According to figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, for the second consecutive month, the rough business in Antwerp is outperforming prepandemic levels of 2019, as July’s rough imports, amounting to 8,1m cts, were up 174% in value and 141% in volume (ct) compared to July 2019. Rough exports also continue to soar, growing 153% to US$ 1.1bn and +120% compared to the same month in 2019 in volume to 10,3m cts.
According to Rough & Polished, quoting state news agency Angop, local authorities (SIC) have seized cash, equipment and nearly 2500 diamonds from "illegal buyers" in the country's Lunda Norte province, part of the ongoing clean-up of Angola's informal diamond mining industry "Operation Transparency". The targeted action, initiated in 2018, focuses on the towns of Xa-muteba, Cambulo, Lucapa and Cuango where an estimated 700 illegal mining sites operate.
Local police in Surat have arrested a man who used existing GIA certificates to sell diamonds of inferior quality than the original diamonds. The authorities seized a large sum of money, 24 GIA certificates, a number of diamonds and a laser inscribing machine, used to inscribe the GIA certificate numbers on the diamonds.
Idex News today posted an article industry insiders say is "fake news", about Dutch bank ABN AMRO leaving the diamond business. Sources at the bank told The Diamond Loupe that the alleged exit news, published by Idex is false and the bank is not closing its diamond financing. A transcript of ABN AMRO's conference call yesterday doesn't even mention the word diamond.
Rio Tinto’s final Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection of rare pink, red, blue and violet diamonds is being showcased to connoiseurs, collectors and luxury jewellers in Antwerp, Belgium.
While to outsiders it may have seemed the closure of Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine marked the end of diamond mining in Australia, recent developments show signs of an unexpected revival. Earlier this year, Australian-based miner Lucapa, currently operating mines in Angola and Lesotho, acquired the Merlin mine, which hasn’t produced any diamonds since 2003. Lucapa hopes to restart the mine within two years.
According to Rapaport, Rio Tinto Diamonds, operating the Argyle mine in Australia, the mine that was closed in November last year, and the Diavik mine in Canada, made US$5m profit in the first 6 months of the year. The company recovered 3.1m ct from Diavik - up 2% - and sales, operated by the Antwerp division of Rio Tinto Diamonds, were up 13% to US$160m.
In its financial results update, released by De Beers, the company states revenue compared y-o-y more than doubled to US$2.9bn, from US$1.2bn at the height of the pandemic year 2020, EBITDA rose from a meager US$2m to US$610m, for a total of 19.2m cts (up from 8.5m cts in H1 2020.) . According to comments to JCK, the company attributes the positive results to remarkably strong recovery in the USA, outperforming China's rebound. De Beers average price per carat rose 13%, from US$119/ct (2020) to US$135/ct.
On Thursday 29th July in Antwerp, Grib Diamonds sold $65M of rough diamonds mainly from its wholly owned Russian Mine, as well as some smaller amounts of Angolan Goods. In total 650K carats were on offer and Grib saw continued high demand in its Spot Sale. The highlight of the sale was one Russian Origin 7ct Violet stone which sold for more than $100K per carat. This is the highest per carat stone ever sold by Grib in its 7 year history. Grib’s next Spot Viewings will start from the 10th September in Antwerp.
Petra Diamonds Limited today announced that it has recovered a 342.92 carat Type IIa white diamond of exceptional quality in terms of both its colour and clarity at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The diamond is likely to be sold via the Company’s upcoming tender during September 2021. The news comes just days after Petra Diamonds released its latest market update, indicating revenue for FY 2021 jumped 38% to US$406.9m, driven by the sales of exceptional stones such as the 39.34ct rare blue diamond that fetched over US$40m just weeks ago.
Alrosa today announced that it remains committed to maintaining a healthy balance in the market, as the industry encounters rough supply shortages and demand continues to thrive. The company purchases 70% of the diamonds that were auctioned by the Russian State Fund for Precious Metals and Stones (Gokhran), organized to contribute to market balance. Alrosa gave a welcome opportunity to its Alrosa Alliance customers to purchase the Gokhran diamonds they needed, alleviating the pressure caused by shortages in their manufacturing cycles.
In an extensive article, The Guardian weighs the arguments of many LGD producers who claim the diamonds they produce in a factory are a more ethical alternative, pointing to the devastating effect a complete shift away from mined diamonds would have on entire communities whose livelihoods depend on the diamond industry. Quoting Cristina Villegas from NGO Pact, "framing it as an ethical decision, while in my opinion it is actually the complete opposite", the article states that walking away from mined diamonds will hurt exactly the same communities consumers are concerned about.
