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.
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 hub dedicated to the diamond industry in Angola will be inaugurated in 2019 in Saurimo, Lunda Sul province, the minister of Mineral Resources and Oil announced at the end of December. Diamantino Azevedo said that setting up the hub, a project developed jointly by state diamond mining and processing company Endiama and state diamond sales company Sodiam, is in its final phase. The minister also said that the hub project includes a diamond cutting and polishing factory, a professional technical school and other institutions and industries linked to the diamond business.
Nearly one in five people engaged in India’s diamond industry, or about 100,000 workers, are said to be at risk of losing their jobs in the next six months, a representative of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) told The Economic Times. “The diamond trade in Surat could potentially lose one lakh (100,000) jobs in the next two quarters due to the increase in duty, lack of ease of doing business and the liquidity crunch.
Botswana Finance LLC, a subsidiary of Lazare Kaplan International (LKI) has signed a $125 million loan guaranty with Stanbic Bank Botswana, a member of Standard Bank Group and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. The loan guaranty will encourage and support lending to diamond manufacturers and polishing companies while allowing the organizations to share credit risk.
In a move that should come as a surprise to precisely no one, Russian diamond giant ALROSA has confirmed plans to acquire the country's largest diamond-polishing company, Kristall Production Corporation. Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told PRIME News Agency that a deal has been reached with the Federal Property Management Agency (FPMA), which will be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2018. The market price is still to be determined.
Last week, the Antwerp diamond industry learned that Tiffany & Co. was planning to restructure its manufacturing activities at its Antwerp subsidiary, Laurelton Diamonds, a move likely to cost 27 of the 30 polishers their jobs, while another six polishers from Antwerp manufacturer GemTech were also shown the door. It was unwelcome news for Antwerp's manufacturers, whose numbers have dwindled as a result of diamond polishing in low-wage countries.
Zimbabwe is on the brink of clinching a deal with Botswana to start processing its diamonds at the world renowned Diamond Trading Company (DTC), writes The Herald - Zimbabwe. Following Zimbabwe's new President Mnangagwa's two-day official visit to Botswana, where he continued to emphasise his theme that Zimbabwe is 'Open for Business', it was announced that the arrangement will see Zimbabwe shipping its diamonds to Botswana for processing, cleaning and polishing before the gems are placed on the market. It is anticipated that taking advantage of Botswana’s expertise will benefit Zi
Bain & Company, together with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), has published their seventh annual report on the global diamond industry, "The enduring story in a changing world", covering industry developments in 2016 and the first half of 2017 as well as the challenges the industry faces and how it is turning them into opportunities. Their report looks at key issues along the value chain, from rough-diamond production and sales, to midstream performance and global diamond jewelry demand in major markets.
The Russian government wants Alrosa to offer more favorable terms to local cutters so they are able to compete in a market that’s dominated by Indian manufacturers.
Alrosa has chosen to focus on mining, where it can get bigger margins, leaving Kristall Production Corp. and other cutters to buy stones at similar terms as overseas competitors. They are struggling to compete with centers like India, the largest polishing center, due to manufacturing being cheaper - it manufactures 90% of the world’s diamonds - and a workforce of 1 million.
Diamond miner De Beers Thursday announced it will start a pilot project in June, selling polished diamonds, manufactured directly from the company’s rough by third parties to registered De Beers Auction buyers. The polished goods will be accompanied by grading reports from both De Beers’ own International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
A research team, led by GIA’s Evan Smith, has made a significant breakthrough in understanding how the biggest and rarest diamonds are born of deep-lying metallic liquid.
After being shuttered for several years, New York-based company Almod Diamonds Limited says it plans on opening a diamond polishing and manufacturing factory in Yellowknife in as little as three months. The agreement was announced by Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister Wally Schumann Monday morning. “Diamond polishing and manufacturing is something that has created jobs and economic opportunity in diamond-producing jurisdictions all over the world,” said Schumann.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from The De Beers Group of Companies, unveiled The Forevermark Black Label Collection, a new generation of beautiful fancy shape diamond cuts creating an exceptional sparkle. The brand developed its own propitiatory technology that maximizes the brilliance of each stone, as a diamonds beauty is intrinsically related to the way light is refracted. The new technology allows for perfectly symmetrical cuts which are presumed to be unprecedented in accuracy in every shape.
Excelsior Capital Ventures (ECV) LLC is to provide "substantial liquidity" to the mid-stream diamond and jewelry industry. The New York based firm, founded by Nehal Modi, said it expects to begin lending operations on October 3 and will provide loans secured by diamond and precious metal inventories, according to a statement. Modi said, "We are in an environment where the diamond and jewelry industry is experiencing a significant contraction in lending. There is a dire need for new capital and greater liquidity in order to expand the companies and industry at large."
Following the recent announcement by the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), a financial institution connected to the U.S. government, to guarantee $125 million in loans to Botswana’s diamond cutters and polishers, JCK's Rob Bates asks why it is involved. If all goes to plan, $333 million will be available for cutters and polishers in Botswana over the agreement’s 13-year lifespan. Bates explains that OPIC was established in 1971 and aims to fund projects that promote development in poor countries where there is limited access to capital as that is seen as advancing U.S.
Polished Prices' Charles Wyndham has launched a scathing attack on the recently announced US government initiative to finance diamond cutting and polishing in Botswana via the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – a pledge made in 2008 but shelved due to the financial crisis that struck later that year which led to a severe downturn in diamond sales. It involves the sum of $250 million with the American government taking 75% of the risk on loans for diamond purchases for local cutting.
