In May 2019, the Antwerp diamond industry celebrated the 100th anniversary of the brilliant cut, the world’s most successful diamond shape, created by Antwerp mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky. This anniversary celebration also served as the launch of a unique project called `t Steentje* (‘the Stone’). The project: to polish a single diamond as a community. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Antwerp diamond industry arranged to have 57 well-known (and not-so-well-known) residents of Antwerp polish a single diamond: one person for each facet of a brilliant.
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.
Grib Diamonds today (11 December) sold more than $30M and 370K carats though its online Spot Auction in Antwerp. The diamonds included, for the first time, goods purchased from Angola as well as its usual Russian production from its wholly owned mine in Arkhangelsk, Russia.
Antwerp’s rough-diamond trade put a weak October performance in the rear-view mirror in November, as the volume of rough exports in particular rose sharply despite another decline in the average price per carat, according to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). The polished-diamond sector remained more sluggish than usual in what has been a modest month for trade over the past several years.
Russian miner AGD Diamonds' most recent rough diamond auction on the electronic sales platform of its trading subsidiary, Grib Diamonds NV, fetched over $25 million. The company noted an increase in demand for diamond goods and a pickup in the diamond market. AGD commented that the prices they achieved represented a cessation of the decline in average prices and that the first signs of market stabilization are now tangible. The company said it expects a full recovery of demand and rough prices in the second half of 2020.
Imports and exports of rough and polished diamonds to Antwerp slowed in October on a year-over-year basis as the market recession continued to impact the flow of goods and their prices. High inventories of polished goods continue to soften demand for rough goods to polish, pushing rough as well as polished prices down.
Starting November 14, 350,000 carats of rough Congolese diamonds worth an estimated $6 million will go on tender in Antwerp, as the DRC and Antwerp take a first major step toward implementing a cooperation agreement signed in September to facilitate access for DRC miners to Antwerp’s transparent diamond market, and in particular its tender houses. The complete parcel will contain approximately 15% gem-quality goods and 85% industrial-grade diamonds, with closing bids on November 20.
Stornoway Diamond Corp. is a Canadian diamond exploration and producing company that developed the Renard mine over the course of two decades from a grassroots exploration project to a world-class diamond mine - the first in Québec. The massive project, built for $774 million - under their budget of $811 million - sparked enthusiasm across the diamond industry, which has seen few new mines open in recent years. Stornoway delivered the first ore to the processing plant in July 2016 and achieved full production in the summer of 2017.
Diamcor Mining Inc., a TSX-listed junior diamond mining company with operations in South Africa, sold 4,033 carats of rough diamonds at its first tender in Antwerp and has delivered another 6,369 carats which it expects to sell at a second tender at Koin International in Antwerp in November. A third tender is planned for December. The more than 10,000 carats of rough diamonds expected to be delivered and tendered in Q3 represents a significant increase compared to 3,882 carats delivered and tendered in Q2.
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.
Lucapa's latest sales of rough diamonds from its Lulo (Angola) and Mothae (Lesotho) mines totalled $US10.4 million ($A15.5m), taking combined sales to date for 2019 to $US45.9m ($A65.7m).
The Antwerp diamond industry’s import and export figures for the month of September were mainly in line with what we could call ‘2019 normal’ – prices down, polished trade slow – but the volume of rough goods traded in Antwerp’s hit its highest levels of the year, with the quantity of rough exports more than doubling those in August, according to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre's Diamond Office.
With less than two months to go before the Kimberley Process (KP) ends its current reform and review cycle at the 2019 KP Plenary in New Dehli, the World Diamond Council (WDC) met in Antwerp for its Annual General Meeting to refine their System of Warranties and prepare to make a final push to strengthen the definition of conflict diamonds before the reform and review cycle closes.
With their Annual General Meeting kicking off tomorrow in Antwerp, the World Diamond Council (WDC) today issued a statement concerning rough diamond exports from the Central African Republic (CAR). The WDC is an industry organization representing the full range of diamond-related organizations, including miners, manufacturers, retailers and trade organizations.
