The diamond industry has hit its halfway mark of 2019 and the song remains the same as Rapaport releases their H1 figures detailing across-the-board declines in polished diamond prices amid, as we noted last week, a period of weak sentiment and even weaker demand, all of which is taking its toll on manufacturers and those that supply them.
A combination of factors has led to a nearly 50% decline in production by small diamond manfacturing units in India, not the least of which is a significant decline in the price of small diamonds (0.30 carats), writes the Times of India (TOI). According to the most recent RapNet Diamond Index, the price index for diamonds weighing 0.30 carats has fallen by 16% over the past year, and about 25% since January. The vast majority of these stones are manufactured in Surat and has caused already-low margins for manufacturers to plummet.
Sir Gabriel Tolkowsky is one of the greatest diamond cutters of all time. His many accomplishments include the fashioning of the priceless, 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond, cut from a 599.19-carat rough stone, which is still the largest D Flawless diamond in history, and the Golden Jubilee Diamond, the largest faceted diamond in the world at 546 carats. Sir Tolkowsky - known as Gabi - is also renowned for creating the “Flower Cuts” for De Beers, which accentuate the brilliance of typically lower-quality and lower-color stones with their unconventional angles and facets.
100 years ago, at the age of 19, Antwerp diamond polisher and engineer Marcel Tolkowsky was the first person to scientifically determine the perfect way to cut a brilliant diamond - 57 facets precisely positioned in such a way as to achieve the maximum brilliance, fire and scintillation.
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.
Media reports out of Africa are claiming an agreement (MoU) has been reached between the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in Gaborone, whereby the latter would commence processing of Zimbabwe's diamonds. The diamond deal is said to be one of the agreements sealed during the high-level Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) summit held in Harare last week.
Sarine Technologies recorded a fourth-quarter net profit of $93,000, down 85% from $613,000 the year before, citing challenging industry conditions, weak sentiment in the midstream and a downturn in consumer spending in China due to uncertainties stemming from the impact of trade tariffs. The company notes that credit for India’s manufacturing sector tightening, Indian Rupee exchange rate volatility and the 'legitimization' of laboratory-grown diamonds all conspired to generate weak results.
HRD Antwerp, Europe’s leading reference for diamond and gemology education, diamond certification and grading, this summer (June 3-7) is launching a course in Rough Diamond Management and Production Control. The course will introduce the business concepts required to acquire and trade rough diamonds, foremost among which are various techniques for determining the value of rough stones, the key component at the basis of any career in rough diamond trading and management.
A hub dedicated to the diamond industry in Angola will be inaugurated in 2019 in Saurimo, Lunda Sul province, the minister of Mineral Resources and Oil announced at the end of December. Diamantino Azevedo said that setting up the hub, a project developed jointly by state diamond mining and processing company Endiama and state diamond sales company Sodiam, is in its final phase. The minister also said that the hub project includes a diamond cutting and polishing factory, a professional technical school and other institutions and industries linked to the diamond business.
A diamond jewelry manufacturer from Antwerp, Giovanni Daems, is the first to develop a new, patented technology for a fully-automated diamond setting machine, which it unveiled this week at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
Nearly one in five people engaged in India’s diamond industry, or about 100,000 workers, are said to be at risk of losing their jobs in the next six months, a representative of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) told The Economic Times. “The diamond trade in Surat could potentially lose one lakh (100,000) jobs in the next two quarters due to the increase in duty, lack of ease of doing business and the liquidity crunch.
The GIA has announced that Chinese retailer LAELIM Jewelry and Belgian diamond manufacturer IGC Group will pilot GIA’s M2M (Mine to Market) program, which allows for complete transparency and traceability of diamonds along the value chain, writes GIA in a press release. This is one of the first instances where a manufacturer and retailer implemented the M2M program in partnership, and LAELIM is the first retailer in China to participate.
The majority of small and medium diamond manufacturing units in India are planning to close shop and take an early Diwali vacation as sentiment in the diamond cutting and manufacturing centre is faltering, writes the Times of India. Depreciation of the Indian rupee has put heavy pressure on the trading of polished diamonds amid dwindling demand, falling polished prices, firm rough diamond prices and the banks squeezing loans to the industry.
