• When Transparency is Blinding – Reducing Information

    "The sun is the best disinfectant," wrote Louis Brandeis, who later became a United States Supreme Court judge. By saying that, he outlined the principle of transparency in public systems as a remedy for corruption.

    But the sun can also cause burns and permanent damage. When transparency of information is implemented incorrectly, it may harm the interests which it is suppose to serve.

  • Zimbabwe is considering submitting a bid for the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which is currently held by Angola. Mines and Minerals Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said the issue of submitting a bid is being carefully considered. He said Zimbabwe is a proud member of the KPCS and has contributed immensely to the defence of the diamond body. "It is not out of line for us to submit a bid.

  • Israel Diamond Exchange's (IDE) president, Shmuel Schnitzer, addressed the WFDB and IDMA presidents meeting in Tel Aviv. He said that, "In Israel, we have an annual turnover of over $20 billion. We are leaders of the diamond world in technological development for manufacturing and online marketing. We recently set up a model factory, where we make cutting-edge, advanced machinery available to all manufacturers in our industry. A young generation is joining the ranks of those involved in the industry, and indeed, the potential in Israel is endless."

  • Rapaport's Avi Krawitz reports Dominion Diamond Corporation launched an online trading platform for CanadaMark diamonds, developed to cater to specific retail requests for the hallmark, responsibly mined diamonds. According to Dominion, currently 15 manufacturers are part of the CanadaMark, and approx. 2,500 CanadaMark diamonds, predominantly above 0.30ct are certified daily.

  • The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and its members expressed their support for the coming into force of the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act. Today’s announcement fulfills Prime Minister Harper’s commitment from June 2013 to enact such transparency legislation within two years. “This legislation places Canada at the forefront of international efforts to eliminate corruption and promote transparency.

  • Despite these multitudes of reasons [steady increase of diamond prices over time, future value increase probable due to strong demand and dwindling supply], financiers are still wary of investing in diamonds [due to lack of transparency, fungibility & standardization]. Investors feel that they are not knowledgeable enough to evaluate diamonds and have to depend on intermediaries. Even the gem and jewelry market is reluctant to offer diamonds as investment option owing to smaller profit margins compared to retail market.

  • Eden Rachminov from the Fancy Color Research Foundation says they aim to bring pricing transparency to the coloured diamond trade with its fancy color diamond index —a first-of-its-kind tracker designed to monitor changes in pink, yellow and blue fancy diamonds. He says that the fancy color diamond as "an alternative asset class ... has exhibited strong growth.

  • On Friday 27 March, Herman Van Rompuy paid a visit to the Antwerp diamond community, delivering the keynote speech at the Antwerp Diamond Seminar on the financial challenges facing the diamond industry. The Seminar featured a lively discussion panel of financial experts who are thoroughly tuned in to the diamond industry in general and to the situation in Antwerp in particular. The discussion covered issues such as profitability and liquidity, financial transparency, bankability, the availability of finance, sustainability and rough prices.

  • On the heels of the Swiss Leaks/HSBC revelations, professor of tax law at the Free University of Brussels, Michel Maus, has appealed in an opinion piece in De Morgen to the diamond sector in Belgium to “play by the rules of tax game”.

  • Petra Diamonds shares its Finch diamond mine presentation online. 

  • The EU has agreed to create national registers of the people who really own and control companies, in a bid to tackle corporate secrecy. The new regulations will make tracking organized crime and money laundering easier.

  • A new index by the recently established Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) tracks changes in the market prices of yellow, pink and blue fancy color diamonds. The index is the first of its kind. The FCRF is an independent, non-profit organization devoted to transparency in the fancy color diamond retail, wholesale and mining industry.

  • The Zimbabwe Diamond Conference is taking place in Harare this week, with "Completing Zimbabwe's diamond potential for the future" as a central theme. The conference will focus mainly on value addition and beneficiation as key elements for a sustainable socio-economic transformation of Zimbabwe. Participants will include African mines ministers, diamond mining companies including Alrosa, and world leading diamond manufacturers and traders. President Mugabe will attend the conference as well.

  • In an attempt to make De Beers more attractive as an asset, Anglo American, which owns De Beers, has revealed information that De Beers has previously never made public. For the first time in 120 years, shareholders now know where De Beers’ diamonds come from and how much each carat fetches.

  • The closure of the Antwerp Diamond Bank, preceeded by withdrawals of other banks from the diamond industry and rumours of Standard Chartered limiting services, are strong signals for the diamond industry to adjust to demands of transparency and clearer corporate structures to attract banks.

  • Gaborone Mayor Haskins Nkaigwa heavily criticized the Botswana government for not signing a deal with De Beers to profit the country and its population. Botswana is not reaping enough revenue from its natural resources and only 3,500 jobs were created, says Nkaigwa.

  • Although the Kimberley Process has tremendously transformed the global diamond trade, there is still the challenge to scale up systems for ethical supply chains so that millions can participate and benefit from them.

  • Surat-based diamond trader Rakesh Kothari was arrested for money laundering, accused of illegally transferring $166 million from to Mumbai from Surat.