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07 Feb
ALROSA held its first auction of the year for special-size (over 10.8 carats) rough diamonds in Israel. A total of 92 large rough diamonds with a combined weight of 1,570 carats were sold for an aggregate $9.6 million. Firms from Israel, Russia, Hong Kong, Belgium, India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States participated in the auction. "The auction in Israel is the first in our schedule, and we are satisfied with its results. We will hold five more auctions here through to the end of this year,” said ALROSA United Sales Organisation Director Evgeny Agureev. He added, “We also continue to analyse the situation in the global diamond market and see some difficulties with demand. However, we expect the market to recover in the next two months.” ALROSA held six auctions for special...
06 Feb
Signet Jewelers Limited, which is in the midst of implementing a turnaround plan to combat sagging or static sales, announced three new agency partners to help with its ‘Path to Brilliance’ transformation initiative. The new agency hires are aimed at improving the effectiveness of its investments in advertising and marketing in support of three strategic priorities — ‘customer first’, ‘omni-channel’, and a ‘culture of agility and efficiency’. “Our newly announced agency partners will contribute to Signet’s Path to Brilliance initiatives to grow new customers, evolve to a more digital, targeted and data-driven media plan, and build a seamless omni-channel customer experience,” said Seb Hobbs, President and Chief Customer Officer.  Signet selected the agencies following a competitive bid...
06 Feb
KDE President Nam Chang Soo (left) with WFDBPresident Ernie Blom
World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) President Ernie Blom has praised the work of the WFDB-affiliated Korea Diamond Exchange (KDE) in persuading the government to abolish a 26 percent individual consumption tax on imported polished diamonds, that dates back to 1976. The South Korean government abolished the tax in December, following five years of talks and intensive work by the KDE, said bourse Chairman Nam Chang Soo. He said, “Now, South Korean diamond importers will have a simplified tax regime — a 5 percent import tax and 10 percent Value Added Tax.” We hope that the abolition of the ICT and simplified taxes will have a very positive effect on diamond jewellery sales in South Korea.” He...
05 Feb
The Meya mine in Sierra Leone
Koin International will hold two rough diamond tenders for original African productions, in Antwerp this month. Running February 11 to 14, the first tender will feature KEM (Ekapa) production from Kimberley, South Africa. This is a full run-of-mine including large single stones and fancy colours. From February 20 to 27, original productions from Meya Mining (Sierra Leone), Diamcor (South Africa), Guiter mining (Guinea) as well as Calendula and Angola F2M will be tendered. Viewings will take place by appointment in Antwerp at the offices of Koin International and Miranel BVBA.
05 Feb
Boaz Moldawsky
Boaz Moldawsky, who has served as the acting Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) for the past year, has been elected by IDI’s Board of Directors as its Chairman for a three-year term. The Israel Diamond Institute is a non-profit, public interest company representing all institutions involved in the Israeli Diamond Industry. IDI works to advance and strengthen the Israeli sector as a global diamond hub, through marketing, technological innovation, rough diamond sourcing and promotion of local manufacturing. Moldawsky is a second-generation diamantaire, whose family were amongst the founders of the Israel diamond industry. He has been active in public service to the industry for many years, serving as Deputy President of the Israel Diamond...
01 Feb
GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal
With Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley undergoing medical treatment in the US, Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today presented the country’s annual budget allocations as a vote-on-account measure, with the final budget allocations to be made after upcoming state elections. The government announced a consumer-friendly raft of measures that include raising the tax threshold to minimum annual earnings of Rs. 5 lakh ($7,015) and also granting tax relief to those earning up to Rs. 6.5 lakh ($9,120) per annum if they invested in provident funds and prescribed equities. The threshold for tax on rental incomes was also raised substantially. Reacting to the budget announcement, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)...
01 Feb
Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. announced that it will include in it its upcoming, February rough diamond sale, an exceptional quality, 60.59-carat, fancy vivid yellow rough diamond. The diamond was recovered at the Company’s Gahcho Kué Mine in October 2018.  The company’s Vice President Diamond Marketing Reid Mackie commented, “The discovery of this diamond demonstrates our ability to produce very large, high quality, fancy coloured diamonds. We are thrilled to be able to include it in our upcoming sale and present our customers with the opportunity to bid for this important piece of the mine’s history”.  Also included in the sale will be more than 50 other large, high quality white and fancy coloured rough diamonds. Viewings will take place between February 11 and 21 at the offices of...
31 Jan
The Montepuez ruby mine is an open-pit operation
Coloured gemstone miner Gemfields has agreed to pay £5.8 million ($7.8 million) to settle claims of human rights abuses brought against it by members of the community living near its Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique. The settlement is on a “no admission of liability” basis. Local community members, represented by British law firm Leigh Day, had alleged that Gemfields security forces had shot, beaten and subjected people to humiliating treatment and sexual abuse. Over and above the settlement, Gemfields is setting up an independent grievance mechanism to allow local community members to file complaints more easily. It is also creating a £500,000 ($659,000) agricultural development and training fund for the community...
31 Jan
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is offering aspiring gem and jewellery professionals interested in GIA gemmology and jewellery manufacturing arts programs, distance education courses and lab classes, $2 million in scholarships funded by the GIA Endowment Fund and private donors for 2019. Applications open on February 1.   GIA has awarded more than $10 million in scholarships since 2010, helping more than 2,000 students study at its institutions and through the its distance education programs. “Scholarships are a very important part of our mission-driven education programs, helping hundreds of students start or advance their careers in the global gem and jewellery industry every year,” said Duncan Pay, vice president and chief academic officer. He added, “With scholarships,...