Botswana Finance LLC, a subsidiary of Lazare Kaplan International (LKI) has signed a $125 million loan guaranty with Stanbic Bank Botswana, a member of Standard Bank Group and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. The loan guaranty will encourage and support lending to diamond manufacturers and polishing companies while allowing the organizations to share credit risk.
While welcoming the Indian government's recent Increase of the import duty on jewelry from 15% to 20% as a way to strengthen the jewelry manufacturing sector, Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Pramod Kumar Agrawal said the hike on cut and polished diamonds and processed colored gemstones would negatively impact exports and trade of cut and polished diamonds.
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) announced that the 2018 World Diamond Congress, the biannual meeting of the WFDB and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), will take place in Mumbai, India, during the latter part of October. This year’s Congress was due to take place in Tel Aviv from June 19 to 21, but was postponed due to security concerns.
Element Six, a synthetic diamond manufacturer and member of the De Beers group of companies, planted their shovels in tthe Oregon soil to mark the symbolic commencement of construction on their $94 million manufacturing facility for laboratory-grown gems, produced exclusively for De Beers’ new fashion-jewelry brand, Lightbox Jewelry. The new brand will offer consumers laboratory-grown diamonds in high quality designs for casual, everyday occasions at lower prices than existing synthetic offerings.
In a move that should come as a surprise to precisely no one, Russian diamond giant ALROSA has confirmed plans to acquire the country's largest diamond-polishing company, Kristall Production Corporation. Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told PRIME News Agency that a deal has been reached with the Federal Property Management Agency (FPMA), which will be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2018. The market price is still to be determined.
The new revolutionary machine will pose a big challenge to the artisanal skills of the diamond polishers in Surat. At present, from near gem quality to solitaires, the diamond polishers of Surat and Gujarat are the leaders. But, the machine developed by AWDC will change the scenario in the longer run.
- Diamond industry analyst Aniruddha Lidbide responds to Fenix automated polisher in TOI article, "Machine made in Antwerp may pose threat to Surti diamond polishers"
This morning, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), together with its research center the Scientific and Technological Research Center for Diamonds (WTOCD), unveiled a revolutionary technology that fully automates and accelerates the diamond polishing process: Fenix. This technology fundamentally transforms that process that has not changed since Lodewijck Van Bercken, a 15th-century jeweler and diamond cutter in Antwerp, in 1456 discovered that diamond could be polished with diamond. Watch the preview video here.
Sarine Technologies, which provides high-tech equipment and services to the diamond industry, announced yesterday that it is opening its second Sarine Technology Laboratory in Mumbai, India, as scheduled, which will offer services to the key Indian polishing centre, commencing immediately. The Laboratory, one of the leaders in the development, manufacture and sale of precision technology products for the evaluation, planning, processing, finishing, grading and trading of diamonds and gems, offers reports on a broad range of a polished diamond's parameters.
The world's leader in rough diamond output, Russia's ALROSA, plans to boost revenue from selling rare, colored stones where demand is stable, according to the head of ALROSA's sales division Evgeny Agureev. The global market for polished colored diamonds is now dominated by Rio Tinto and De Beers, but it apparently ALROSA aims to makes some changes to its sorting and processing in order to compete. “We hope that ...
The world's leading diamond producer, Russian diamond miner ALROSA, has let it be known that it is considering the purchase of Russia's largest diamond manufacturer, Kristall Smolensk, to "support the country’s gem-cutting industry and help create a stronger competitor to global group De Beers", Reuters reports. The supervisory board of Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA approved acquisition of 100% of Kristall, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Sky Investments, which is owned by the Hong Kong-based KGK group, has officially opened a new cutting and polishing factory in Windhoek, Namibia.
Everledger today announced the collaborative launch of the Diamond Risk Platform with the Diamond Durability Laboratory (DDL), the only gemological laboratory that focuses on diamond damage and evaluating any type diamond for potential damage, in a move that will dramatically shift the risk assessment reporting of diamond damage into an innovative realm, the company said in a statement. With development commencing in 2016 and completed in Q1 2018, the Diamond Risk Platform creates, manages and stores DDL’s leading comprehensive risk assessment
"Two diamond powerhouses are joining forces", writes Rob Bates of JCK concerning polished diamond manufacturer Rosy Blue taking a minority share in Leo Schachter, another of the world's leading polished diamond suppliers.