Diamcor Mining, a publicly-traded junior diamond mining company with a strategic alliance and first right of refusal with Tiffany & Co. Canada, reported a 22% decline in rough diamond sales in the second fiscal quarter due to the sale of a higher percentage of smaller, lower-quality rough diamonds than in the same period last year.
H.E. Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), today paid a visit to the Antwerp diamond industry in the context of a broader mission to improve the relationship between Belgium and the DRC, which has been on the rocks in recent years. As President of the fourth largest diamond-producing country by volume, President Tshisekedi was welcomed by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), representative of the world’s largest diamond trade center.
From October 22-24, 2019, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) will be hosting the 15th edition of the "Antwerp Diamond Experience", where it will welcome select jewelers, wholesalers and manufacturers from across Europe and give them inside access to the world's leading diamond trade center … free of charge, and with no purchase obligation. (Registration link below).
Over the past two weeks, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the University of Antwerp welcomed 22 students from 10 different countries and 3 continents to the third edition of its summer school program, “From Mine to Finger: A deep dive in the world of diamonds” As AWDC CEO Ari Epstein explained regarding the motivation behind the summer university, “If we do not reach out to the younger generation, we run the risk of losing those very qualities that set Antwerp apart: forward-thinking, innovation and creativity.
The global diamond industry in the first half of 2019 faced a variety of well-doucmented challenges leading to declining commerce across all segments of the trade.
Lucapa Diamond Company, which operates high-value mines in Lesotho (Mothae) and Angola (Lulo), saw its first half 2019 net profit after tax jump to US$1.1 million compared with a US$4.3m loss during the same period last year as an increase in production led to higher sales, complemented by a massive jump in the average price per carat sold. Their combined rough sales rose by 85% to US$29.4 million from US$15.9 million a year ago.
AGD Diamonds recovered three large diamonds weighing more than 100 carats between May and July 2019 at the Grib diamond mine in the Arkhangelsk Province of Russia and has now given them names. The largest of them, a unique diamond weighing 222.09 carats - touted by the company as the largest ever discovered in Europe - was named “Vladimir Grib” in honor of the former AGD chief geologist, an outstanding exploration pioneer. The stone was recovered on May 4, 2019 and is likely to be sold in Antwerp.
Firestone Diamonds achieved solid fourth quarter production to hit the lower end of its FY 2019 guidance, but the miner's year was made 'tough' by a market that eschewed the smaller, lower value goods that make up the bulk of the output at the Liqhobong Diamond Mine in Lesotho. Firestone produced 208,572 carats during Q4 ended 30 June 2019, representing an 34% increase compared to 155,206 carats in the previous quarter.
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.
A combination of factors has led to widespread uncertainty and a global downturn in the diamond industry during the first half of 2019. Antwerp - the world’s leading diamond trade centre - has not escaped its impact, particularly in the rough diamond trade. Economic uncertainty generated by an unstable geopolitical climate has also fostered a heightened sense of caution among the banks that finance the trade, as well as diamond brokers and consumers of luxury goods.
Independent Russian diamond miner AGD Diamonds, parent company to Antwerp-based Grib Diamonds N. V., held a public auction last week on Grib Diamonds' electronic trading platform, with revenue from the auction achieving more than $27 million.
Newfield Resources has received the green light to commence development of the Tongo Kimberlite Project (Tongo) in Sierra Leone, which will become the world's newest diamond mine which is expected be operational in 2020. Confirmation of the plans to develop the mine came in the form of the recently completed postive Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study, establishing probable reserves at just over one million carats of diamonds at 100 cpht, with a Final Investment Decision (FID) expected in Q3 2019.
Bonas Group, one of the world's leading rough diamond brokering and tender houses, is holding a private sale of polished diamonds and colored gemstones in Antwerp later this month. Viewings will take place at the Bonas office in Antwerp, in the Diamond Club on the 9th floor from 17 to 21 June 2019, each day from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. The sale will close on Monday, 24 June at 11:00 Antwerp (CET) time, and will be an online highest bid tender on www.bonasbids.com.
