Archive

  • India's rough diamond trade continued its 2019 downturn in May, as less manufacturing is taking place amid a tightening of available financing and weak demand for small goods, according to data gleaned from the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). Exports of polished diamonds also recorded their fifth consecutive month of decline in 2019, despite a solid increase (11%%) in the average price per carat.

  • The gold price reached a six-year high on Friday, June 21, hitting $1,410 at its peak as investors sought a safe haven in amid troubled global waters and announcements by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve saying they are leaving the door open to interest-rate cuts this year. A lower interest rate in combination with a weakening dollar has historically always made gold an interesting investment. Now that bonds are yielding less, equities seem to have reached an apex and raw materials and currencies are now worth less, gold has become more attractive.

  • Christie's Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence collection earned a total of $109,271,875 in New York, representing the highest amount taken in by any auction of Indian art and Mughal objects, and the second highest for a private jewelry collection - falling just short of the 2011 auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, good for a nearly $116 million haul. Almost 400 lots were offered, ranging from legendary Golconda diamonds to dazzling coloured stones, jeweled objects used in the royal courts to swords and daggers once owned by Indian rulers.

  • Gem Diamonds has sold its Ghaghoo mine in Botswana to Pro Civil, a local company, for $5.4m (R77m), bringing to an end Gem's struggles with the underground mine that never lived up to its expectations. Pro Civil, a company registered in Botswana, will acquire Gem Diamonds Botswana Proprietary and the Ghaghoo mine, which has been on care and maintenance since March of 2017.

  • The UK-based and AIM- and BSE-listed exploration company Botswana Diamonds (BoD) recently received positive results from bulk sampling at the Thorny River project in South Africa, while its joint-venture partner Vast Resources is said to be moving closer to mining diamonds in Zimbabwe. Last week, BoD said its associate Vutomi had received permisston to sell diamonds recovered during bulk sampling at their Thorny River project in South Africa, which will enable funding of further exploration and development by Vutomi. The project has deliverd 256 carats of diamonds to date.

  • Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC) has completed the drilling of the first bulk sample hole on Star Diamond Corp.'s Star Kimberlite, employing a massive 'trench cutter sampling rig'. The first of 10 bulk sampling holes has been drilled to a depth of over 228 metres and intercepted a total of 117 metres of kimberlite on Star Diamond’s Star-Orion South site at Fort à la Corne.

  • The global personal luxury goods market grew by 6% in 2018, reaching €260 billion (more than $290 billion) in 2018, with similar growth forecasted for 2019, reports leading consultancy Bain & Co. in its “Bain Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Spring 2019”. The strong growth, equivalent to that in 2017, was driven primarily by the acceleration in domestic spending of mainland Chinese consumers and an increase in European tourism. Bain & Co.

  • 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.

  • Telecom billionaire and art collector Patrick Drahi has emerged as the winning bidder for Sotheby's, the 275-year-old auction house, which will be going private after agreeing to a $3.7 billion deal. The takeover will result in Sotheby's, the world's oldest and largest international auction house, ending its three decades as a public company, trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • HRD Antwerp today announced its expansion into the UK market with the opening of a new drop-off point in London’s Hatton Garden, giving UK jewelers easy access to HRD Antwerp’s services, such as jewelry and diamond grading reports and testing for synthetics.

  • The Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting 2019 opened in Mumbai yesterday as the organization tasked with eliminating conflict diamonds approaches what may be considered a critical junction: will it stay the course or take a leap forward?

  • Christie's will hold the landmark Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence sale this week Wednesday (June 19) in New York, and it is slated to be perhaps the highest earning jewelry sale in the auction house's history.

  • President Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have opened negotiations with Lucara Diamond Corp. for the government to buy and own shares in the company, reports The Botswana Gazette. Masisi reportedy met with Lucara CEO Eira Thomas at JCK Las Vegas, telling the newspaper, “I have proposed for Lucara to allow government to invest in the company,” adding that he will discuss with his cabinet and relevant authorities to agree on investing in Lucara.

  • As the Kimberley Process Intersessional kicks off this morning in Mumbai, the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC) have made a forceful call to the KP Member States to finally address the issue of conflict diamonds, Continued violence in diamond production, it warns, threatens the relevance of the KP as well as long-term African diamond revenues by fuelling ethics concerns about the sector.

