24 May
De Beers announced that Signet Jewelers, the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewellery, will become the first retailer to join its pilot blockchain program for diamonds on its Tracr platform. A De Beers press release said Signet will join the growing list of industry leaders trialling the platform during its pilot phase and enabling Tracr to complete the first digital link all the way from diamond production through to retail. A Signet project team will work alongside the Tracr team to ensure the platform meets the needs of the jewellery manufacture and retail sectors, with the partnership initially focusing on the tracking of diamond jewellery and expanding the pilot’s scope to cater for smaller-sized goods. De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said, “We are delighted to welcome Signet to the...
24 May
Tiffany’s  first quarter (three months ended April 30) worldwide net sales rose 10 percent to $1 billion, while net earnings rose 53 percent to $142 million from last year’s $93 million. Comparable sales for the period rose 7 percent. The company’s board has also approved a $1 billion share buy-back program. Strong sales growth occurred in all jewellery categories — collections, the engagement segment and designer jewellery. Sales in the Americas rose 8 percent on a constant exchange basis to $425 million. This rise was across the region and has been attributed to higher spending by locals as well as foreign tourists. In Asia-Pacific, total net sales rose 23 percent to $329 million due to increased retail sales in greater China and most other markets, as well as higher wholesale...
23 May
Jewellery retail group Chow Tai Fook and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) have teamed up to use blockchain technology to deliver secure, digital diamond grading reports to consumers for Chow Tai Fook’s diamond brand, T MARK. Customers will receive a permanent and immutable blockchain record of their diamond’s GIA grading information. This service will first be piloted in selected Chow Tai Fook stores in Hong Kong before expanding to other locations at the end of 2018. Chow Tai Fook managing director Kent Wong said, “We are very proud of our cooperation with GIA which gives our customers additional assurance and transparency, and the opportunity to have both diamond grading and diamond traceability information at their fingertips. This is an important industry breakthrough and...
22 May
ALROSA announced that its first auction of special size rough (larger than 10.8 carats) in two years, which ran from April 23 to May 11 at its newly reopened New York office, realised $10.38 million. A total of 63 lots weighing an aggregate 1,040 carats were sold. ALROSA said 50 companies — seven from the US and 43 from Belgium, India, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, took part in the auction. "We are glad to have reopened ALROSA's office in New York and now are forming its team. The results of the last auction show that American customers are also happy about this, because it is important for them to purchase high-quality rough with guaranteed origin,” said Evgeny Agureev, Director of ALROSA’s rough sales arm, the United Selling Organisation (USO). He added, “We brought a standard...
22 May
Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier (second from left) at theribbon cutting
De Beers diamond brand Forevermark today announced the launch of Libert’aime by Forevermark, a new flagship store at HKRI Taikoo Hui in Shanghai. The opening marks the 1,000th Forevermark store in China, and comes as the brand celebrates its 10-year anniversary in the country. De Beers said in a press release that the store, created to celebrate the spirit of a new generation of women who are strong, unique, and authentic, offers a diamond jewellery range that has been designed with a young, fashion-forward self-purchasing consumer in mind. The store targets China’s millennials, through a new omni-channel model that combines the store, online platforms and the launch of a WeChat store on China...
22 May
There have been frequent protests by local communities over theZCDC's operation of the Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange.
Saying that the government-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) had failed to boost the country’s economy and had not even been able to benefit local communities, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government would review the mining policy introduced by his predecessor Robert Mugabe. The Mugabe government nationalised and consolidated eight private diamond mining operations in Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa alluvial diamond fields in the country's Marange district in February 2016, saying the country was not benefiting from its diamond wealth.  Foreign investment in the country’s mining sector plunged 70 percent as a...
22 May
CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, announced that registration is now open for its 2018 annual congress, which will take place in Bogotá, Colombia, from October 15 to17, with pre-congress meetings beginning on October 13. A dedicated website with an online form for registrations is now live. The website includes the congress programme, important travel information, background information about Colombia and Bogotá, news and photo galleries. Since the CIBJO Congress 2018 will be a carbon neutral event, participants are also requested to complete a carbon foot-printing form. Located high in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 2,640 metres (8,660 feet) above sea level, Bogotá is one of the highest capital cities in the world and the centre of the South American emerald trade. The...
22 May
De Beers Group today announced that it had provisionally sold $550 million in rough diamonds through its Global Sightholder Sales and Auction Sales system in the fourth sales cycle of 2018. Compared to this, actual sales over the fourth sales cycle of 2017 totalled $522 million. The diamond mining major also said that its actual sales for the third sales cycle of 2018 now stands at $524 million.  De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said, “In the fourth sales cycle of the year we saw robust demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds, reflecting continued strong demand for diamond jewellery, especially from American consumers as we head towards the important JCK Las Vegas trade show at the start of June.”
21 May
Luxury group Richemont, which owns the Cartier, IWC watches, Piaget, Baume & Mercier and Montblanc brands, announced that its sales grew by three percent at actual rates and by eight percent at constant rates to €10.98 billion ($12.89 billion), while profit grew just one percent to €1.21 billion ($1.42 billion) in fiscal 2018 (ending March 31). The increase in profit was less than expected by investors (Richemont does not publish guidance) and the group’s shares fell 3.78 percent to 118.88 rand ($9.28) on Friday. Among the reasons for the lower than expected profit is the company’s strategy of buying back its product stocks from its retail partners. Richemont spent €203 million ($238 million) in fiscal 2018 (and €278 million or $326.4 million in the prior year) buying back unsold...
