Rio Tinto unveiled a preview of its final showcase of rare Argyle pink, red and blue diamonds from its iconic mine. As mining ceased at Argyle on 3 November 2020, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender showcases the final collection from the last year of Argyle operations, with viewings set to take place in Perth, Sydney, Singapore and Antwerp over the course of the next three months.
Lucapa announced it had recovered another large stone, 138-carat diamond, from Mining Block 46 (MB46) in the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola. The diamond is the seventh +100 carat diamond recovered in 2021 so far and the 24th +100 carat stone recovered at Lulo since exploration and mining operations began.
In Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva, "The Alrosa Spectacle Diamond", weighing an astonishing 100.94 carats, went under the hammer for US$14,2 million. Total sales during the May auction of 144 lots garnered US$63.8 million Christie's announced.
The global diamond market is under restraint as the supply of polished goods is delayed due to the Covid-19 surge in India. Trade has shifted to leading centers like Antwerp, where dealers are busy filling orders, predominantly through online and remote selling.
Overall the rough market in Antwerp appears to be stable as the center will host ten tenders this month. Year to date, Antwerp has hosted nearly 40 tenders. There is consistent demand for 1 to 3-carat polished diamonds, ranging from D to J color and IF to SI clarity.
Russian miner ALROSA records a strong performance with total sales in April amounting to US$401 million, which includes proceeds from rough diamond sales of US$383 million, and polished diamond sales of US$18 million. For the first four months of 2021, total rough and polished diamond sales accounted for US$1,561 million, of which US$1,509 million for rough diamond sales and US$51 million for polished.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Belgian Embassy, supported by the Angolan Ministry of Minerals and Petroleum (MIREMPET), organized a 2-day visit to Angola, bringing the CEO's of 20 Antwerp diamond companies. The mission signals a renewed interest from both Antwerp and Angola to work together more closely.
First Element Diamond Services announced its cooperation with the Del Gatto Diamond Finance Fund (DDFF), offering their clients pre tender financing for their diamond production. This includes not only the full run of mine production but also any special stones that may be recovered.
Thanks to this cooperation, diamond producers and buyers will be able to receive funds before tender sales, which marks a first.
In April, ALROSA, the Russian diamond mining giant, completed an online auction for special-sized rough where nearly 95% of the lots sold. The auction, which took place without physical viewings, used digital twin technology so clients could analyze goods remotely and trace polished diamonds back to their mine.
The miner sold 142 lots, weighing approximately 2,040 carats, for US$8.8 million. The auction had 238 registered clients, of which 27 placed winning bids and were from Belgium, Israel, India, UAE, Russia, and the USA.
After jewelry sales in the US doubled in March, they almost tripled in April according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Compared to a year ago, jewelry sales increased 255%, benefiting from a strong base comparison as US stores were forced to close in April 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumers are anticipating a return to gatherings and events and government stimulus payments, warmer weather and a broader reopening also foster spending.
During its latest ascending clock Specials Auction on the 10th May in Antwerp, Grib Diamonds sold approximately 6 thousand carats of Run of Mine +10.8 carat stones.
According to Grib, three stones of a combined weight of over 400 carats sold for a total of nearly $8 million, making one of the three (186 carats) the most expensive stone ever sold from Grib Diamonds ($3.7M).
Total revenues of the auction exceeded $26 million.
Lucapa announced the sale of a parcel of Lulo rough, totaling 4.000cts for US$5m or US$1,239/ct. Seven high-value stones, including two pinks will be part of a later sale. In total this year to date, Lulo’s rough sales amount to US$14.5m or an average of US$1,557/ct for a 9,312 carats of rough.
Last week Pandora announced it would no longer sell mined diamonds, and instead launched a collection using lab-grown diamonds (LGDs), as a part of their sustainability strategy. The announcement caused leading diamond and jewelry organizations to lash out as they believe the retailer misrepresented natural diamonds and caused harm to the industry.
Gem Diamonds announced the recovery of a white, Type II, 370-carat diamond from the Letšeng mine located in Lesotho. Letšeng is known for producing large, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. This announcement comes a week after the recovery of a 254 carat Type II, white diamond from the same mine.