Last week, the Antwerp diamond industry learned that Tiffany & Co. was planning to restructure its manufacturing activities at its Antwerp subsidiary, Laurelton Diamonds, a move likely to cost 27 of the 30 polishers their jobs, while another six polishers from Antwerp manufacturer GemTech were also shown the door. It was unwelcome news for Antwerp's manufacturers, whose numbers have dwindled as a result of diamond polishing in low-wage countries.
Tiffany & Co. has announced the impending discontinuation of its manufacturing activities at its Antwerp subsidiary, Laurelton Diamonds, with the internal company reorganization coming as a result of changing market conditions. The manufacturing unit will be dismissing 24 of its 27 employees, confirming the speculations that have been circling through Antwerp's diamond district for more than a week.
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) has disputed reports from a month ago that it is exporting diamonds to Botswana, now saying rather it is merely learning lessons from the neighbouring country's mining and processing sectors. ZCDC CEO Morris Mpofu said the government had facilitated engagement with entities in Botswana involved in the diamond industry, but the aim is to draw from Botswana's experience rather than having them process Zimbabwe's diamonds.
Zimbabwe is on the brink of clinching a deal with Botswana to start processing its diamonds at the world renowned Diamond Trading Company (DTC), writes The Herald - Zimbabwe. Following Zimbabwe's new President Mnangagwa's two-day official visit to Botswana, where he continued to emphasise his theme that Zimbabwe is 'Open for Business', it was announced that the arrangement will see Zimbabwe shipping its diamonds to Botswana for processing, cleaning and polishing before the gems are placed on the market. It is anticipated that taking advantage of Botswana’s expertise will benefit Zi
Recent reports ranging from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council's (GJEPC) lobbying efforts to change the Goods & Services Tax (GST) for the diamond industry, to Indian manufacturing companies looking to set up cutting and polishing units in Russia and an estimated $158 million in couriered diamond parcels seized on suspicion of tax evasion have the Indian industry hot under the collar about the GST.
Galatea Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarine Technologies Ltd, is taking legal action against a manufacturer in Surat, India, for their allegedly fraudulent use of Sarine's Galaxy® inclusion mapping technology and systems, the company said in a statement. Galatea claims the company has been practising deliberate under-reporting of rough stone weights and underpayment of amounts owed to Galatea for the scanning of the rough stones.
Bain & Company, together with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), has published their seventh annual report on the global diamond industry, "The enduring story in a changing world", covering industry developments in 2016 and the first half of 2017 as well as the challenges the industry faces and how it is turning them into opportunities. Their report looks at key issues along the value chain, from rough-diamond production and sales, to midstream performance and global diamond jewelry demand in major markets.
In 2015, CAP Conseil, a sustainable development consultancy based in Belgium, presented the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) an idea for a fully ethical and traceable diamond jewelry project from small-scale origin. Two years later, the first MY FAIR DIAMOND collection has become a reality.
Jean-Arthur Régibeau, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Russian Federation, visited the United Sales Organization (USO) ALROSA, and one of Russia's leading diamond cutting facilities - DIAMONDS ALROSA. He met with the heads of subdivisions and got acquainted with the process flow and work principles - and also was shown the amazing Dynasty Collection. “It was a familiarization visit.
The Times of India this past weekend was the bearer of somber news from the Surat diamond industry, writing that, "Most of the small and medium diamond manufacturers have literally stopped the manufacturing of diamonds ahead [of Diwali] and are waiting to down their factory shutters early." With Diwali coming on October 19 (compared to October 30 last year), De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver was optimistic as rough diamond sales in Cycle 6 (ended 31 July) surged to $572 million.
The Russian government wants Alrosa to offer more favorable terms to local cutters so they are able to compete in a market that’s dominated by Indian manufacturers.
