Archive

  • 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.

  • The Plumb Club - one of the jewelry, diamond and watch industries' leading supplier organizations - today announced that its members have voted to require all new and existing Plumb Club members to become Certified Members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The Plumb Club, a current RJC association member, is the first organization of its kind to require its members to follow the RJC Code of Practices.

  • Gem Diamonds on September 11 recovered a D-color, type II diamond weighing 127 carats from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho. The lastest find is the fourth exceptionally-sized (+100 carat) white diamond unearthed this year. Together with the three yellows stones larger than 100 carats recovered this year, their total of exceptional finds now sits at seven: the miner this year has recovered gem-quality white diamonds weighing 123.5, 127, 140 and 161 carats to go with gem-quality yellows weighing 114.2, 134 and 135 carats.

  • The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) says the country’s third diamond auction for this year, which closed last week, attracted 25 companies from around the world. The tender of 316,000 carats opened on September 9. MMCZ general manager Tongai Muzenda said “We had invited 28 companies for this third diamond auction and three did not come, and this means we attracted 25 companies." The results of the tender are not yet avaiable, with Muzenda saying they are currently working on the bids made by the prospective buyers.

  • Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered a 123-carat gem quality top white Type II diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana. The miner also recently recovered a 375-carat gem quality diamond at Karowe from the processing of historic DMS recovery tailings, generated prior to the incorporation of Lucara's XRT diamond recovery circuits. 

  • Russian diamond miner Alrosa, the world leader in diamond production, confirmed its status as a leader among gold and diamond mining companies in terms of investments in social programs, according to a study conducted by the PwC Advisory. The study, which is based on the official reports of companies who mine precious metals and rough diamonds, covers the period from 2016 to 2018 and focuses on key aspects of sustainable development, including investments in social programs and environmental protection me

  • 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.

  • Sales of jewelry at dedicated jewelry stores in the U.S. fell by nearly 5% (-4.6%) to $14.4 billion from $15.1 billion in the first half of 2019, according to figures from the US Census Bureau (see link). In June, the decline was the sharpest of the year, falling 10.5% to $2.31 billion from $2.58 billion in the same month a year ago. This would indicate a downturn in consumer confidence, although provisional figures from July show a 1.3% increase July 2018, at $2.41 billion.

  • An American court has granted Russian miner Alrosa's request for the discovery of documents from banks active in New York over alleged embezzlement of funds from its Angolan diamond mine Catoca, Africa Intelligence reports. As reported last May, Alrosa believes that the former and current management of Angolan diamond mine Catoca - in which Alrosa holds a 41% stake - is responsible for secreting away nearly $10 million, and called upon a U.S.

  • The World Gold Council (WGC), the market development organisation for the gold industry, last week announced the launch of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMP). The RGMPs are a framework that set out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. The WGC, working with its members, the world’s leading gold mining companies, has set out the principles that it believes address key environmental, social and governance issues for the gold mining sector.

  • The ongoing slump in the global diamond industry is having a negative impact on jobs in the expansive diamond manufacturing industry of India. The world's largest cutting and polishing centre appears to be heading toward an employment crisis, at least in the short-term. Estimates from industry insiders are that the diamond industry in Gujarat have seen job losses of up to 10%-15% already, with more on the way if consumer demand does not pick up in the near future.

  • Despite a comparatively modest decline in revenue in fiscal year 2019 (ended 30 June 2019), Petra Diamonds saw its profits decline by 22% this past year, falling short of industry estimates and sparking a downturn in the company's shares, which hit their lowest level ever. The stock is down about 80% this year as the miner is focusing on reducing its sizeable debt incurred by investments in its flagship Cullinan mine in South Africa. Revenue for the year fell 6% to $463.6 million from $495.3 million, with their average diamond prices achieved falling approximately 5%, which is slightly bett

  • 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).

  • Russian diamond miner Alrosa has created a brand - Luminous Diamonds - to a promote a characteristic that is prevalent in their diamonds: fluorescence. In doing so, it is seeking to create a niche for its natural stones by marketing the added value fluorescence can bring to diamonds when seen in the proper light, so to speak.

