Amidst the largest, global crisis in recent history and against the backdrop of turmoil in the industry as many diamond traders removed their stock from the Rapaport trading network, - in protest of the steep price drops published in Rapaport’s latest Price List (March 20) - the World Federation of Diamond Bourses has now announced it plans to establish a cross-bourse trading platform.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) yesterday, 23 March 2020 announced the suspension of preparations for its upcoming trade shows following the goverment's announcement of a quarantine for all travellers arriving from outside China. It cannot host an international show under these conditions.
The Rapaport Price List - the benchmark for most polished diamond traders - published last Friday, March 20, announced steep, across-the-board price drops that have angered many diamond traders and unleashed a wave of protest on social media. "Our heart goes out to the diamond community during these difficult times," a statement read. "We understand that today’s reduction of prices in the Rapaport Price List is upsetting." They might have underestimated the response.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has released a coronavirus-related update to the Antwerp diamond community, stating that the Diamond Office will remain open. The Diamond Office is essentially the beating heart of Antwerp's diamond trade, being the place where all rough and polished diamonds are imported and exported from the country. In a typical year, that is $46 billion annually, or $210 million every working day.
India’s exports of cut and polished diamonds declined dramatically compared to last year’s levels of trade, declining by 41% during the month of February 2020, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The GJEPC attributed the decline mainly to the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
The world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat, India, is facing a potentially massive liquidity crisis as a result of overdue payments owed by diamond traders in China and Hong Kong in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, writes The Times of India. Industry estimates estimate the value of those overdue payments at Rs5,000 crore, about $670 million, in the past month alone.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI) are joining forces to host the first ever Online Diamond Trade Show from March 30 to April 4. The 'virus-free trade show' will take place on the Virtual Diamond Boutique trade platform.
Mumbai Customs in India has seized two shipments of diamonds from Antwerp – one rough, one polished – on very questionable grounds, according to a trusted source. Another sixteen shipments are on hold.
The cautious optimism that had returned to the Antwerp diamond industry following the first month of 2020 was short-lived, as the explosive spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in February effectively closed eastern markets and caused great uncertainty across the global diamond trade. Antwerp's rough-diamond trade still enjoyed the boost from the miners' strong January sales, but the warning signs appeared there as well - particularly toward the end of the month.
The 2020 JCK Las Vegas and Luxury shows will take place as scheduled, the show organizers confirmed, though they will be monitoring the situation. Last week, precautionary considerations due to the outbreak of the coronavirus led to the cancellation of two European fairs, Baselworld and Watches & Wonder Geneva (formerly SIHH).
The diamond trade, like many global industries, slowed significantly in February as the economic impact of the new coronavirus COVID-19 spreads across the world. Consumers in China, the world's second largest maket for diamond jewelry, have stayed at home as large sections of society and social life have shut down. Sales through Hong Kong, one of the world's largest diamond distrubution centres, have essentially halted. "Manufacturers and dealers are facing a severe liquidity crunch," writes Rapaport in a press release. "Diamond prices dropped as a result of the slowdown."
India’s exports of polished diamonds continue to fall short of last year’s levels, declining by 5.7% during the month of January 2020, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The value of rough-diamond imports for manufacturing fell again as well, despite a notable increase in volume. Meanwhile, India's synthetic-diamond imports (rough) and exports (polished) continue to grow rapidly.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa announced on Tuesday that it has sold a 6.21-carat cushion cut Fancy Intense Pink Purple diamond to Larry West, owner of one of the world's largest collections of exceptionally rare fancy-colored diamonds, for an undisclosed price. Alrosa cut and polished the diamond from a 20.18-carat stone found in Yakutia, a region in northeastern Siberia, in August 2018.
The government of South Korea on December 27, 2019 agreed to eliminate its 5% import tax on loose polished diamonds, effectively opening up the South Korean market to new sources of polished diamonds. Yesterday, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) confirmed that Diamond has been designated as a specific good that will be exempted from customs duties pending completion of the final legislative approvals. The abolishment of the import tax is expected to go into effect on April 1.