Alrosa has chosen to focus on mining, where it can get bigger margins, leaving Kristall Production Corp. and other cutters to buy stones at similar terms as overseas competitors. They are struggling to compete with centers like India, the largest polishing center, due to manufacturing being cheaper - it manufactures 90% of the world’s diamonds - and a workforce of 1 million.
According to an article in The Kommersant Daily, Russia's Ministry of Finance has prepared a 'roadmap' for the development of Russia’s diamond manufacturing industry, which could become one of the biggest reforms in its history. "In particular", the news agency writes, "it is said to be aimed at serious mitigation of state regulation and reducing the tax burden on Russian diamond manufacturers, as well as at expanding their access to raw materials. This threatens to revise the marketing and investment policy of ALROSA and add to its financial burden.
ALROSA has unveiled The Dynasty, the lead stone in a unique collection of five diamonds created from a 179-carat rough diamond (The Romanovs) and manufactured at its cutting and polishing facilities. The centerpiece of the collection, a 51.38-carat traditional round brilliant-cut diamond, is the purest of all large diamonds manufactured throughout the Russian jewelry history, according to the company. The Romanovs was recovered from Nyurbinskaya kimberlite pipe in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2015.
CEO of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Dr. Moris Mpofu, last week described plans for reversing the resource curse in the country's tumultuous diamond industry with the creation of a multinational diamond park in Mutare - Zimbabwe's fourth-largest city situated on its eastern border.
India's recently-adopted goods & services tax (GST) of 3% on polished diamonds, 5% service tax and 0.25% on imported rough diamonds is making life challenging for the country's 50,000 small and medium diamond manufacturing units in Gujarat, employing up to 200,000 workers. The Economic Times, citing Praveen Shankar Pandya, chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), reports that due to increased compliance requirements and uncertainty over when they will get input credit refund, the viability of many of these small units is uncertain.
Diamond trader and brick & mortar crusader Melvin Moss is back at his provocative best in his most recent diatribe, "The #Diamond Family is Dysfunctional". He argues that major diamond miners producing too much rough at prices unsustainable for the rest of the industry (which deals with underpriced polished) and are extending their reach across the pipeline at the expense of everyone else - particularly retailers. "The diamond pipeline is dysfunctional", he writes. "Miners have a primary obligation to their shareholders.
The market for recycled diamonds has grown substantially in the last decade following the financial crash of 2008, and though it is hard to guage the market as a whole due the less-than-transparent avenues through which they are bought and sold, estimates are that the trade in recycled diamonds is now worth between five and ten percent of the global market - or approximately $1 billion - and is expanding. Abraham Dayan, writing for Rough-Polished, looks at some of the players in this growing market, the advantages it provides for manufacturers in need of affordable supply and retai
In his latest blog post, "A Market in Chaos", diamond industry researcher and analyst Edahn Golan examines the disconnect between the rising trend of lower price point/smaller-diamond jewelry and the willingness of manufacturers to pay more for the rough to produce it. He starts with trends in the consumer jewelry market - because this is the ultimate determining factor for the diamond market - that are demonstrating a distinct shift towards lower value goods. Drawing on his impressions from the JCK Las Vegas show, Golan writes, "The trend of smaller diamonds stood out.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) is opening the Diamond Tech Innovation Center, "a technological incubator for Israeli and international diamond-related start-ups" in the initial stages of development. The driving ideas behind this initiative is to promote "new technologies for diamonds in the broadest sense, reaching beyond gems and jewelry." This includes the use of diamonds in industrial platforms, robotics, semi-conductors, medical technologies, space technology, as well as software, finance, and B2B and B2C marketing platforms.
Indian diamond manufacturers, brokers and merchants in the manufacturing center in Surat have unanimously decided to shut the industry for a day on June 17, demanding exemption of the polished diamonds from the 3% Goods and Service Tax (GST), writes The Times of India (TOI). They have formed a committee to lead the protest against the GST council's decison to impose 3% GST on polished diamonds and 18% GST on diamond trading.
The Indian government’s decision to impose a 0.25 per cent tax on rough diamond imports under the goods and services tax regime (GST) in order to ensure traceability of diamonds will hurt India’s competitiveness, according to diamond industry representatives. India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) criticized the government’s decision to tax rough diamond imports, claiming it will damage the nation’s manufacturing sector, and is urging the government to reconsider its decision.