18 May
Peter Karachiev
Peter Karakchiev, ALROSA's Head of International Relations, was elected Vice Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) at its 2018 annual general meeting held in Moscow on May 17. Currently, the RJC comprises over 1,100 member companies with more than 9,000 facilities and in excess of 460,000 employees covered under its global certification system. As a full member of the International Social and Environmental Labelling alliance (ISEAL), the RJC is committed to developing credible and effective standards and continually improving its systems through regular standards review processes with its members and multi-stakeholders. Currently its Code Of Practices (COP) is under review and the new version is expected to be launched early 2019. The...
17 May
Global consumer demand for diamond jewellery hit a new all-time high in 2017, climbing to $82 billion, a two per cent increase on the previous year, according to industry insight data published today by De Beers Group. The US was the main driver of growth for the fourth consecutive year, where positive macroeconomics and strong consumer confidence saw demand for diamond jewellery increase four per cent to $43 billion, representing more than half of total global demand. An increase in self-purchase of diamond jewellery helped drive demand, representing 33 per cent of total US diamond jewellery pieces acquired in 2017. Consumer demand in mainland China, the world’s second largest consumer market for diamond jewellery, also returned to positive growth in 2017, reflecting the trend of the...
17 May
Platinum Guild International (PGI) today published the findings of its 2017 Platinum Jewellery Business Review revealing that two key trends — young consumers, and bridal — are emerging to contribute to platinum demand growth in 2018. Compiled by independent platinum market experts and industry analysts, the survey reports strong consumer retail sales growth in India, the US and Japan for 2017, even outperforming gold in some areas. “We saw above-market growth for platinum jewellery in three out of four key markets in 2017. This trend is tied to a robust global economy and historically low platinum prices, together with an increasing preference for platinum among younger consumers, which indicates growth potential in the platinum jewellery sector in 2018,” commented PGI Chief Executive...
17 May
A pair of fancy yellow polished diamonds from ALROSA
Russian state-controlled diamond mining giant ALROSA, which also cuts and polishes some of its mine output, is looking at building a significant value-add business in selling cut and polished fancy coloured diamonds. ALROSA’s diamond polishing business, which includes both colourless and coloured diamonds, generated only a modest 2 percent of the company’s overall $4.6 billion revenue in 2017. Evgeny Agureev, head of the company’s diamond polishing and sales arm Diamonds ALROSA, hopes that will change this year. Agureev told Reuters, “We hope that ALROSA will become one of the global leaders in the sales of polished coloured diamonds.” He added that because the coloured diamond output was from the company’s own...
17 May
Stuart Brown
Former De Beers Chief Financial Officer Stuart Brown has been appointed President and CEO of Mountain Province Diamonds, which operates the Gahcho Kué diamond mine in Canada in a joint venture with De Beers. His appointment is effective from July 1. Brown has over 25 years of experience in the diamond industry, where he has gained a wealth of experience across all aspects throughout the diamond pipeline from exploration, mine development and operations to the selling and marketing of diamonds, the company said in a release on its website. In 2006, after numerous roles within De Beers over a period of 14 years, Brown was appointed as the De Beers Group Chief Financial Officer. He held that position for over five years, and in 2010 was appointed joint...
17 May
WDC Acting President Stephane Fischler (right) and ExecutiveDirector Marie-Chantal Kaninda (centre) with KP stakeholders.
Stephane Fischler and Marie-Chantal Kaninda, Acting President and Executive Director respectively of the World Diamond Council (WDC), met with key stakeholders involved in the Kimberley Process (KP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The meetings primarily focused on two topics — the support from the DRC in regard to KP reform and establishment of the Permanent Secretariat, and the process of formalisation, registration and traceability of the artisanal miners in the DRC. All the local actors praised the very successful formalisation drive by the DDI that has resulted in 200,000 artisanal miners so far being registered with the support...
17 May
The Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), which owns and operates the VICENZAORO trade show, has revealed that it is investing €35 million ($41.4 million) in upgrading Hall 2 of the Vicenza Exhibition Centre — the Fiera di Vicenza. The upgrade will cover 26,000 square metres.  The reconstructed Hall 2, which will be built on two levels instead of the current five, will be equipped with functional and sustainable technologies that will allow IEG to host more numerous and more diverse types of events, with particular attention being paid to meeting the needs and development of shows linked to the gold and jewellery industry, and especially VICENZAORO. The IEG said that a key element in VICENZAORO's most recent development was the investment made in the construction of  Hall 7 at the the Fiera di...
16 May
Danish mass-market jewellery brand PANDORA reported a  1 percent drop in first quarter revenue to DKK 5.12 billion ($809 million) impelled by a 9 percent drop in the Asia-Pacific region due mainly to lower growth in China and a 16 percent decrease in revenue from the Americas. Revenue from the Middle East, Europe and Africa was up 15 percent, however. Pre-tax profits were DKK 1.67 billion ($263.4 million), down from the DKK 1.88 billion ($297 million) reported in Q1 2017. The company said it was taking steps to strengthen sales in the China market, which accounted for 12 percent of its overall first quarter revenue. CEO Anders Colding Friis told Reuters that among the issues being tackled was the grey market, which involved product being imported from other markets and then being sold...
16 May
ALROSA announced that its revenue grew 58 percent in a quarter-on-quarter comparison with last year to RUB 96 billion ($1.54 billion) in the first quarter of 2018. Pre-tax profits for the period were up 78 percent over the first quarter of 2017 to RUB 48 billion ($769 million), leading to earnings for the period of RUB 33.2 billion ($532 million) — double the earnings in Q1 2017. Rough diamond sales for the period grew by 43 percent in a quarter-on-quarter comparison to 13.4 million carats despite a production decrease of 26 percent for the period. The growth was due to sales of around 6 million carats from company's stocks. Free cash flow during the period rose 3.5 times, reaching RUB 41.1 billion ($658 million), while the company’s net debt for the quarter fell 4.6 times to RUB 18.6...

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