Independent diamond industry analyst Paul Zimnisky examines the growing acceptance of synthetic diamonds from a known but rarely-discussed angle: synthetic diamonds deliver higher profit margins to retailers than natural diamonds.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has decided to relocate its March auctions for rough and polished diamonds from Hong Kong to other trading centers. The move follows the decision of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to reschedule the Hong Kong trade shows from March until May in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
De Beers Group Industry Services has announced a new collaboration with leading US wholesaler, RDI Diamonds Inc., to become its premier source of diamond grading reports, the company stated in a press release. It will be the first time De Beers has provided grading services in the US.
"Effective immediately, GIA [Gemological Institute of America] will suspend diamond sealing services," the organization said in press release last Friday. The statement continues, "The Institute is taking this action after recently encountering a small number of GIA sealing packets that had been compromised by third parties after the sealing packets left GIA." The organization discovered "that the diamonds originally enclosed in the compromised packets had been replaced with HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature) treated natural diamonds."
Lucara, the Canadian mining company that owns the Karowé mine in Botswana announced they will be collaborating with luxury brand Louis Vuitton and an Antwerp-based high-end polishing company (HB) to polish the largest rough diamond ever found in Botswana, the 1758ct Sewelô diamond recovered in April last year. In the arrangement, the stone - qualified as near-gem, variable quality, will be polished into a collection of diamonds, and apart from an up front non-material payment, Lucara will retain a 50% interest in the polished results.
India's polished-diamond exports declined in value by 15.5% over the full course of 2019 on a 13% decline in the volume of goods exported, according to statistics published by India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The decline in the polished trade triggered a slowdown in manufacturing, and consequently of their demand for rough imports, which declined 18% in value on a 9% decrease in the volume of rough imported.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has delivered an exceptional result from its first foray into a cutting & polishing partnership, marking a milestone for Lucapa’s move along the diamond value chain. value chain. The first stone they selected was a 36.20-carat rough diamond from the Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho, which was polished in Antwerp in partnership with a leading international diamantaire, yielding six D-color diamonds. The two largest of the polished diamonds were both graded as D Flawless by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
2019 was a challenging year for the global diamond trade. The entire industry, from miners to manufacturers and from diamond traders to jewelry retailers saw their trade figures and profits decline during the past year. Antwerp, as the leading diamond trading hub, was caught in the middle of the industry-wide storm. “Geopolitical instability led to economic turmoil, which negatively impacted consumer confidence,” says Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa ended a challenging 2019 on a high note, with December rough diamond sales increasing 7.4% year-over-year to $352.1 million, good for their second largest monthly haul of 2019. The company also sold $11.6 million in polished diamonds last month, an increase of 132% over December 2018 and also representing their highest monthly earnings for polished diamonds last year. These end-of-year improvements, however, were not enough to correct the significant downturn in sales that typified 2019.
Bonas, a leading international diamond tender house based in Antwerp, will hold a gemstone tender alongside the February Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Fair (BGJF) for the very first time at the IMPACT Challenger Center, Bangkok, the group announced in a press release.
Softer demand for polished diamonds in 2019 led to a drop in polished prices, yet the year ended on a positive note according to two of the three leading diamond-price indexes, Rapaport's RapNet and PolishedPrices, while Idex saw no improvement in December.
The Supervisory Board of Alrosa has approved the miner's three-year strategy for developing and streamlining its diamond cutting and polishing units for 2020-2022, as well as the plan to integrate the recently-acquired manufacturer Kristall into the Alrosa Group. The plan includes a set of measures focused on improving product mix efficiency, production cycle optimization and the creation of a consolidated sales system for polished diamonds, a strategy they believe will improve the operational efficiency of Alrosa’s consolidated diamond cutting activities.
ALROSA USA, the rep office of the Russian mining giant sold 255 polished diamonds, total weight 435ct and a mix of different cuts, and including 21 fancy colored diamonds, to companies from various countries. Total revenue of the auction amounted to US$4.8 million, exceeding the US$3 million of the first auction held in New York last summer.
The sale of the "in-house" manufactured diamonds through auctions, as well as the expansion and active presence of the company in key consumer markets like the US is in line with ALROSA's approach to expand its scope beyond mere mining.
