Archive

  • India's rough diamond imports continued its first quarter recession in March, signalling a slowdown in manufacturing amid a tightening of available financing; polished exports also declined for the third consecutive month. Rough diamond imports fell by 16% in value during the month to $1.4 billion on a more than 9% decline in the volume of rough imports, and their value has declined by 24% during Q1.

  • Global demand for gold jewelry rose 1% in Q1 2019 to 530.3 tonnes, driven by the Indian market, writes World Gold Council (WGC). A lower local rupee gold price in late February and early March coincided with the wedding season, which is the traditional time for significant gold purchases, lifting jewelry demand in India 5% higher than the same period last year. The 125.4 tonnes purchased makes last Q1 2019 the highest Q1 since 2015. 

  • Polished diamond manufacturers in Surat and Mumbai have started liquidating their inventories at significant discounts of up to 30-40% in the attempt to settle loans with banks, writes the Times of India. The Indian daily says that diamond companies have been "given the ultimatum to settle their outstanding loan accounts before March 31."

  • Nirav Modi, who allegedly defrauded Indian state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) of $2 billion, was arrested and denied bail by a London judge who said there were "substantial risks" that the celebrity jeweler could flee while the country seeks his extradition. Modi was arrested in central London on Tuesday evening on behalf of Indian authorities who want to extradite him to face charges. 

  • While still lagging behind the levels of activity recorded in February 2018, India's diamond trade last month rebounded from a remarkably poor showing in January 2019. According to figures from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), exports of cut and polished diamonds from India fell by 3.51% year-on-year during the month of February 2019 to $2.34 billion as compared to the $2.43 billion exported in February 2018. However, February's exports represent a 34% increase over the $1.75 billion shipped out in January, which will come as a welcome sign to the Indian industry.

  • UK newspaper The Telegraph found India's most wanted man, Nirav Modi, openly walking the streets of London, allegedly living in an £8 million ($10.4 million) apartment in London’s West End and apparetly running another diamond business. Nirav Modi fled India last year after becoming a suspect in the biggest banking fraud in the country’s history. A diamond jeweller whose designs have been worn by Hollywood stars, Modi went on the run after being accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of roughly $2 billion.

  • Expectations of a sluggish start to the year for the Indian diamond trade were confirmed by the January statistics from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), as exports of cut and polished diamonds from India dropped by 16% year-on-year, while rough imports fell by 40%.

  • The partial shutdown of the US government is likely to have had a negative impact on exports of small diamonds from India to the US, according to Colin Shah, vice chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). This comes as unwelcome news to an industry that is already experiencing sluggish performance, with The Economic Times citing an 8.5% decline in the value of polished exports in the first nine months of FY2018, sitting at to $22.41 billion.

  • The value of India's polished-diamond exports grew by approximately 6% to over $24 billion in 2018 despite a 10% downturn in the volume of goods exported, according to figures from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The rise in value is attributable to a 17% higher average price per carat, calculated at $775, for the 31.5 million carats exported, reflecting an industry-wide trend in 2018 of softening trade in smaller, lower-quality goods and more robust demand for larger goods.

  • The downturn in India's diamond trade continued unimpeded in November, as its two critical indicators - polished-diamond exports and rough-diamond imports - tumbled once again. According to figures from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), polished diamond exports fell to $1.56 billion, a decline of 12% as compared to the $1.78 bn exported in November 2017, and a 32% decline from $2.3 billion exported last month.

  • India’s polished diamond exports rose by 19% on a year-over-year basis during the month of October, reaching $2.31 billion compared to the $1.93 billion exported in October 2017, according to figures from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The strong showing was backed by the increased quantity of goods exported, up 8% to 2.9 million carats from 2.7 million a year ago, as well as an increase in the average price per carat, which climbed 11% to $791. However, polished exports fell slightly from $2.37 billion last month.

  • Riding the current wave of depressed rough diamond sales throughout the industry in recent months, De Beers' ninth sale of 2018 earned (provisionally) $440 million, the miner's lowest earnings in a sales cycle since October 2017. Soft demand from India has been the predominant factor in the decline of rough sales - particularly of smaller goods - across the industry.

  • The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), according to a column written by President Mnangagwa in The Sunday Mail, that the country's diamond output was expected to shatter previous records. Zimbabwe aims to produce (at a stretch) three million carats this year, driven by a US$100 million investment in operations over the last two years. The ZCDC unearthed 2.4 million carats between January and October 2018, a significant increase over the 1.8 million carats achieved last year. ZCDC chief executive officer Dr.

  • 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.