  • Namdeb Holdings Ltd, a joint venture between the Namibian Government and De Beers Group, said on Thursday that it has sold Elizabeth Bay Mine and its associated marine assets as a going concern to Lewcor, a 100% Namibian-owned consortium. Namdeb has explored a variety of options to extend the life of its Elizabeth Bay Mine beyond 2019, according to a De Beers press release, but ceased operations in September 2018, as Namdeb could no longer economically run the operation.

  • Alrosa's Supervisory Board has voted to liquidate a subsidiary that controls two of its largest mines in a move to consolidate its core assets with the aim of improving their management efficiency. The Russian miner owns a 97.49% stake in Alrosa-Nyurba, with the remaining 2.51% of shares in the hands of minority shareholders. Presuming the liquidation goes through, those assets will be incorporated into Alrosa.

  • Botswana Diamonds (BOD), the AIM- and BSE-listed diamond miner that holds exploration licences in Botswana and South Africa and a JV in Zimbabwe announced that its associate Vutomi (BOD interest 40%) has been granted environmental authorisation over a substantial portion of the residual diamond-bearing gravels produced from the very high grade Marsfontein mine in South Africa, which is contiguous to their Thorny River operation. In a statement on Thursday, Botswana Diamonds highlighted that this authorisation was a critical step towards obtaining a mining permit, which it expected to receiv

  • 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 Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) has appointed a new executive director, Jennifer Markas, who begins work Sept. 10. Bernadette Mack, the outgoing executive director, will work with Markas during her transition until the end of the month. 

  • Russian diamond miner Alrosa sold $180.2 million in rough diamonds during the month of August, representing one if its lowest sales months in years as continuing headwinds - macroeconomic as well as industry-specific - conspired with a traditionally slow summer month to keep the market soft.

  • Rare and exceptional fancy color diamonds, as well as a large flawless emerald diamond will be in the spotlight at this autumn’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction at Sotheby's Hong Kong. The October 7 sale presents three very remarkable stones: a superb 10.64-carat fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond of internally flawless clarity estimated at $19.1 million to $25.5 million, an important 6.01-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, and a magnificent 80.88-carat D-color, flawless diamond.

  • Struggling Canadian miner Stornoway Diamonds, which has been particulary impacted by the 2019 market downturn, has announced two moves that should provide the financing and liquidity required to ensure the Renard Mine will continue to operate while the company undergoes restructuring. Stornoway Diamonds Corp. and its subsidiaries Stornoway Diamonds (Canada) Inc. (SDCI), Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. (Ashton), and FCDC Sales and Marketing Inc.

  • Rio Tinto has launched a new collection of rare pink diamonds from its Argyle diamond mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. Known as the “Argyle Pink Everlastings Collection”, this offering has been curated to showcase the full color palette of Argyle pink diamonds, weighing 0.14 carats and below. The Collection comprises 64 lots and weighing a total of 211.21carats. It is expected that less than 100 carats of the equivalent profile will be produced by the mine prior to closure in 2020, emphasizing "the finite raity of these beautiful gems.”

  • 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.

  • Signet Jewelers' sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2020 (ended Aug. 3) fell but did not decline as much as expected, and investors took notice. The company's stock, declining hard and fast since 2015 - and down over 60% year-to-date in 2019 - jumped by roughly 25% on the news and have held its gains. The world’s largest jewelry retailer announced reported that total sales fell 3.9% to $1.34 billion in Q2 and that comps for same-store-sales fell 1.5%, outpacing the forecasted 2–3% drop.

  • Gem Diamonds first half 2019 results took a downturn as the miner recoverd fewer large stones at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, while the average prices achieved per carat - while still the highest in the business - fell well below their averages over the past three financial halves. While year-over-year comparisons are somewhat skewed by the very high bar set in in H1 2018, revenue from the sale of rough stones was down 44% to $94.5 million compared with $168 million in H1 2018, though it was not too far off revenue from the previous half (H2 2018), which totaled $99 million.