30 Jan
Indian Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu formally launched the country’s Domestic Council for Gems & Jewellery at a function in Mumbai on Tuesday and announced that the new body would be operational with elected representatives by May 1. The new council’s constituents will be existing industry bodies that each cater to specific sectors. Its  launch follows a third meeting of gem and jewellery industry bodies with the government on January 16 in Delhi which resulted in a decision to go ahead with the initiative by month’s end.  An ad hoc committee has been set up to take the new body through to operational status with an elected representation. It is headed by Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Pramod Agarwal and consists...
30 Jan
ALROSA announced it had recovered a 191.46-carat rough diamond at its Udachnaya kimberlite pipe. The stone is transparent, with a slight yellowish tinge. ALROSA United Sales Organisation (USO) Director Evgeny Agureev commented, “Such large, gem-quality discoveries, weighing more than 100 carats, confirm that there are many unique precious minerals in the reserves of the Udachnaya kimberlite pipe. Since the beginning of the development in 1967, the pipe has given hundreds of large diamonds to our company. In the near future, this rare specimen will go to the United Selling Organization for detailed study and evaluation.” A rough diamond comparable in size was found at the company's deposits more than 2.5 years ago. The Udachnaya pipe was discovered in 1955. It is among the largest known...
30 Jan
GIA India conducted two educational seminars titled “Identification and Update on Laboratory-Grown Diamonds” and “The Causes of Colour in Natural Fancy-Coloured Diamonds” at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) on January 24. The seminars were presented by Dr. Sally Magaña, GIA senior research scientist from Carlsbad, California. Magaña is an expert in diamond physics, treatments and laboratory-grown diamonds who has authored and co-authored numerous research articles about laboratory-grown diamonds, temperature effects on luminescence centres in natural type IIb diamonds and more.  BDB Vice President Mehul Shah commented, “These educational seminars are very much the need of the hour. The industry is going through a lot of changes and there is a need for awareness. Such initiatives at the...
30 Jan
De Beers announced that it had provisionally sold $505 million in rough diamonds during the first sales cycle of 2019, a nearly 25 percent drop from the $672 million it sold in the first cycle of 2018. CEO Bruce Cleaver said, "Rough diamond sales during the first sales cycle of 2019 were lower than those for the equivalent period last year, reflecting higher than normal sales in the previous cycle ($540 million in cycle 10 of 2018) and the slow movement of lower value rough diamonds through the pipeline.”
29 Jan
GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal
As the Indian government readies to present its annual budget for fiscal 2019-20, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has presented an industry wish-list for fiscal policy. As a preamble, GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal observed, “The gems and jewellery sector constitutes 7 percent of the country’s GDP, 13.52 percent of India’s merchandise exports and directly employs around 5 million people, thus making a significant contribution to the country’s economy while maintaining a global leadership in cutting and processing of diamonds and some categories of gemstones. The GJEPC has sought government support in ensuring the ease of doing business and thus helping exporters to enhance exports in 2019-20.” The wish-list...
29 Jan
Mathew Tratner
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced that Matthew Tratner has been appointed global director of business development. Previously director of membership and sales at Jewelers of America and publisher of National Jeweler, Tratner will be responsible for expanding and deepening GIA’s relationships with retailers and other stakeholders. “I am delighted to join the talented team at GIA,” said Tratner. “I look forward to taking on new challenges, creating opportunities and being part of GIA’s development and continued growth.” Tratner has been in the jewellery industry for 15 years. His experience spans retail sales, e-commerce, publishing and marketing. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Empire State College and an Accredited Jewelry...
28 Jan
ALROSA announced that six additional companies — Chow Sang Sang Jewelery from China, Kapu Gems, Mohit Diamonds and VD Global, all from India, the UAE operations of India’s M. Suresh Company and Richold SA from Switzerland. ALROSA said that despite its focus on established manufacturing firms for its client base, companies like Chow Sang Sang, which is one of the largest jewellery retailers in the world, are also considered for their effectiveness in the diamond value chain. With the additions, ALROSA now has 59 long-term clients for gem-quality diamonds and 10 for industrial goods. As is required of all long-term contract clients, the six were participants in the ALROSA Alliance program, which enables the use of a logo indicating regular rough diamond supplies from ALROSA and the...
25 Jan
Anjin had previously already been mining diamonds inZimbabwe's Marange diamond fields
Zimbabwe has approved diamond exploration and mining licences for ALROSA and Anjin, the Chinese-owned firm that was already mining in the country’s Marange diamond fields before all diamond mining was nationalised in 2015 and brought under the state-owned Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC). Despite having reportedly previously invited them to explore and mine diamonds in the country, Mines Minister Winston Chitando said in an interview that De Beers and Vast Resources had not been granted mining licences. De Beers had previously stated that it did not intend to mine in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa has reportedly been aligning the country more with...
25 Jan
At a meeting between the Indian Ministry of Commerce & Industry and leading gem and jewellery exporters from Jaipur that it had hosted to discuss various issues related to the export trade, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) urged the government to clearly define procedures to enable foreign mining firms and distributors to import and make direct sales of rough coloured gemstones to Indian companies. Such a policy, the GJEPC said, would ensure the consistent supply of raw material to a processing industry that is totally dependent on imports for its rough coloured gemstones. GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal, welcoming Ministry of Commerce Economic Advisor Rupa Dutta and Deputy Secretary Senthil Nathan, who represented the government, said interactions such as this...

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