UK-based technology company Everledger, which specializes in asset traceability, provenance and supply-chain transparency solutions, has completed its $20 million Series A funding with the backing of Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s leading internet-based services provider and the company behind WeChat, among other applications. Graphene Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Rakuten, Fidelity and Vickers Venture Partners have also participated.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) today launched its new Code of Practices (COP). The COP defines responsible, social and environmental business practices for companies in the jewellery supply chain and commits members to adhere to a robust set of comprehensive auditable standards. This marks the third iteration of the COP since the RJC formed in 2005, and reflects the evolving needs of the industry and demands of consumers globally.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced that Andrew Bone will be stepping down as its Executive Director, effective 27 March 2019. Andrew Bone has been Executive Director since the spring of 2015. Under his leadership, RJC membership doubled and the organization laid the foundations for sustainable growth in the future, the RJC said in a statement.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced a series of senior appointments to its Board of Directors as the organisation continues to strengthen its position as the jewellery industry’s foremost standards setting and certification body. The appointments were announced at the RJC’s Annual General Meeting in Moscow on Thursday, 17 May.
The three newly appointed Officers of the Board of Directors are:
Coming off of 2017, a year in which global diamond supply by volume increased by 11.7% year-over-year, supply is forecast to contract by 3.4% to 147M carats in 2018, writes independent industry analyst Paul Zimnisky. Of the world's top three diamond miners by volume, only De Beers is expected to increase production this year, while diamond output at Russia's ALROSA and diversified-major Rio Tinto is estimated to decline, more than offsetting De Beers' increase. Combined, the three companies represent approximately 70% of global diamond supply by volume.
Sergey Ivanov (37), the young CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the world’s largest diamond miner, ALROSA, was in Antwerp for the company’s annual meeting with its 56 long-term clients. ALROSA is a traditional company in a traditional business, and still evokes the reputation of a state-owned giant despite the partial privatization (currently 34%) of the company a few years ago.
The diamond industry's famous supply and demand chart - the 'hungry crocodile' - representing its forecast of rising rough diamond prices as production falls to shortage levels, "Not only has never materialized, it oversimplifies the fact that the industry’s 15,000 different categories of diamonds are performing in very different ways," writes Thomas Biesheuvel for Bloomberg.
Paul Zimnisky, independent diamond analyst of the eponymous Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, writes that rough diamond prices are up 12.1% for the year 2016 through mid-December after major miners' efforts to curtail global supply, combined with a healthy 2015 retail holiday season, have tilted the skewed 2015 balance between over-supply and diminishing demand.
Rio Tinto Diamonds is to provide an audited mine-to-polished chain of custody for stones from its Argyle mine this month, while a Canadian Diamonds program covering its 60% share of production from the Diavik mine in the North West Territories will start later this year, writes Rob Bates in JCK Online. The programs have two aims, said Bruno Sané, Rio Tinto Diamonds’ general manager of marketing. For the trade, it guarantees the diamonds are not lab grown: “The screening technology today is less reliable with small and brown diamonds. The browns are usually rejected as type IIs.
Diamond industry analyst and wholesale diamond supplier Melvin Moss believes the diamond industry is heading down the same road that led to a "glut of unwanted goods" last year, and that this will soon lead to a fully-fledged buyers' market. He writes, "Total rough supply to the market in the first quarter of 2016 is estimated at 3 billion dollars. Manufacturers have purchased large quantities of rough but their purchases are not converting into a greater demand for polished diamonds.
Diamonds are an emotional product and it is our collective responsibility as an industry to provide consumers with confidence in the diamonds they purchase. De Beers supports robust and aligned standards in the jewelry industry that ensure that the supply chain is monitored and provenance is assured. We are therefore pleased that our sightholders can demonstrate compliance to the Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds through the Best Practice Principles.
Diamond industry analyst Ehud Laniado performs a thorough analysis of current rough diamond supply and polished demand, noting a clear trend toward the same oversupply of rough and minimal profitability that undermined the industry in 2015.
JCK News Director Rob Bates discusses the implications of Jewellery group Signet's announcement that it will start implementing a Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds, requiring its suppliers to provide diamonds from identified sources, from mine to finger, so to speak. The initiative, which received support from diamond industry organisations such as the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the Diamond Development Initiative, will be a work in progress, Signet stated, continuously improving.