  • “I’m actually really excited about it. I think it was a very positive development for the industry. It clearly serves to differentiate the two markets. The synthetic diamond market is not the same as the natural diamond market and they can co-exist ... there’s no store of value in a synthetic diamond. Rather, synthetic diamonds are filling a niche around fashion jewellery and we see it almost as an entry level opportunity for consumers. That’s how we see synthetics and natural diamonds playing together in this market."

  • The 2019 Kimberly Process (KP) Intersessional, with India as its Chair, will take place in Mumbai starting next week Monday. Ahead of the meeting, Stéphane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council (WDC), urged mining and manufacturing countries in particular to heed the concerns of those in the diamond-consuming countries and to address issues regarding the integrity of the diamond value chain. Those in the industry who are more directly involved with consumers appreciate the urgency of KP reform, as time is running out.

  • BlueRock Diamonds plc, the AIM-listed junior mining company which owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa, has recovered its largest diamond to date: a 24.98 carat gem-quality stone. The miner’s largest diamond prior was 16.28 carats, which sold for $78,947. BlueRock's shares jumped 15% on the news published June 7, but the gain was short-lived, having receded to its level prior to the fiind. Update - The 24.98-carat rough diamond sold for for $190,000, representing an average price of $7,606 per carat.

  • Stornoway Diamond Corp., 100% owner and operater of the Renard Diamond Mine in Quebec which began commercial production in January 2017, is in dire financial straits and is looking for new investment in, if not a buyer for the mine and its assets. Stornoway has endured some very turbulent times over the past year and a half, seeing its losses mount as a result of operational difficulties and a highly unfavorable market for its diamonds, and will need to restructure if it is going to continue operations. 

  • A combination of factors has led to a nearly 50% decline in production by small diamond manfacturing units in India, not the least of which is a significant decline in the price of small diamonds (0.30 carats), writes the Times of India (TOI). According to the most recent RapNet Diamond Index, the price index for diamonds weighing 0.30 carats has fallen by 16% over the past year, and about 25% since January. The vast majority of these stones are manufactured in Surat and has caused already-low margins for manufacturers to plummet. 

  • Sarine Technologies earlier this year rolled out its Sarine Diamond Journey provenance tracking program - following each stage of a diamond's travels from rough stone to polished diamond - and has now announced a Partners program comprising select diamond manufacturers. The initial manufacturers selected for the program will be able to supply goods meeting the retailers' criteria for transparent sourcing. 

  • Mountain Province Diamonds has discovered a new kimberlite at its Gahcho Kué Joint Venture (GKJV) leases, the company announced today in a press release. The Wilson kimberlite - named after Alice Evelyn Wilson (1881-1964), who is officially recognized as Canada's first female geologist - is located roughly 200 meters east of the Tuzo kimberlite and was discovered during drill testing of geophysical and geological anomalies in the area.

  • Russian police uncovered around $3 million worth of stolen diamonds, and over $2.5 million in cash, at the homes of a criminal ring operating inside state-controlled diamond producer Alrosa, authorities said on Monday, reports Reuters. Alrosa confirmed that security services had uncovered an ongoing diamond theft ring in its sorting and grading department, with someone on the inside faciliating the larceny. The authorities detained a woman (Elena Kanunnikova), the Alrosa employee said to be in charge of the embezzlement, a mediator, and another man said to be responsible for sellin

  • Hong Kong based jewelry retail and bellwether for the Chinese market Chow Tai Fook Group (CTF) has announced that its sales grew 13% to $8.5 billion (HK$66,661 million) for the year ending March 31 (FY2019), citing increased purchases of gold jewelry and an expansion of the company’s retail network in China. Retail sales in Mainland China rose by 8% to $3.88 billion, while revenue from Hong Kong and Macau increased 12% to $2.94 billion.

  • 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.

  • Russian diamond miner Alrosa's rough diamond sales in May continued the downward trajectory they have been on all year, though the decline was less steep than in prior months. Rough diamond sales fell by 6% year over year to $261 million, and declined 17% compared to last month as the market enters its seasonal slowdown. For the year to date (Jan.-May), the mining giant's rough diamond sales have plummeted by 30% to $1.565 billion from $2.256 billion a year ago.

