Roy Safit (Everledger) provides good reasons why the natural diamond industry is robust enough to cope with the growth of synthetic alternatives.
Lab-grown diamonds have been portrayed as a juggernaut that’s gathering pace in the fast lane of the precious stone freeway. The demise of the natural pearl industry, following the introduction of cultured pearls during the first decades of the 20th Century, provides a stern warning for the diamond industry.
Consumers don’t like feeling rushed when making luxury purchases, and brands like Breitling have found a suitable solution. #BreitlingSelect allows subscribers to try up to three Breitling watches in a year from a dedicated portfolio of timepieces. Part of the offer is that the subscribers will then be able to purchase one of the three watches at a special price.
Opsydia, a UK-based diamond security innovator, announced its sub-surface laser technology can create nano-scale identifiers requiring a 100x microscope to be read. This breakthrough would make it possible for internally flawless natural diamonds to have a logo, serial number, or encrypted code placed beneath its surface without affecting its clarity grade.
The Gemological Institute of America and IBM Research today announced they are partnering to develop an advanced artificial intelligence system, based on data from tens of millions of stones graded by GIA, to grade one of the diamond "4C's", clarity. The partnership is another step in GIA's move into digital transformation of its grading operations. The system, currently deployed in the NY and Carlsbad GIA labs initially focuses on the most popular sizes and cuts, but will gradually be scaled up to more sizes, shapes and qualities, the statement reads.
Everledger has announced an updated version of their Blockchain Platform, a meeting space for diamond suppliers and retailers underpinned by blockchain technology, that allows industry players to leverage transparency and sustainability in their business models. According to Everledger’s release, the diamond industry, accelerated by the COVID pandemic, can no longer afford to ignore a new reality of consumer awareness on provenance and ethical considerations, and their updated platform aims to help them to get on board.
At its first tender after lockdown measures were relaxed in Antwerp, tender house Koin International has launched an innovative approach to allow customers to virtually participate in rough tenders, through a concept called "Virtual Viewer". Using specialized equipment and technology, including high resolution livestreamed video, a Koin expert acts as the eyes and hands of the client in a realtime viewing experience. The sessions are also recorded, allowing buyers to review goods whenever suits them and make an informed bidding and purchasing decision from any location in the world.
Sarine Technologies could not overcome the market-driven losses sustained in the first half of 2019, ending the year with a net loss of US$1.4 million as group revenue fell 12% to US$51.3 million amid tough industry conditions. The group stumbled to a net loss of US$2.8 million in the first half of FY2019 before the gradual stabilisation of conditions in the industry in the second half of 2019 helped them halve that loss by the end of the year. Sarine made a modest net profit of US$0.2 million in Q3 2019 with further improvement on profitability to US$1.2 million in Q4 2019.
Anglo American and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) have joined forces to develop what will become the world's largest hydrogen powered ultra-class electric mining haul truck. The monster truck is key to Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan and is part of their efforts to live up to their assertion that mining ought to contribute to a low-carbon world.
International rough diamond brokerage and marketing service provider I. Hennig today announced the launch of its innovative state-of-the-art online rough trading platform: “Virtual Broker”. Virtual Broker (VB) provides a secure environment for rough diamond trading where sellers and buyers negotiate online directly between themselves on a wide range of goods.
Alrosa, Tencent and Everledger are launching a new WeChat Mini Program e-commerce solution for Chinese retailers. The pilot will employ blockchain technology to enable full traceability of diamonds from mine to consumer, providing full transparency of their origin, characteristics and ownership history.
Teaming up with Sarine Diamond Technologies, Alrosa has launched a pilot program to provide digital mapping of its rough diamonds on tender so buyers can better assess the polished output and lower their purchasing risk. In a press release, the Russian miner said it provided the Digital Tenders information for the first time during the October 2019 trading period, offering its clients a full digital scan of each rough diamond for detailed analysis.
In a preliminary update for Q3 2019, Singapore-listed diamond equipment and services provider Sarine noted that "the significant drop (40% less y-o-y) in the quantities of rough stones entering the production pipeline" has temporarily eased the excess inventories in the midstream, "somewhat alleviating" the issue of working capital in the short term.
Lucapa Diamond Co. has exported a 46 carat Lulo pink diamond to Antwerp and it is currently undergoing studies for polishing (initial possible polished solutions pictured above). A decision on the optimal polished solutions will be taken by the Sociedade Mineira do Lulo (SML) and the Lulo partners once the studies are concluded. While Antwerp is not the manufacturing center it once was, many of the world's most valuable and complex rough diamonds still find their way to Antwerp for analysis and polishing.