Sir Gabriel Tolkowsky is one of the greatest diamond cutters of all time. His many accomplishments include the fashioning of the priceless, 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond, cut from a 599.19-carat rough stone, which is still the largest D Flawless diamond in history, and the Golden Jubilee Diamond, the largest faceted diamond in the world at 546 carats. Sir Tolkowsky - known as Gabi - is also renowned for creating the “Flower Cuts” for De Beers, which accentuate the brilliance of typically lower-quality and lower-color stones with their unconventional angles and facets.
ASX-listed Lucapa Diamond Company held the second tender in 2019 of diamonds from the new Mothae kimberlite mine in Lesotho, selling a parcel of 7,008 carats of rough diamonds sold at Bonas tender house in Antwerp for a total of US$3.5 million (A$5 million). The tender included prices of up to US$26,000 per carat paid for individual Mothae gems.
100 years ago, at the age of 19, Antwerp diamond polisher and engineer Marcel Tolkowsky was the first person to scientifically determine the perfect way to cut a brilliant diamond - 57 facets precisely positioned in such a way as to achieve the maximum brilliance, fire and scintillation.
A delegation from Angola paid a visit to Antwerp this week as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to restructure and reform the functioning and reputation of its diamond industry, traveling to the diamond capital for consultations regarding implementation of the Kimberley Process (KP) regulations. The visit follows that of President João Lourenço to Antwerp last June, and the Belgian mission to Angola last November, spearheaded by Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Didier Reynders.
Petra Diamonds sold a 425-carat D color Type IIa white diamond, the ‘Legacy of the Cullinan Diamond Mine’, for just under $15 million, or approximately $35,295 per carat. Unearthed from its Cullinan mine in South Africa, the 424.89 carat gem was purchased by a partnership combining Belgium-based Choron and Dubai-based Stargems. It is expected to be polished in Antwerp. In a news release, Petra chief executive officer Richard Duffy called it a “significant sale” for the company.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the coordinating federation for the Antwerp diamond industry, is joining forces with Ars Nobilis, the umbrella organization for the Belgian jewelry sector, in an effort to streamline the Antwerp diamond trade with jewelry manufacturers and retailers in Belgium. The two representative bodies yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding stating that the members of Ars Nobilis will be able to call upon the services of the AWDC regarding legal advice, training, public relations and communication, advocacy and security.
Antwerp’s polished-diamond trade continues to see rising prices in 2019 following a year which the industry recorded its highest ever average price per carat for polished exports. According to figures from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), year-over-year, the average price of polished-diamond exports rose by 42% in April to $2,663 per carat from $1,871 per carat in April of 2018. This led to a 14% increase in the value of polished exports in April despite a nearly 19% decline in the volume of goods exported.
"Meet Argyle Octavia" writes Rio Tinto on its Twitter account, referring to a rare 28.84-carat diamond discovered at the Argyle mine in east Kimberley, Western Australia. Named for her octahedral shape, the Argyle Octavia is one of the largest gem quality white diamonds ever found at Argyle, and may be one of the final significant finds from the famous diamond mine, which is scheduled to close in 2020. The 28.84-carat stone was discovered in March and will be sold by tender in Antwerp later this year.
Tiffany & Co has been expanding its workforce in sub-Saharan Africa as part of its drive to increase its transparency and raise ethical jewelry standards across the industry.
The Antwerp rough diamond trade had its best month of the year thus far, particularly in terms of value, though like much of the rough trade globally it is operating at much lower levels than in 2018. Exports of polished goods slowed in March while prices continue their steady climb above the record average prices achieved in 2018.
The National Bank of Fujairah (NBF), with years of experience in the diamond sector in Dubai, has opened its first international representative office in the heart of the Antwerp Diamond District, the largest rough trading hub in the world. Opening a representative office will enable the bank to better service their Antwerp-based customers and will provide market intelligence to their headquarters in the UAE. The Dubai-based bank targets buyers and resellers of rough that have suitable business models, secure sources of income and solid product traceability.
Eurostar Diamond Traders, one of the largest diamond companies in Antwerp, last week was declared bankrupt by the Antwerp Corporate Court. The manufacturing company, established in 1978 by Kaushik Mehta, said to have debts reaching up to half a billion euro ($560 million).