Sarine Technology, a leader in precision technology products for the planning, grading, and trading of diamonds and gems, announced it had joined HB Antwerp as a technology partner. The partnership aims to demonstrate that transparency and open collaboration can benefit all the stakeholders throughout the value chain.
Lucara Diamond Corp. released its Q1 2021 figures, demonstrating a strong performance in the first three months of the year. The total revenue, including diamonds sold through regular tenders, the Clara platform and the HB Antwerp agreement, equaled $53.1 million or $579 per carat sold from the sale of 91,760 carats, marking a 56% increase compared to the first quarter of 2020.
Russian miner ALROSA held auctions for special-sized rough diamonds, those exceeding 10.8 carats, at its main trading offices in April to meet their clients’ demands. In total the miner sold 608 diamonds with a total weight exceeding 9,120 carats. Overall revenue amounted to US$42.3million, Of which US$10.3 million In Antwerp.
They were able to host viewings in Antwerp, Dubai, Moscow, and Ramat Gan, with buyers coming from those hubs as well as India and China.
In his latest blog, industry analyst Edahn Golan details how Israeli banks are further cutting financing to the Israeli diamond industry. In 2020, diamond financing in the country fell below $500 million for the first time in 30 years, marking a 33% decrease. Shrinking activity is one of the obvious reasons but complicated admin due to money laundering-related regulations specific to the diamond industry seems to be a burden to most banks. It seems they don’t consider it worth their while anymore.
Australian miner Lucapa and the Govt of the Kingdom of Lesotho have announced the third sale of 2021 of Mothae rough achieved US$1.5m or US$420/ct. All of Mothae’s diamonds are brough to Antwerp where they are prepared for sale and sold in Antwerp. The parcels that form part of Lucapa’s and the Govt of Lesotho’s partnership deal with Safdico are then studied and cut and polished in the city by a preeminent cutting facility.
Gem Diamonds announced the recovery of a 254 carat Type II, white diamond, from the Letšeng mine located in Lesotho. Letšeng is known for its production of large, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.
Jewelry brand Pandora launches a new collection using lab-grown diamonds (LGD). According to the brand, the decision is part of their sustainability strategy which includes the plan to ensure its operations are carbon neutral by 2025. Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik stated the LGD collection stands as a testament to the company’s ongoing and ambitious sustainability agenda and proves “Diamonds are not only forever, but for everyone.”
And it’s especially the last part of the sentence that seems to be key in the brand’s decision.
LVMH announced the launch of the Gemstones and Jewelry Community Platform, a joint venture inspired by the luxury group’s sustainability commitments. The Coloured Gemstones Working Group (CGWG), created to introduce positive change across the jewelry industry, has actively promoted responsible sourcing of raw materials for many years.
In 2020 close to 8 million luxury watches were listed on eBay, of which 200,000 were sold. As consumers expand their investment opportunities, platforms like eBay are trying to enhance the consumer experience by launching programs like the Authenticity Guarantee program; where each watch priced over US$2,000 is physically checked by an expert. As the company intends to expand its offerings, they have now introduced an escrow service for luxury watches to enhance consumer trust in high-end digital shopping.
Tiffany & Co., the iconic New York Jeweler, will launch its first-ever engagement ring collection for men. Since 1886, when Charles Lewis Tiffany introduced the solitaire Tiffany Setting, the simple six-prong design became an industry standard. While its wedding rings cater to both men and women, Tiffany has never designed an engagement ring specifically with men in mind—till today.
Debswana, the joint venture between the Botswana government and Anglo American’s De Beers unit, intends to invest US$6 billion to build the world’s largest underground diamond mine at Botswana’s Jwaneng. The mine is already considered the richest mine by value for the precious stones. The underground mine will have more than 360 km of tunnel development and is expected to hit full production by 2034, Debswana’s head of transformation and innovation, Thabo Balopi, said at a briefing in the capital, Gaborone, last Friday.
As the covid situation in India worsens, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), through email and social channels, is asking diamond and jewelry industry members to donate to help their Indian colleagues and friends win the battle against the Virus. The campaign, Diamond Aid, organized with Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), will use the funds raised to purchase medical equipment and medication for hospitals in Surat and Mumbai.
In their latest auction in Antwerp, Grib Diamonds sold over 580,000ct of rough diamonds for approximately US$40m. According to Grib demand continued to be strong for larger better quality rough, especially for 5-10ct, 2-4ct, 4-6GR, and even goods down to +11 showed robust prices. Results for smaller goods were weaker and saw decreases except for the -7+5.
