce in sub-Saharan Africa as part of its drive to increase its transparency and raise ethical jewelry standards across the industry.
Only weeks after recovering a 425-carat diamond, Petra Diamond's famed Cullinan mine has produced another big stone, this time a 209.9 carat D-Colour Type II diamond. The big diamond is the third +100ct Type II D color gem-quality diamond Petra has recovered since March 2019 and the fourth in this financial year. The find will take some of the sting out of the 7% production decline in the third fiscal quarter due to a slowdown at its Finsch mine in South Africa.
A twin-stone colored diamond ring featuring fancy vivid blue pear-modifiedbrilliant-cut diamonds of 3.06 and 2.61 carats was the headline item at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction on 16 April, selling for $6.7 million, or $1.2 million per carat. The hammer price fell right within its $6-$8 million pre-sale estimate.