Rio Tinto’s Argyle Pink Diamond tenders, the 35th since the mine started producing the rare pink, red and violet diamonds, received a lot of interest, the company says. As the Argyle mine is due to close next year, the 2019 tender is most likely one of the last tenders, explaining the double-digit growth in bids made on the lots of polished pinks, reds and purples. The most valuable diamond in the selection, the Argyle Enigma, was bought by Australia-based Star & Kiven Diamonds (Aurostar group), who also won the winning bid for the Argyle Verity.
Former CEO and now chairman emeritus of Rosy Blue Alliance, Dilip Mehta, has announced a new venture into synthetic diamonds, partnering with his sons to launch a business in Surat. Mehta is just the latest of many diamond veterans to test the synthetic-diamond waters. Speaking to the Times of India, Mehta made clear that the venture was fully independent of Rosy Blue. "This one is our own venture and nothing to do with Rosy Blue," he is quoted as saying.
India's exports of cut and polished diamonds in October declined by 15.4% year-on-year to $1.95 billion as compared to $2.30 billion in October 2018, according to the provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India. The $1.95 billion is the same amount exported in September, which represented an 18% decline from the year prior. The volume of polished diamonds exported declined 8% to 2.8 million carats, as the average price per carat for the month fell 22% to $689 per carat. For the fiscal year to date (April - Oct.
The overall poilshedprices index recorded its lowest level since November 2017 last Wednesday, writes Richard Platt for the independent group that provides wholesale transaction-based polished diamond prices. The overall index is 4.9% below its level of this time last year and has lost 3.3% since the start of this year.
The 4th International Jewelry & Diamond Conference 2019 – Guangzhou, jointly held by the Guangzhou Diamond Exchange and the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange (GDGJE) will take place on November 21-22. The conference will be held in Panyu, Guangzhou, the major cluster of the diamond and jewelry industry of China, and will welcome industry representatives, associations from around the world and delegates from local governments.
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.
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.
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).
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.
From October 22-24, 2019, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) will be hosting the 15th edition of the "Antwerp Diamond Experience", where it will welcome select jewelers, wholesalers and manufacturers from across Europe and give them inside access to the world's leading diamond trade center … free of charge, and with no purchase obligation. (Registration link below).
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has created a brand - Luminous Diamonds - to a promote a characteristic that is prevalent in their diamonds: fluorescence. In doing so, it is seeking to create a niche for its natural stones by marketing the added value fluorescence can bring to diamonds when seen in the proper light, so to speak.
Rare and exceptional fancy color diamonds, as well as a large flawless emerald diamond will be in the spotlight at this autumn’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction at Sotheby's Hong Kong. The October 7 sale presents three very remarkable stones: a superb 10.64-carat fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond of internally flawless clarity estimated at $19.1 million to $25.5 million, an important 6.01-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, and a magnificent 80.88-carat D-color, flawless diamond.
Rio Tinto has launched a new collection of rare pink diamonds from its Argyle diamond mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. Known as the “Argyle Pink Everlastings Collection”, this offering has been curated to showcase the full color palette of Argyle pink diamonds, weighing 0.14 carats and below. The Collection comprises 64 lots and weighing a total of 211.21carats. It is expected that less than 100 carats of the equivalent profile will be produced by the mine prior to closure in 2020, emphasizing "the finite raity of these beautiful gems.”
The global diamond industry in the first half of 2019 faced a variety of well-doucmented challenges leading to declining commerce across all segments of the trade.
International diamond brokerage firm Bonas will hold its fourth colored gemstone tender at the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel from Saturday 14 to Wednesday 18 September 2019 to coincide with the September Hong Kong gem and jewelry show. Bonas will tender "the most extraordinary gemstones" to retailers and wholesalers looking for special pieces to add to their collection. This September’s tender will feature 460 examples of precious coloued gemstones. Unlike traditional auctions, tenders have no listed selling price, nor extra fees such as the buyer's premium.
The organizers of the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair wrote a letter on Thursday to the three diamond trade organizations calling for the postponement of the fair, saying that the September show will be held as scheduled and reassuring them that "there are positive signs indicating that the situation is cooling down." In that regard, they may have spoken too soon, as
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa will host its second annual True Colors auction of natural color diamonds in September at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair from 16 to 20 September. The auction will last until September 23.