Overall their production prices saw a low single-digit increase.
The next regular sale will be of new Angolan production containing rough from +10.8CT down to -7+5 with viewing starting in Antwerp from the 21st May.
During the height of the pandemic, diamond producers faced stockpile build-ups when the world came to a standstill, stoking fears that gems amassed by miners could hurt the sector for years to come. In the ensuing months' excessive demand from manufacturers, traders, and jewelers have all but wiped out the stash. All this as demand for luxury sales, including diamond jewelry, jumped as consumers were unable to travel. Remarkably producers such as De Beers and Alrosa have since raised their prices for rough.
In Christie’s upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva, “The Alrosa Spectacle Diamond” weighing an astonishing 100.94 carats, will be up for sale, the auction house announced on Instagram.
Petra Diamonds’ Q3 FY 2021 figures (January – March 2021) are fostering cautious optimism at the diamond mining group, after some difficult times. Q3 revenues increased by 16% to 106 million USD in comparison with Q3 FY 2020. This increase was amongst others driven by improved pricing and the sale of a 299.3 carat exceptional diamond in Antwerp in February for 12.2 million USD.
US Jewelry Sales are back on track since COVID-19 hit retail markets a year ago. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, jewelry sales in the US increased 106% year on year in March. These figures are a result of government stimulus payments and a broader reopening across the country but also benefit from a strong base comparison with March 2020, when people first started social distancing which resulted in a dip in spending. However, in comparison with March 2019, jewelry sales rose by 30% which reflects a release of pent-up demand.
Lucapa’s quarterly activity report for Q1 shows the company had a strong first three months in 2021. Both operating mines (Lulo and Mothae) noted record performances and the continuing recovery of the entire diamond industry provided a robust pricing environment for rough and polished diamonds.
Following a two-year-long legal battle, the British government has approved the extradition of Nirav Modi, 50, who allegedly defrauded Indian state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) of $2 billion. The extradition order was signed on April 15," a spokesman for the United Kingdom's Home Office said in a statement on Friday.
LVMH, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, recorded revenue of 14 billion euros (US$16.7 billion) in the first quarter of 2021, up 32% compared to the same period in 2020. The quarter marks the return to growth after several quarters of decline during 2020, a year that was severely disrupted by the global pandemic.
The pandemic forced luxury goods companies to use social media, video, and virtual showrooms to woo customers in Europe and keep them shopping at a time when tourists, especially from China, have been absent for more than a year. Analysts believe the government-imposed lockdowns have left wealthy Europeans with money to spend, and designer brands are keen to capture some of that cash.
Citing recognition of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for gemological report services and education, a Belgian court has ordered AIG Belgium to immediately cease using ‘AIG’ alone or in conjunction with other marks. AIG operated as both the American International Gemological Laboratories and Antwerp International Gemological Laboratories. If the lab fails to do so, they risk significant penalty payments.
Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York amassed US$35 million in sales, US$8.4 million of which came from a trio of colored diamonds, entitled “The Perfect Palette.” The diamonds were each set in a ring and auctioned as separate lots.
Last week Tanzania assumed the chairmanship of the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) from Namibia. The minerals minister Dotto Biteko accepted the chairmanship on behalf of the country, saying that in their term as leader, "Tanzania will make sure that it improves ADPA systems so as it can bring positive benefits to member states just as intended."
While the pandemic continues to affect the world, among others forcing India’ s Bharat Diamond Bourse to temporary close operations, Antwerp’s Q1 figures further confirm the industry’s recovery, set in motion in Q4 2020. According to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), releasing the figures, the data demonstrates Antwerp’s dominant position as the world’s most important rough diamond trade hub.
Russian miner Alrosa records a strong performance, with total sales of rough and polished diamonds in March amounting to US$357 million, including proceeds from rough diamond sales of US$345 million and polished diamond sales of US$12 million.
Three years ago Signet Jewelers, the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry, launched “Path to Brilliance,” the official name of its business growth strategy. By acquiring Rocksbox, the subscription-based jewelry rental platform, Signet can expand the retail group’s services, reach a younger demographic, and offer customers new ways to enjoy jewelry without the pain of buying it.