Signet Jewelers Limited issued a press release on Feb. 16 announcing that it has launched the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds (D-SRSP), a protocol that provides increased transparency and further commitment to the continuous improvement in the integrity of the global diamond supply chain. Signet has collaboratively developed and piloted the D-SRSP with input from experts in the diamond industry, civil society and governments.
Diamond specialist Ehud Arye Laniado takes an informative look at the options for purchasing and selling rough diamonds, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each. "Manufacturers essentially have two alternatives when it comes to buying rough diamonds. They can either buy directly from mining companies, or they can buy from others companies in the secondary trading market." Mining companies (producers) sell their diamonds either through a "sight" system or through tenders and auctions.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has appointed Anne-Marie Fleury as standards and impacts director where she joins the recently appointed Bethan Herbert who is certification and impacts manager and Maria Mursell who is training and assurance manager.
The World Jewelry Confederation (CIBJO) will be a sponsor of the Jewelry Industry Summit (JIS) to take place from March 10-13 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. CIBJO will provide financial support and encourage its members to fully participate in the summit which will concentrate on the issue of sustainability, responsible sourcing in the jewelry industry, and supply chain challenges.
Will man-made diamonds increase the midstream bargaining leverage over rough suppliers?
RJC friday announced Vacheron Constantin, the Swiss watchmaker, and jewelry manufacturer Berker Bros Ltd have achieved Certification against the 2013 Code of Practices (COP) by meeting the highest ethical, social and environmental standards established by the RJC. Eurocantera S.A. de C.V., the Honduras-based gold miner, has achieved Certification against the RJC Chain-of-Custody (CoC) Standard. This is the first mining member of the RJC to achieve CoC Certification.
Bloomberg's Thomas Biesheuvel argues the long promised diamond supply gap, the often used graph highlighting no new mines have been discovered while demand is rising in emerging economies, fails to materialize so far. The industry credit crunch and slower than expected demand aren't helping the rosy projections, Biesheuvel adds.
Industry analyst Ehud Ayre Laniado takes a look at the rise of vertical integration in the diamond industry, with upstream companies (like De Beers) moving downstream and downstream companies (like Tiffany) moving upstream. The challenging question is how midstream companies can play a key role in vertical integration – with options including strategic alliances and integration with players in other parts of the value chain – and how to determine whether integration is appropriate.
Diamond prices are expected to rise on the back of an increase in middle-income customers in China and India, who are interested in buying diamonds, says mining consultancy MSA Group. The company says the price increase will occur, as this increase in demand is not balanced by an equivalent projection of growth in supply, as ageing mines gradually become depleted. “Growth in the industry is being driven by the massive new consumer markets in China and to a lesser, but still significant extent, India.
For the past few months, the diamond market has been less than sparkling, forcing mining giant Anglo American, which owns De Beers, to scale down its production targets. However, De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier is not worried. "It is softening a little bit", but "the demand is still there and not every industry can say the same thing".
Ehud Arye Laniado takes an insighful look at the state of the industry only a month ahead of JCK Las Vegas and notes that, "2015 already appears to be a year of fighting for survival and capital preservation ... it seems that the industry is only looking forward to 2016." The most significant trend is that despite dwindling demand for higher price point diamonds and manufacturers declining large amounts of rough and reducing polishing, miners have lowered production rather than prices, demonstrating their confidence in the future.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent, President Robert Mugabe has tasked the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to come up with ways to plug diamond leakages as government institutes desperate measures to increase revenues inflows that have been perilously dwindling. The RBZ reported to government that mining revenues alone could turn around the economy if leakages are sealed. Sources say Zimbabwe's cash situation is so tight that government is defaulting on various workforce costs.
With diamond reserves drying up and few new mines in the pipeline, top jewelers are increasingly securing their supply directly from individual mines.
The All India Gems and Jewellery Federation has called on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Reserve Bank of India not to put curbs on gold imports due to effect it could have on the gems and jewelry sector.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce has launched new guidelines for overseas mining and mineral trading firms, comprising standards on labor, environmental protection, supply chain due diligence, community engagement and human rights. The supply chain checks in particular will help prevent the funding of conflicts and corruption linked to the mining sector.
The Indian capital will host a conference aimed at tackling some of the most serious challenges facing the diamond industry, the World Diamond Mark Foundation said.