  • Lucapa Diamond Co. yesterday formally annouced the launch of the next exploration phase to locate the kimberlite source of the high-value alluvial diamonds at the Lulo project in Angola. The next 12-month program is based on an extensive technical review of Lulo kimberlite exploration results to date, including those of the extensive 2018 drilling program which confirmed a further 70 kimberlites within the Lulo alluvial diamond field, which increased the total known kimberlites within the concession to more than 100. 

  • Signet Jewelers reported a decline in revenue during the first quarter of fiscal 2020 (ended May 4), as sales fell at all their banner stores except for Piercing Pagoda - the ear piercing and gold and sterling silver shop with roughly 780 kiosks in shopping malls across the United States and Puerto Rico - which gained 13.5%. Ecommerce sales also increased 5.3% year over year to $154.3 million.

  • Swarovski, famous for its glass and zirconia crystals and recognized as one of the world's leading jewelry and accessory brands, has announced its plans to enter into the diamond jewelry category. Avi Krawitz of Rapaport News gathered the scoop from Nadja Swarovski, head of corporate communications and design services, who made the announcement during a panel discussion at JCK Las Vegas last week.

  • 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.

  • Leading jewelry industry magazine JCK held two jewelry design competitions at this year's Las Vegas show: the annual Luxury Design Awards and JCK Design Center Editor’s Choice Awards (click "Read the full article" to see the designs).

  • Alrosa recently held two international auctions for special size rough diamonds (larger than 10.8 carats), earning a combined $19 million from 221 stones weighing a total of 3,490 carats. At the first, which took place in Ramat Gan, Israel, the company sold 120 stones with total weight of 1,940 carats, earning revenue of $10.2 million, or$5,258 per carat. The auction included two large diamonds weighing more than 50 carats each.

  • The Bunder Diamond Project in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh in India - a deposit estimated to have diamond reserves of 34.2 million carats - will be put up for auction, according to a decision taken by the state government at a cabinet meeting this week. The Project disappeared from the headlines about two years ago following Rio Tinto's announcement in February 2017 that it would relinquish its interest in the project "due to commercial considerations" and gift it to the Government of Madhya Pradesh.

  • Tiffany & Co. reported a modest decline in global sales in the first quarter, impacted by unfavorable foreign exchange rates and 'dramatically' lower worldlwide tourist spending, which was mitigated by strong local sales. The famous jeweler announced that in the first quarter, worldwide net sales declined 3% to $1.0 billion, down from $1.03 billion in Q1 2018, and comparable sales declined 5%; on a constant-exchange-rate basis, however, net sales were equal to the prior year and comparable sales declined 2%.

  • An annual tradition, industry veterans Chaim Even-Zohar and Pranay Narvekar present the 2018 iteration of The Tacy Diamond Pipeline, with an in-depth look at the impact that the rise and acceptance of laboratory-grown diamonds has had on the industry this past year.

  • Watches of Switzerland went public on the London Stock Exchange last week, enjoying a better-than-expected debut. Shares are set to openly trade days after conditional trading started for the UK’s dominant luxury watch retailer. Watches of Switzerland (WoS) is owned by US private equity company Apollo Global Management and is the top UK seller of luxury timepiece brands like Rolex and Mayors. Under the leadership of chief executive officer (CEO), Brian Duffy, WoS’s sales have grown to make up 35% of luxury watch sales in the UK.

  • Is the goal of Lightbox to lower the price of lab-growns?

  • Russian diamond miner Alrosa unveiled at JCK Las Vegas the latest contribution to the diamond tracking trend, creating a place-of-origin program that will provide consumers and traders with in-depth provenance information, complete with a personalized video. The company said it will soon launch a program in which an 'electronic passport' will accompany a diamond, providing information about the physical characteristics of the diamond as well as its age, the place and date of extraction, when and where it was cut, and the name and background of the craftsperson that fashioned the stone.

  • Lucapa Diamond Co.'s latest sale of diamonds from the Lulo alluvial mine in Angola achieved gross revenues of US$10.0 million (A$14.5 million) from run of mine parcels totalling 5,573 carats, representing an average price of US$1,800 per carat. This took total sales of Lulo diamonds to date in H1 2019 to US$22.1 million achieving an average price per carat of US$3,668, "further underling Lulo’s status as the world’s highest average price alluvial diamond production," the miner writes.

  • As announced last week, Rapaport's RapNet - the world’s largest diamond trading network - gave its members the opportunity to vote on whether it should provide diamond listing and pricing services for synthetic diamonds.

  • 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.