Diamond miner De Beers Thursday announced it will start a pilot project in June, selling polished diamonds, manufactured directly from the company’s rough by third parties to registered De Beers Auction buyers. The polished goods will be accompanied by grading reports from both De Beers’ own International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on Monday was on hand at the ‘Hira Bourse SEZ’ in Surat for the inauguration of HK HUB, Hari Krishna Exports' new diamond manufacturing facility. HK Hub features three buildings that will focus on cutting larger diamonds,Addressing the inaugural function with an estimated at 20,000, Prime Minister Modi urged the diamond industry in Surat to take a lead in making the country as number one in the gems and jewelry sector, saying, “We have become number one in diamond cutting, but now is the time we should become number one
Kiran Gems, based in Surat, India, which is said to be the world's largest diamond manufacturing firm and among the top three jewelry suppliers to the U.S., is continuing its corporate restructuring by offloading several subsidiaries in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Kiran Jewels Inc., Unique Design, SDIL and Prestige, which are located in the United States, and Kiran Export Hong Kong will no longer belong to the Kiran Gems Private Limited group of companies. The company's announcement states that the restructuring will technically end all the relations between these companies and Kiran Gems Pvt.
Back in September 2016, ALROSA announced a partnership with Indian company KGK Diamonds Private Ltd, a global leader in diamond cutting, to develop cutting and polishing facilities in Eurasian Diamond Centre in Vladivostok.
"Just last week, Yury Trutnev [Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District] held a meeting to support the Russian diamond-cutting industry, and a number of decisions were made that will help the Russian diamond-cutting industry to overcome the crisis and compete with foreign companies. The issue of developing Vladivostok on the basis of a free port was discussed at the meeting, and Vladivostok will develop as a diamond center.
Stéphane Fischler, President of the International Diamond Council, founding member of the European Council of Diamond Manufacturers, Vice President of the World Diamond Council and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre talks to Manisha Gupta on India's CNBC-TV18. He shared his view of the Indian diamond industry and the road ahead for its diamond market. An abbreviated version:
CNBC: How do you see diamond consumption growth in India?
"Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, called on India to show reciprocity in its trade relationship with the United States," writes eponymous Rapaport News of their founder's “State of Diamond Industry” presentation at GJEPC's "Mines to Market" conference yesterday, marking 50 years of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
Bulgari, an LVMH-owned jeweler and watchmaker, announced the opening of its new jewelry manufacturing facility in Valenza, Italy, a mere 18 months since the foundation stone was laid. It is one of the largest expansions of Bulgari’s exclusive “made in Italy” manufacturing network. Bulgari strategically chose Valenza, famous for its goldsmith history and the Cascina dell’Orefice (est. 1817), as the location for the new site, which they expect to create an additional 300 jobs by 2020.
Diamond industry analyst and author of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky, takes us on, "A Trip Through the Diamond Industry in March 2017." If there is one trip you make this weekend, we recommend this one.
When people talk badly about diamonds, they think of the stone they're going to buy, but they don't think of the lives that are going to be affected. In Botswana, for example, 45-50% of the total GDP comes from diamond mining. So when people say, "I'm not going to buy a diamond because it has a bad rep", think of the two-plus million people in Botswana that will be affected.
- William Lamb, CEO Lucara Diamond, Interview with Bloomberg TV, on India's demonitization, diamond demand, Kimberley Process, positive sentiment in industry, Trump effect, DPA, Millennials and finding a buyer for the magnificent Lesedi La Rona ... all in 6 minutes.
The Surat Diamond Association (SDA) and the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the government provide an international airport at Surat as soon as possible to facilitate smooth imports and exports of polished and rough diamonds, write The Times of India. Estimates are that polished diamonds worth $21 billion are processed in Surat and exported to various countries via Mumbai every year, while India imports approximately $14 billion in rough diamonds annually.
Russia’s largest cut diamonds producer Kristall was included into the 2017-2019 privatization plan, a source familiar with privatization plans told Russia's TASS News Agency on Thursday. Kristall is Russia’s largest producer of polished diamonds and one of the largest diamond cutting companies across the globe.