In a remarkable constellation of art and science, artist Diemut Strebe, in collaboration with MIT scientist Brian Wardle, has used the blackest black ever created to make a 16.78-carat yellow diamond completely “disappear.” The project is called "The Redemption of Vanity", and the super-black diamond currently sits on view in an unlikely, but very fitting venue: the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
Sarine Technologies is expecting its second straight quarterly loss as the "prevailing negatives in the diamond industry midstream" are hurting their financial results. Demand for their diamond-manufacturing equipment relies on the manufacturing sector and thus indirectly on the rough trade that supplies it - two segments in the midst of a slump.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has decided to discontinue its unrestricted funding of the independent Belgian research center WTOCD (Scientific and Technical Research Center for Diamond), citing the downturn in the diamond market and the sharp decline of diamond manufacturing in the city. “The current market situation has led us to take this decision,” says Margaux Donckier, AWDC spokeswoman.
Lucara Diamond Corp. continues to test and refine Clara Diamond Solutions (Clara), its digital sales platform for selling rough diamonds individually, launching its fourth test run this week. Lucara CEO Eira Thomas and Steve Lincoln, Sales and Marketing Operations Manager at Lucara and Director Sales and Marketing of Clara sat down with The Diamond Loupe to clarify a few aspects of the system and discuss their progress as they gradually expand their trial phase, which commenced in late November 2018.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and Signet Jewelers have published the first results of their ASSURE Program to independently and objectively test the performance of laboratory-grown diamond detectors (Diamond Verification Instruments). The program intends to eventually test and identify each machine on the market concerning how well they detected or referred man-made stones, including the rate at which they gave false positives.
"If even a fraction of Chinese production is upgraded to jewelry-quality diamonds, it would have a very significant impact on the global supply which is only in the low-millions-of-carats," independent diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky told Xinhua News journalists Wang Zichen and Shi Linjing.
Dutch Diamond Technologies (DD) has created the world’s first ring that is entirely made from a lab-grown diamond. ‘Project D’, DD’s name for the ring, took a year to manufacture and was created in honour of the company’s 10th anniversary. For grading this unique piece of jewelry, DD turned to HRD Antwerp, Europe’s leading authority in diamond grading, writes the grading lab in a press release.
The Diamond Pro, described as "an unbiased online diamond jewelry advisory website," has launched Ringo, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that helps any online diamond buyer determine the best diamond options based on their specific requirements. The "first-of-its-kind tool" is intended to enable buyers to determine if a diamond is clean to the naked eye based solely on its picture, and be assured they are making the best purchase based on certification, desired shape, setting style and precious metal type.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has completed its highly anticipated inaugural diamond sale through Clara Diamond Solutions, its digital sales platform for selling rough diamonds individually, based on polished characteristics and demand.
Independent diamond industry analyst and consultant Paul Zimnisky, proprietor of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, takes an in-depth look at developments in the laboratory-grown diamond market in his latest contribution to the discussion, "2018: The Year of the Lab-created Diamond". Here he focuses on the impact (or current lack thereof) that De Beers launch of its Lightbox lab-grown diamond line (announced late May 2018, first available late September 2018) has had on the pricing of laboratory-grown goods.
A diamond jewelry manufacturer from Antwerp, Giovanni Daems, is the first to develop a new, patented technology for a fully-automated diamond setting machine, which it unveiled this week at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), a member of De Beers Group, yesterday announced that its industry-first synthetic screening device, SYNTHdetect, was awarded Industry Innovation of the Year at the JNA Awards in Hong Kong. The announcement follows the launch earlier during the week of IIDGR's SYNTHdetect XL, a larger version of the original model that provides additional efficiencies for users, allowing a multiple pieces of jewelry to be screened at an even faster rate while using the same technology as the original SYNTHdetec.
Leading Hong Kong jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook is the latest company to turn to blockchain technology to enable its customers to know the origin and authenticity of the diamonds they are buying.
Canada's Lucara Diamond, through its subsidiary Clara Diamond Solutions, has inked a cooperation agreement to include Sarine Technology's mapping and planning technologies into its sales platform, which applies algorithms to match rough diamond production with polished manufacturing demand on a stone by stone basis.