  • The majority of small and medium diamond manufacturing units in India are planning to close shop and take an early Diwali vacation as sentiment in the diamond cutting and manufacturing centre is faltering, writes the Times of India. Depreciation of the Indian rupee has put heavy pressure on the trading of polished diamonds amid dwindling demand, falling polished prices, firm rough diamond prices and the banks squeezing loans to the industry. 

  • India’s polished diamond exports rose by 6.6% during the six-month period ended September 30, 2018 (H1 FY 2018-19) despite a dip of 10.8% in exports during the month of September, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Exports of cut and polished diamonds from India during September fell to $2.37 billion from $2.65 bn in September 2017, while polished diamond exports from April-September 2018 increased $2.68 billion from the $11.90 bn exported over the same months last year.

  • In an effort to narrow the current account deficit (CAD), the Indian government on Wednesday increased the import duty on 19 'non-essential items' including polished diamonds, gemstones and jewelry, but excluded rough diamonds from the increase. The import duties on cut and polished diamonds, lab-grown diamonds and cut and polished colored gemstones increased from 5% to 7.5%.

  • Rough diamond imports to India, home to the largest world's largest diamond cutting and polishing industry, have fallen for five consecutive months, according to figures from industry body the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The GPEPC's most recent figures show that from April through August (FY 2018), the value of rough diamond imports have declined by 7 percent to $7.16 billion from $7.69 billion a year earlier. In volume terms, imports are down 9% to 68.6 million carats from 75.3 million carats compared to the same period last year.

  • According to new research from Euromonitor International, India is set to overtake US as the world's second largest fine jewelry market by the end of 2018, reports Business Matters. The study shows that China remains the biggest market for fine jewelry with sales reaching US$86.3 billion by the end of 2017, which are expected to reach US$92 billion by the end of this year. The Chinese market as a whole has grown by over 21% in the last five years.

  • The 10% decline in bank finance to the gem and jewelry sector over the last few months will adversely impact exports from the industry during the year, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said in a statement yesterday.

  • India’s polished diamond exports rose by 5% during the month of June 2018 as compared to a year earlier, while overall exports from the gem and jewelry sector grew by a marginal 0.9% in the same period, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Exports of cut and polished diamonds from India during the month rose to $2.08 billion from $1.98 bn in June 2017, an increase of 5.07% y-o-y. Rough imports were down by 14.2% in value terms during the month to $1.53 bn as compared to $1.79 bn imported during the previous June.

  • Rio Tinto‘s Australian Diamonds program has launched its latest campaign in India highlighting a new range of affordable bridal and fashion jewelry from the company’s Argyle diamond mine in Australia, the company announced in a press release. Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s cricket team is the official ambassador for the new campaign, helping promote the popularity of diamonds in fashion and bridal jewelry, particularly for younger Indian consumers.

  • 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"

  • India has been informed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that it can initiate extradition proceedings against Indian diamantaire Nirav Modi even though his exact whereabouts remain uncertain, a senior Indian official said today. According to Indian daily The Times of India, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun the process of filing an extradition request for Modi, which will then have to be approved by the UK Home Office following which an extradition warrant can be issued.

  • Exports of polished diamonds from the world's largest manufacturing hub, India, remained steady at $1.99 billion during the month of April as compared to March ($2.03 billion), and jumped by 14% compared to the same month a year ago according to figures Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The increase in value compared to April 2017 stems from a rise in the volume of shipments, from 2.37 to 2.77 million carats (+17%), as the average price per carat fell slightly (-2%) to about $719 per carat.

  • The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), together with its Indian counterpart the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), formally launched today in Mumbai a powerful new tool to bring greater compliance and transparency to diamond transactions. The know-your-customer (KYC) exchange platform, called MyKYCBank, provides a centralized platform for companies in the diamond industry to complete and manage more efficiently their KYC obligations in conformity with global standards.

  • India's cut and polished diamond exports increased by 4.2% to $23.7 billion for the financial year 2017-18 (April - March), while the value of rough diamond imports to the manufacturing hub rose by 10.6% to $18.9 billion, according to figures from the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The average price per carat in the category of polished diamond exports saw an 18% increase, from approximately $614 per carat to $725 per carat.

  • Russian diamond miner ALROSA has opened a representative office in Mumbai, located in the Bharat Diamond Bourse, with the intention of, "strengthening ties with Indian market", but the office will not conduct any trading activity. Jim Vimadalal, the new director of the Mumbai office, will work on promoting the ALROSA brand on the local market, suggesting new clients and solving technical issues of existing clients, the company said in a statement.