A former New York diamond dealer who has become a property mogul is aiming to fundamentally transform the city’s Diamond District, according to a report in the New York Post. Gary Barnett has spent years buying 10 buildings in the Diamond District’s 47th Street, 46th Street and Fifth Avenue corridor, and his plan is to demolish them all — perhaps to build a giant diamond hotel, the report says. “We don’t know what he’ll build there. It will all depend on financing,” a source said, adding that jewelers, gem cutters and diamond exchanges are worried about being priced out of the area.
India's polished diamond exports were down 0.4 percent to $1.85 billion in June, according to provisional data from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Imports of cut and polished stones for the month were up 5.2 percent to $252.3 million. For the April to June fiscal year so far, polished exports were up 6.6 percent to $5.6 billion. India’s rough imports for June dropped by 20.2 percent on the year to $1.20 billion, while rough imports for the fiscal year so far June jumped 9.6 percent to $4.61 billion.
Several yeas ago, famed diamond house Graff Diamonds came across an opaque 299-carat rough diamond from the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho, owned and operated by Gem Diamonds. HauteTime traces the journey of the 299-carat rough fancy intense yellow diamond into the 132-carat Golden Empress diamond. "Before the rough jewel was cut," writes Roberta Nass, "Graff’s Senior Gemologists spend many months meticulously studying the nuances of the stone, and the risks involved in cutting it. With the study complete, imagination, exceptional skill and intense precision came into play.
Prices of rough diamonds are up almost 10 percent this year, rising every month from January to April s higher U.S. demand and output cuts by De Beers and ALROSA created stability and firmness. But that might be the end of a mini-bull run, writes Thomas Biesheuvel on Bloomberg News, due to soft demand from China and Russia and credit tight conditions for diamond polishers. Manufacturers are unlikely to find much salvation in the second half of this year which is when prices have fallen for the past six years.
Lucara Diamond Corp, which operates the Karowe mine in Botswana and which is selling the 1,100-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond at Sotheby's in London next week, has a strong cash position and plans to invest the money in a merger or acquisition or to further develop a mine through exploration activities, Chief Operational Officer Paul Day said in an extensive interview with Rough & Polished. The miner, which had net cash of $144.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016, will also put $15 million to $18 million into project capital expenditure this year.
Charles Wyndham is left singularly unimpressed with the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) new slogan, as part of its marketing strategy, of ‘Real is Rare. Real is a diamond.’ It falls far short of the legendary ‘A Diamond is Forever’ slogan which hit the emotional value of diamonds and also the fact they are a store of value. But it also aims for the wrong target and even succeeds in missing that, he comments. "My assumption is that the key aim of this tag line is to combat the threat of synthetic, or as I would prefer [to call them] cultured diamonds.
Rough diamond purchases in the first four months of the year were better than expected with around $4 billion in sales as manufacturers and others build up depleted inventories, however the usual seasonal slowdown for several months from May onwards is expected to provide clarity regarding the state of the market, writes Rough & Polished.
HRD Antwerp Hong Kong has opened its new office in Kowloon, sharing the same premises as the Hong Kong Indian Diamond Association (HKIDA).
The Diamond Doctor, a prominent and well-respected jewelry wholesaler and retailer in Dallas, is joining with Southwest Diamond Cutters, founded by a fifth-generation master diamond cutter, to establish a new state-of-the-art diamond cutting facility that will serve retail and wholesale clients across the U.S., reports Business Wire. The facility will house 14 diamond cutters and support staff and is scheduled to open in mid-2016 following the completion of building renovations.
ALROSA’s management, headed by President Andrey Zharkov, are on a working visit to Mumbai and Surat. The delegation visited the Special Notified Zone (SNZ) that was opened last year at the Bharat Diamond Bourse. The decision to set up a platform for facilitating trade and providing producers with direct access to the Indian market was made in 2014 following the bilateral summit headed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
For the first installment of our new series, “Through the Loupe”, that will deliver insightful analysis from a broad selection of diamond industry insiders, The Diamond Loupe sat down with Peter Robinson to talk about Gem Diamonds - miner of some of the largest and highest quality diamonds in the world - and its Baobab manufacturing facility in Antwerp, the current state of diamond miners, investment diamonds, consumer demand and the art of polishing large, high-value diamonds.
Israel Itzkowitz and Maarten de Witte have joined Diamond Foundry, the synthetic diamond producer that has received backing from Leonardo DiCaprio and other known figures from Silicon Valley. Israel “Izzy” Itzkowitz started cutting diamonds at the age of 13 and is said to have invented in 1979 the Princess cut, the first to use a brilliant faceting arrangement on a square diamond. The Princess cut has now become the most popular cut after round brilliant. Over the years, Itzkowitz has developed private label designs for De Beers, Tiffany & Co., and Graff.
The government is in talks to purchase equipment for the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC), a firm that will merge the operations firms mining for diamonds in the country, the Zimbabwe Standard newspaper reported the finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, as saying. ZCDC was formed through the merger of Kusena, Jinan and Marange Resources, with other diamond producing companies to be included at a later stage. The state will own 50% of ZCDC's shares.
Financial Times' magazine, "How to Spend It", sat down for a chat with renowned diamond mogul Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds. "It’s widely acknowledged throughout the world’s diamond and jewellery industries that he has an extraordinary affinity with diamonds, a sort of sixth sense that enables him to understand their individual characters, to see the subtlest nuances of light, fire and colour. And to perceive, often in an instant, a diamond’s full potential to be the best, the most brilliant, the most beautiful, the most valuable it can be.
Thomas Biesheuvel at Bloomberg writes that, "More than half of the biggest diamonds in the past decade have been found in the last two years," and Canadian miner Lucara Diamond Corp. unearthed three of them just last month from its Karowe Mine in Botswana. Still, of the hundreds of millions of diamonds unearthed over the past decade, only about a dozen larger than 250 carats have been found, based on a Bloomberg review of company disclosures.