Three leading diamond trade bodies have submitted a joint appeal for the postponement of the Hong Kong Gem and Jewellery Fair, September 2019, until there is a more stable climate in the city.
India's cut and polished diamond exports declined by more than 18% year-on-year in July, representing the lowest level of polished exports since December 2018. India's exports reached only $1.50 billion last month as compared $1.84 billion during the same month a year ago, as manufacturing has slowed significantly and traders try to move goods from stock while facing the headwind of an existing glut on the market.
A 14.83-carat pink oval diamond, cut from a rare 27.85 carat clear pink rough diamond mined in 2017 by Russia’s Alrosa could earn more than $60 million when it goes up for sale in November. Named The Spirit of the Rose (“Le Spectre de la Rose”) as a tribute to a legendary short Russian ballet that premiered in 1911, the preparation and cutting process was performed at the “Diamonds ALROSA” cutting factory in Moscow, and it will be the most expensive stone ever polished in Russia.
For months now, the news emerging from across the diamond industry has been colored various shades of sombre, with each analysis referring to some version of the same list of issues ailing the trade: falling polished prices combined with excessive polished inventories, a financing squeeze on Indian manufacturers and a lack of profitablity, low demand for rough, economic uncertainty generated by an unstable geopolitical climate ... take your pick. The question Paul Zimnisky examines is whether this all adds up to a 'crisis'.
Rio Tinto has unveiled the collection of diamonds on sale at what may be one of its last tenders of the world's rarest pink and red diamonds, as the life of the Argyle mine in Western Australia is winding down. The mine produces more than 90 percent of Australia's diamonds, and is one of the only known sources of pink diamonds in the world.
A combination of factors has led to widespread uncertainty and a global downturn in the diamond industry during the first half of 2019. Antwerp - the world’s leading diamond trade centre - has not escaped its impact, particularly in the rough diamond trade. Economic uncertainty generated by an unstable geopolitical climate has also fostered a heightened sense of caution among the banks that finance the trade, as well as diamond brokers and consumers of luxury goods.
Alrosa held a tender for polished diamonds in New York this June, earning $3 million from the sale of 20 polished diamonds with total weight of 140.4 carats for an average value of approximately $21,430 per carat. The diamonds on tender included 8 gemstones of standard color and 12 fancy colored polished diamonds, most of them with Fancy Yellow and Fancy Intense Yellow characteristics.
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.
The Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair last week (20-23 June) provided a snapshot of a cautious diamond industry in the midst of a period of weak sentiment and even weaker demand, according to several traders we spoke with this week. And they do not see any quick fixes on the horizon. While it may not be the largest diamond show of the year, Hong-Kong June is the most important mid-year jewelry sourcing event in Asia, and as such provides us the opportunity to take the pulse of the polished diamond trade. The consensus? Sentiment is poor.
‘Wait and see’
The withdrawal of India’s beneficiary status under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program is expected to have a "moderate" impact on India's exports of gems and jewelry to the US, but will not directly impact diamond exports - contrary to what some have been reporting.
India's rough diamond trade continued its 2019 downturn in May, as less manufacturing is taking place amid a tightening of available financing and weak demand for small goods, according to data gleaned from the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Exports of polished diamonds also recorded their fifth consecutive month of decline in 2019, despite a solid increase (11%%) in the average price per carat.
Bonas Group, one of the world's leading rough diamond brokering and tender houses, is holding a private sale of polished diamonds and colored gemstones in Antwerp later this month. Viewings will take place at the Bonas office in Antwerp, in the Diamond Club on the 9th floor from 17 to 21 June 2019, each day from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. The sale will close on Monday, 24 June at 11:00 Antwerp (CET) time, and will be an online highest bid tender on www.bonasbids.com.
An annual tradition, industry veterans Chaim Even-Zohar and Pranay Narvekar present the 2018 iteration of The Tacy Diamond Pipeline, with an in-depth look at the impact that the rise and acceptance of laboratory-grown diamonds has had on the industry this past year.
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.