  • HRD Antwerp announced the opening of a jewelry grading lab in the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) in Mumbai, for manufacturers who export to various international locations. “Our customers will have safe, reliable and easy access to our services. Our laboratory has the know-how and tools to thoroughly analyze jewelry, provide a general description of the jewel, the quality of the diamonds it contains, and the precious metals of which it is made”, explains Ravi Chhabria, Managing Director of HRD Antwerp India. 

  • After the $2 billion worth of fraud allegations against Indian jewelry tycoon Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems chief Mehul Choksi shocked the Indian diamond industry, the last thing it needed was more bad news, which is precisely what they got. Jewelry chain Kanishk Gold, which also owns the Krizz jewelry brand, has been named in defrauding 14 banks, including the Punjab National Bank (PNB) and the State Bank of India (SBI), for an amount close to as $126.4 million, or Rs 824 crore. Taking into account interest due, the loss to banks exceeds $153 million (Rs 1,000 crore). The SBI has sought th

  • Exports of cut and polished diamonds from India during the month of February 2018 remained virtually flat at $ 2.427 billion, 0.50% over the same month last year, according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The average price rose 6% to $791 per carat. However, while exports of cut and polished diamonds remained flat, rough imports rose by 11.35% in value terms during the month to $1.68 billion as compared to US$ 1.51 bn imported during the previous February.

  • A US court last Thursday passed an interim order that prevents creditors from collecting debt from Nirav Modi-owned Firestar Diamond Inc (FDI) and its affiliates after it filed for bankruptcy. Modi, who is being investigated for illegal transfer of nearly $2 billion from Punjab National Bank, has a majority stake in Firestar Diamond and its other sister companies through his other companies. FDI filed the Chapter 11 voluntary petition in the New York Southern Bankruptcy Court last week, and the bankruptcy court said that the filing of case imposed an automatic stay against most collection a

  • With the country’s leading public sector banks facing massive financial turmoil following the fraud cases featuring billionaire Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, now estimated to involve approximately $2 billion, diamond mining companies may ultimately pay the price as far as sale of rough diamonds to Indian diamond companies is concerned, suggests The Times of India. The TOI turned to independent diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky for insight: “There are two primary concerns as a result of the Modi and Choksi episode.

  • Dharmanandan Diamonds (DDPL), a Mumbai-based manufacturer, has partnered with technology company Everledger to place its diamond-tracking data onto the technology company's diamond blockchain platform, which it launched in 2015. The "Diamond Time-Lapse Protocol" integrates Dharmanandan's Diamond Time-Lapse initiative, which tracks a stone’s journey from rough to retail, onto its proprietary diamond traceability blockchain platform to set a diamond's provenance into (digital) stone.

  • Firestar Diamond, a company owned by Nirav Modi, the billionaire jeweller at the heart of a $2 billion fraud case in India, has filed for bankruptcy in a New York court, as investigators stepped up their investigation into a case that has stunned the country of India. Firestar Diamond, which on its website states that its operations span the US, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and India, blamed liquidity and supply chain challenges. It listed up to $100 million in assets and debt, the court document said.

  • On Saturday, February 17, 2018, India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) released a statement on the incidents that have recently come to light with regards to the alleged fraud committed by two members of the Council. They state: "The Nirav Modi/Gitanjali Gems incident is of concern to the entire Gems & Jewellery industry. The Industry strongly condemns any sort of unlawful & illegal actions by any individual, trade or otherwise.

  • India's polished diamond exports during the month of January 2018 rose to US$2.08 billion from US$1.62 bn in January 2017, a jump of 28.8% according to provisional data released by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Meanwhile, rough imports were up by 13.68% in value terms during the month to US$1.44 billion as compared to US$1.27 bn imported during the previous January. In volume terms, however, rough imports declined from 15.3 million carats during January 2017 to 13.3 million carats during January this year.

  • The Nirav Modi bank fraud investigation in India appears to have spread its wings, as three more major Indian jewelers - Gitanjali, Ginni and Nakshatra - have also come under the gaze of various investigating agencies following the Punjab National Bank's (PNB) declaration of nearly $1.8 billion (Rs 11,400 crore) fraud, committed allegedly by Nirav Modi.

  • Indian federal agents launched an investigation into billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, one of the country’s richest men, over accusations that he and others defrauded a state bank of $44 million.

  • The Indian government has raised import duty on cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones from 2.5% to 5% in the Union Budget 2018-19, and the country's diamond trade is not pleased. Announcing the 2018 budget, and in an attempt to protect the local industry Finance Minister Arun Jaitley doubled the import duty on cut and polished diamonds, coloured gemstones and lab-grown diamonds and also raised customs duty on imitation jewelry from 15 to 20 percent.