Swiss luxury group Richemont, owner of the Buccellati, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry brands, recorded a 129% increase in sales in the three months ending on June 30. The outstanding performance was led by the Jewellery Maisons and Specialist Watchmakers, with a growth of 142%, to €2.52 billion (US$2.97 billion) and 143%, to €849 million (US$1 billion), respectively.
Diamond imports in China have registered a hefty bounce in the first half of the year, after the gloomy market situation in the first half of 2020, followed by the recovery period in the second half. The sudden increase in trading indicates China’s diamond market is walking out of the haze of the pandemic and returning to a growth track. According to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE), From January thru June, the diamond transactions in SDE reached US$3.821 billion, an 86.39% increase over the same period in 2019.
Figures released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on the trade in Antwerp in the first six months of the year demonstrate the city is back on track of the pre-pandemic upturn seen in the first few months of 2020, outperforming 2019 figures on rough trade with double digit growth.
Operations have resumed at Alrosa's Zarnitsa open-pit mine, which the Russian miner had suspended since May 2020 amid the challenging market environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2021, when the demand for rough diamonds had stabilized, ALROSA decided to recommence mining at the deposit from 1 July.
Lucara announced the recovery of a 62.7-carat fancy pink diamond from the Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana. The diamond entitled “Boitumelo” meaning Joy, is a high-quality, fancy pink, Type IIa gem. In addition, a 2.21-carat fancy pink diamond of similar quality was recovered during the same production period, along with two pink gems of similar color and purity weighing 11.17 and 5.05 carats respectively. The 62.7-carat diamond represents the largest fancy pink gem recovered in Botswana and one of the largest rough pink diamonds on record.
On the occasion of the launch of their latest Progress Report, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) released its ‘Create Beautiful’ video, to showcase and encourage sustainability action throughout the supply chain. The video features CEOs from some of the leading names in the jewellery and watch industry, as well as special interest groups.
Petra's has announced the sale of the exceptional TypeIIb blue 39.34ct, which was recovered at the Cullinan mine in South Africa earlier this year, and started its viewing tour in Antwerp to a partnership between De Beers and Diacore, for a whopping US$40.180.180 or over US$1m per carat.
In Sotheby's single-lot live auction in Hong Kong, the pear-shaped, 101.38-carat, D-color diamond known as "The Key 10138" sold for US$12.3 million. The sale marks an industry-wide breakthrough, making the price achieved for this diamond the highest for any jewelry or gemstone purchased with cryptocurrency. The buyer was a private collector.
Lucapa diamond company announced a strong first half of 2021 in its Q2 results. Both Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) processed record Q2 volumes and record half-year revenues.
Lulo continued exceptional large stone recoveries, including three +100 carat founds, and its single largest sale ever of A$28.3 million, representing an average price of US$34,548/carat, led to record revenues for the first half-year of 2021. Mothae also noted exceptional large stone recoveries and regular sales also led to record revenues for the first half of 2021.
In May and June, ALROSA held auctions in Antwerp, Dubai and Ramat Gan, selling over 400 lots weighing almost 6,600 carats. The total revenue equaled US$32.4 million.
Under Russian law, ALROSA sells special-size diamonds at international auctions only. These auctions allowed clients to purchase goods they need despite international travel restrictions.
ALROSA introduced its revolutionary diamond-tracing technology using non-invasive laser markings. Unlike traditional laser engraving, these inscriptions could not be destroyed or polished off. The markings are made inside the crystal lattice, across the atomic structure of the entire diamond, making it invisible without a scanner. These diamonds can, and have, been certified by the GIA. The purpose of these markings would be to distinguish ALROSA diamonds from others, including lab-grown.
Firestone Diamonds announced it had entered a binding share sales agreement for its Botswana operations. Botswana-owned Visionary Victor Resources will acquire the BK11 mine, as well as Firestone’s 90% interest in its local subsidiary, Monak Ventures, for US$50,000.
Firestone Diamonds has been trying to offload their Botswana asset for nearly six years, as the project has been on care and maintenance since 2012. At that time, the mine plan estimated it still had 1.2 million carats in reserves.