  • London-based BlueRock Diamonds, which operates and owns 74% of the Kareevlei mine based in Kimberley, South Africa, increased its production and revenue during H1 2019 as compared to a year ago, reducing its H1 losses to GBP 381,027 ($458,064) from GBP 1.3 million ($1.6 million) a year ago. BlueRock points to April 2019 as the turning point, when the company installed a new operational management team and changed its mining plan.

  • International diamond brokerage firm Bonas will hold its fourth colored gemstone tender at the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel from Saturday 14 to Wednesday 18 September 2019 to coincide with the September Hong Kong gem and jewelry show. Bonas will tender "the most extraordinary gemstones" to retailers and wholesalers looking for special pieces to add to their collection. This September’s tender will feature 460 examples of precious coloued gemstones. Unlike traditional auctions, tenders have no listed selling price, nor extra fees such as the buyer's premium.

  • Sodiam, the Angolan state diamond marketing company, today announced the opening of its online registration process to participate in its future competitive sales of rough diamonds, following through on Angolan president Joao Lourenço's intention to fully reform the country's diamond industry. Last year, the country approved new diamond marketing laws, with Lucapa Diamond Co.

  • World Diamond Council (WDC) executive director Marie-Chantal Kaninda bid farewell - or rather, au revoir - to the organization after more than two years spent leading it. "I certainly do not do so from a place of disillusionment or disappointment," she writes, "but simply because new opportunity has presented itself, and at this stage of my career I feel that I must seize it."

  • Tiffany & Co. earlier this month announced plans to enter the India market, and recently said they would be increasing their presence in China following a quarter in which they saw double-digit growth with local customers in Mainland China, together with a decline in tourist purchases which impacted their Q2 results.

  • Botswana Diamonds, the AIM and BSE listed diamond explorer that holds exploration licences in Botswana and South Africa and a JV in Zimbabwe has identified what is believed to be five kimberlite pipes buried at shallow depth on the Company's Thorny River ground in South Africa, the company announced. They say the targets identified are very similar to the pipe that constituted De Beers high-grade and famous Marsfontein mine*, meaning it would be a potential significant diamond discovery.

  • 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.

  • Trans Hex, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed diamond exploration and mining company which has diamond operations in South Africa and Angola, has announced the resignation of its CEO Llewellyn Delport as persistent challenges to its South African operations have weighed on its operational performance and placed the future of the mining company - which has been in existence for more than 50 years - in doubt. Delport was appointed Trans Hex chief executive in 2004 and his departure is effective August 31.

  • Tiffany & Co. reported a decline in sales in the Americas and globally in the second quarter, with the company pointing to weak spending among tourists and locals in the Americas and Asia Pacific spurred by unrest in Hong Kong. Net sales in the second quarter tailed off by 3% to $1.05 billion in the three months ended July 31, in part due to a strong performance in the same quarter a year ago when they earned $1.08 billion. Worldwide same-stores sales were down 4 percent, the jeweler announced, while net income of $136.3m in the second quarter was down 6% from a year ago.

  • De Beers rough diamond sales continued to be very slow in August, as the company announced provisional revenues at the seventh sight of 2019 totalling $280 million. This is significantly lower (-44%) than the $503 million sold at Sight 7 2018, and represents a modest uptick from the $250 million sold at Sight 6, which was the lowest amount earned from a sale since December 2015. As with the previous sight, the miner gave its clients the opportunity to leave up to 50% of available goods on the table to lower the pressure on buyers without lowering their prices.

  • Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 114.2-carat yellow stone from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, making it the fourth major recovery of a colored diamond from the mine this year and the sixth gem-quality stone larger than 100 carats since the year began. 

  • Two major Canadian diamond miners, Stornoway and Mountain Province, have been put on notice and will be facing a delisting review from respectively the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, as an extremely soft market has punished their recent results and their share prices have plummeted.

    Stornoway Diamonds

  • The organizers of the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair wrote a letter on Thursday to the three diamond trade organizations calling for the postponement of the fair, saying that the September show will be held as scheduled and reassuring them that "there are positive signs indicating that the situation is cooling down." In that regard, they may have spoken too soon, as

  • Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa will host its second annual True Colors auction of natural color diamonds in September at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair from 16 to 20 September. The auction will last until September 23.