Tracr, the end-to-end diamond industry blockchain being developed by De Beers Group in collaboration with industry stakeholders, has announced the appointment of Jim Duffy as General Manager to lead the next phase of the platform’s development. Duffy assumes the new role as the platform starts to build greater scale, with more than $100 million worth of rough diamonds having been registered on the platform since the launch of the pilot in January 2018.
Element Six, a synthetic diamond manufacturer and member of the De Beers group of companies, planted their shovels in tthe Oregon soil to mark the symbolic commencement of construction on their $94 million manufacturing facility for laboratory-grown gems, produced exclusively for De Beers’ new fashion-jewelry brand, Lightbox Jewelry. The new brand will offer consumers laboratory-grown diamonds in high quality designs for casual, everyday occasions at lower prices than existing synthetic offerings.
Last week at the Kimberley Process Intersessional meeting in Antwerp, during the Special Forum, "Innovation and Technology: State-of-the-art in the rough diamond trade", Daniel Nyfeler, Managing Director at Gübelin Gem Lab gave a presentation on the company's 'Emerald Paternity Test'.
The new revolutionary machine will pose a big challenge to the artisanal skills of the diamond polishers in Surat. At present, from near gem quality to solitaires, the diamond polishers of Surat and Gujarat are the leaders. But, the machine developed by AWDC will change the scenario in the longer run.
- Diamond industry analyst Aniruddha Lidbide responds to Fenix automated polisher in TOI article, "Machine made in Antwerp may pose threat to Surti diamond polishers"
This morning, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), together with its research center the Scientific and Technological Research Center for Diamonds (WTOCD), unveiled a revolutionary technology that fully automates and accelerates the diamond polishing process: Fenix. This technology fundamentally transforms that process that has not changed since Lodewijck Van Bercken, a 15th-century jeweler and diamond cutter in Antwerp, in 1456 discovered that diamond could be polished with diamond. Watch the preview video here.
Sarine Technologies, which provides high-tech equipment and services to the diamond industry, announced yesterday that it is opening its second Sarine Technology Laboratory in Mumbai, India, as scheduled, which will offer services to the key Indian polishing centre, commencing immediately. The Laboratory, one of the leaders in the development, manufacture and sale of precision technology products for the evaluation, planning, processing, finishing, grading and trading of diamonds and gems, offers reports on a broad range of a polished diamond's parameters.
PJSC Severalmaz, a Russian diamond mining company and subsidiary of ALROSA, has tested unmanned aerial vehicles - a quadcopter and an airplane - for mine surveying of land objects of Lomonosov Mining and Processing Division. According to ALROSA, preliminary estimates show that the use of unmanned technologies provides high survey accuracy, increases the speed and safety of work. Using a Geoscan 401 Geodesy quadcopter and Geoscan 101 Geodesy aircraft, Severalmaz surveyed the open-pit mine, dump, ore storages and other bulked land objects.
D1 Mint Limited, the creator of the diamond-backed crypto asset D1 Coin, has signed its first purchase agreement to buy 1,500 investment-grade diamonds, valued at approximately $20 million, from diamond cutting and polishing company KGK Diamonds.
Signet Jewelers, called "the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry" and owns Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared, will become the first retailer to join De Beers' diamond blockchain pilot program for tracking a diamond’s journey digitally from mine to retail. Launched in January 2018 following a successful proof-of-concept trial, the platform, called Tracr, is billed a comprehensive mine-to-customer traceability solution for the entire diamond industry. The pilot project involves a small group of industry participants - five leading diamond manufacturers
Carats.io, an Israeli blockchain startup in partnership with the Israel Diamond Exchange, has raised $1.6 million in its first funding round led by Net Capital Ventures, an Israeli venture capital fund, the organization stated in a press release. Carats.io says it is issuing the first digital coin backed by diamonds. The coin, CARAT, which is 100% redeemable for diamonds is currently in presale. The company reports that they are registering large subscriptions for the token through the company website.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), together with Junction Innovation this past weekend organized a three-day and two-night hackathon, the first of its kind called Hack4Diamonds. The teams gathered on Friday evening to get hacking, and applied their innovative & tech-oriented methodolgy to the diamond trade with the intention to consider specific issues and eventually arrive at a wokable plan to address it.
IBM and a consortium of gold and diamond industry leaders have launched the first cross-industry initiative to use blockchain to trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewelry across the supply chain for increased transparency, the multinational technology company announced last week. Asahi Refining (precious metals refiner), Helzberg Diamonds (U.S.