Cartier recently shared China was the first market to offer the French luxury goods brand a robust rebound in sales since the pandemic broke out. The brand shared that e-commerce sales in China also saw a phenomenal rise since the outbreak, prompting the company to solidify its plans to raise investments in the country. The rebound and growth are attributed to the solid performance of pandemic-related travel restrictions, causing Chinese consumers to purchase luxury goods locally rather than abroad.
Opsydia, a UK-based diamond security innovator, announced former De Beers Group Senior Executive, Jonathan Kendall, would join their non-executive Board of Directors, starting immediately. The company, known for its sub-surface laser technology, can create nano-scale identifiers requiring a 100x microscope to be legible.
Swiss luxury group Richemont announced it had acquired Belgian leather goods label, Delvaux. The group didn’t disclose the terms of the transaction but shared the deal would have “no material financial impact” on the net of the firm’s assets or operating results. According to a Citigroup analyst, the estimated cost of the deal could be as much as 250 million euros ($296 million), adding the move was “consistent with Richemont’s desire to grow in the leather accessories segment.”
ALROSA has launched the new phase of its digital and operational transformation intended to improve the efficiency of its production assets. The project sets out to combine the management teams of the Mirny and Nyurba Divisions. This move would enable the Company to manage its assets more efficiently and free up part of the management team by combining the engineering and supporting functions. The core production personnel will remain unaffected.
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) recently analyzed and graded a 6.18 carat round brilliant-cut stone submitted for grading as a natural diamond, then identified as a lab-grown diamond. The stone was sent for verification purposes and came with a report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) stating it was a natural diamond, D color, flawless clarity, and triple-excellent cut, reinforcing the growing importance of secondary review from gemological institutes.
In his final address at last week's Kimberly Process, virtual intersessional, organized under the Chairmanship of the Russian Federation, World Diamond Council President Edward Asscher, representing the diamond industry in the tripartite organization established to eradicate conflict diamonds from the trade, left little room for interpretation on the consequences of a status quo withing the KPCS.
On April first, Tiffany & Co. had us all fooled by introducing their new house color #TiffanyYellow, which garnered nearly half a million likes on Instagram. But was it a prank? Or was it all part of LVMH's rebranding strategy? A mere month later, Tiffany opened a pop-up store in Beverly Hills with everything — from furniture down to the shopping bags — glazed in a lemon yellow.
Lucapa, Endiama and Sodiam announced the sale of seven exceptional stones, weighing 620 carats, for a total sales price of $21,4 million, representing an average price of $34,548/carat. The large, top-quality and fancy colored diamonds, recovered at Lulo this year, were sold via tender organized by Sodiam in Luanda.
After a turbulent period, the sun finally shines on Arctic Canadian - quite literally - as the company’s reboot included the successful sale of the stunning 204-carat yellow "Dancing Sun" through a Christie’s auction earlier this month.
On Monday 21 June, Grib Diamonds sold over $40 million rough diamonds of Russian origin through its online, ascending clock auction software in Antwerp.
According to Grib Diamonds, all lots of 520k carats were sold and prices hit record levels in every category. Especially the smaller goods marked strong price increases.
Grib’s next sale of Russian and Angolan goods is scheduled to start on 12 July.
Namakwa Diamonds & Storm Mountain Diamonds announce the discovery and upcoming sale of ‘The Pink Palesa’.
The 21,86 ct natural pink diamond will be sold in Antwerp by Bonas Group. The stone was discovered on the 18th of May at the KAO mine in Lesotho. The Palesa, derived from the local Sesotho word for ‘flower’, will travel to Antwerp to be offered for sale during KAO’s next sale.
In Kwahlathi, a village in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, over 1,000 people are looking for diamonds after a man dug up an unidentified stone in an open field. According to Reuters, people are traveling across South Africa to join the villagers who have been digging since Saturday.
Debswana, the joint venture between the Botswana government and Anglo American’s De Beers unit, announced the recovery of a 1,098-carat diamond. Initial analysis suggests the rough stone could be the world’s third-largest gem-quality diamond ever to be recovered after the 3,100-carat "Cullinan Diamond", was discovered in South Africa in 1905, and the 1,109-carat "Lesedi la Rona", was found in 2015, in the Karowe mine in Botswana.
Earlier this year Petra Diamonds announced the recovery of a 39.34 carat Type IIb blue diamond from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The diamond, known for its exceptional quality in terms of both its color and clarity, is currently in Antwerp for viewing, is expected to yield upwards of US$1 million per carat. Next week it will continue on its world tour till early July. Bidding will close on Monday, July 12.