Last week, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the University of Antwerp hosted an “Innovation and Diamonds” conference at the Antwerpsche Diamantkring - the only rough diamond bourse in the world - featuring internationally-recognized experts from across the spectrum of the diamond trade, including alternative financing, the impact of digital on the luxury segment, the feasibility of small-scale ethical mining, as well as the earthquake and aftershocks of De Beers’ foray into lab-grown diamonds: LightBox.
The vanguard of independent diamond-industry journalism, Chaim-Even Zohar, last week announced his retirement, bringing more than 40 years of uncompromising investigative reporting to an end.
This week, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and the University of Antwerp hosted an “Innovation and Diamonds” conference at the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, featuring specialists from across the entire spectrum of the diamond trade, from mining to blockchain tech.
The De Beers Group made headlines last month when it announced the end of its joint venture with LVMH with the aquisition of their 50% share in De Beers Diamond Jewellers (DBDJ), a move that Chaim Even-Zohar characterizes as, "brilliant and long overdue." He writes, "With De Beers at the helm, the venture will get a realistic chance to succeed.
"No, this is not a joke - I wish it were." So begins Chaim Even-Zohar's latest Diamond Intelligence Briefing, which uncovers a bizarre oversight involving the U.S. Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA): it does not officially exist at all. Rather, USKPA's Director and General Counsel Cecelia Gardner told Zohar the organization has been operating under a DBA ("doing business as") name, while the full name is "U.S. Kimberley Process Authority Institute" (USKPAI) ... but this as well has ceased to exist.
In his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefs, “Keeping Stock of U.S. Kimberley Process Certificates”, industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar takes another hard look at the U.S. rough diamond trade and the country’s half-hearted approach when it comes to implementing Kimberley Process (KP) certification standards domestically.
The UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem, will host a special forum on synthetic diamonds and their impact on the future of the diamond industry on November 14 in conjunction with the annual KP Plenary. Bringing together representatives from 81 countries, the global diamond industry and civil society, the event will discuss a number of key issues facing the industry.
In his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefing, "A Fraud in Progress... A Criminal Conspiracy to Default Hits Indian Exporters", industry insider Chaim Even-Zohar unravels a massive case of fraud perpetrated by a rogue diamond broker and US-based buyers against Indian diamond suppliers, currently estimated at $35-50 million.
By Chaim Even-Zohar. Reprinted from Diamond Intelligence Briefs by special arrangement. Click here to read the first article.
By Chaim Even-Zohar. Reprinted from Diamond Intelligence Briefs by special arrangement. Read the second part of this article here.
In the lastest installment of the Diamond Intelligence Briefing (DIB), diamond industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar presents a searing indictiment of the rough diamond trade in the United States, "The world's most convenient and 'uncontrolled' rough transfer market", claiming that, "The main justification for the overwhelming bulk of the (U.S.) rough trade is pure transfer pricing*." This rough diamond 'stopover' in the U.S. also "endangers the integrity of the legitimate U.S.
In a major, even historic development, the United States will be guaranteeing loans to diamond manufacturers in Botswana. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution that, "mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy", has today issued a press release announcing a financial partnership to provide access to credit for Botswana’s diamond cutting and polishing industry.
The world's leading crystal jewelry company Swarovski, with a presence in approximately 170 countries and annual revenue estimated at over $3.3 billion, is now selling synthetic diamonds, reports diamond journalist Chaim Even-Zohar. The jewelry brand has launched Diama, its first lab-grown diamond line, marking a shift for a company that has traditionally sold diamond simulants. Its foray into the synthetic diamond business "was planned and executed in utmost secrecy." Swarovski Created Diamonds are now making their debut in a test phase in the U.S.
In a follow-up article to Chaim Even-Zohar's bombshell about CVD synthetic diamonds being sold on Alibaba with GIA natural diamond certificates, the Diamond Intelligence Briefing (DIB) identifies the name behind the fraud: Diwakar Dhyani.
In this exclusive article, World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) President Ernie Blom responds to the story Chaim Even-Zohar, editor of Diamond Intelligence Briefs, published last week about a company offering CVD lab grown (synthetic) diamonds inscribed with the numbers of genuine GIA natural diamond grading certificates on Alibaba, a leading online global wholesale trading platform.
"Throughout the diamond pipeline, the time has come to "expose" rather than quietly "acquiesce". If a jeweler did something wrong, let the courts decide. If someone committed a fraud, let him go to jail. Consumers will have far more confidence in those jewelers that prove their trust and integrity by standing up - rather than "giving in." In many instances, the retailer is a victim of his or her diamond supplier. Let them become accountable as well."
Chaim Even-Zohar, industry expert - Diamond Intelligence Briefing
Deviating from his standard m.o., in his latest "Diamond Intelligence Briefing" Chaim Even-Zohar (CEZ) gives De Beers CEO Phillipe Mellier center stage by laying out his argumentation from his Dec. 8 address to Anglo American's top executives and shareholders about the current situation and future prospects of the diamond giant.
Diamond industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar has published an analysis of the steps that led to, and the potential results of, De Beers' (DB) deferral of contractually obligated purchases from its own rough supplier in Botswana - Debswana (DW). Suddenly, the standard-bearing producer of rough diamonds is behaving like any other rough trader further downstream, refusing to purchase rough diamonds that are overpriced.
Diamond traders across the world are expected to congregate in Windhoek, Namibia from November 24 to 27 for this year’s International Diamond Conference, coordinated by industry expert Chaim Even-Zohar. The conference would take the form of a unique forum for dialogue and cooperation between industry leaders at the highest level.
The scuttlebutt surrounding De Beers' multi-tiered pricing mechanism and sweetheart deals for select sightholders at its October sight is nearly certain to shake up the rough diamond market and may potentially ignite a price war, writes Chaim Even-Zohar in his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefing, even though he acknowledges that this would be "self-defeating".
As reported by Vinod Kuriyan, veteran industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar writes in his latest issue of the "Diamond Intelligence Briefing" that Belgium's KBC Bank purposefully dismantled the Antwerp Diamond Bank in order to protect its secret history of corruption, money laundering and offshore accounts from prosecutors and U.S. banking regulators.
Will man-made diamonds increase the midstream bargaining leverage over rough suppliers?
In his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefings, Chaim Even-Zohar recounts the discovery and the documented reversal of a treated diamond, upgrading the stone temporarily by several grades, discovered at the Antwerp IGI lab in November last year. According to the IGI lab, the reversal process - through acid boiling -, which was witnessed and documented in an affidavit, revealed the diamonds were treated with a coating, temporarily upgrading the color grade of a 3.03ct diamond four grades, from J to G+ color.
By Chaim Even-Zohar. Reprinted from Diamond Intelligence Briefs by special arrangement.
The entire diamond pipeline – from rough to retail – ultimately constitutes one single supply chain. Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
By Chaim Even-Zohar. Reprinted from Diamond Intelligence Briefs by special arrangement.
The phone went silent. I had just outlined the underlying principles of the new turnover tax contemplated for Antwerp’s diamond sector to an Indian friend in Dubai – it made him speechless. When he finally did speak, he said: “Wow, if what you say is true, then we can come back to Antwerp. There would be no reason whatsoever to be here in Dubai. We’ll be close to my children again.”