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24 Jan
De Beers reported that its rough diamond production in the fourth quarter of 2018 increased 12 per cent to 9.1 million carats, bringing total production for the year to 35.3 million carats. Rough diamond sales volumes totalled 9.9 million carats (9.2 million carats on a consolidated basis) from three sales cycles, up 20.7 percent from the 8.2 million carats (7.5 million carats on a consolidated basis) from the same number of sales cycles during the equivalent period in 2017. Fourth quarter rough sales revenues increased year on year as the re-phased allocations of some lower value rough diamonds from Sight 7 (in September) were realised in Sights 9 and 10. For the full year, rough diamond sales volumes were four per cent lower at 33.7 million carats (31.6 million carats on a consolidated...
24 Jan
ALROSA said that its 2018 rough diamond production volume at 36.7 million carats, with overall sales (including from its stockpile) of 38.1 million carats, represented a downturn of 8 percent. Sales proceeds, however, had risen 6 percent to $4.5 billion. The average realised prices for gem-quality diamonds grew 21 percent  to $164 per carat in 2018. Over Q4, however, they were down by 23 percent in a quarter-on-quarter comparison but up 10 percent year-on year to $153 per carat. Looking at the process pipeline, ALROSA said the trend of weaker demand for lower-priced stones that emerged in Q3 continued into Q4 2018. Demand for rough diamonds echoed the situation on the polished diamond market, where uncertified melee diamonds saw the strongest price decline due to oversupply, weak rupee...
23 Jan
Sarine Technologies will inaugurate its fully automated diamond grading lab, which it says is the only such facility based on artificial intelligence (AI), during the International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI) that will run January 28 to 30. The launch follows an initial pilot of the lab facility in Israel and India that opened in January 2018. The Sarine lab is offering automated diamond grading reports, based on machine learning and monitored by expert gemologists, which the company says supplies objective, consistent grading results. The Sarine Profile reports are provided in a customisable printed or digital format. The lab also offers science-based Light Performance grading, measuring brilliance, sparkle, fire and light symmetry, which they say objectively assesses the beauty of the...
22 Jan
Trans Atlantic Gem Sales (TAGS) will be holding a rough diamond tender from February 12 to19 in the Almas Tower at the Dubai Diamond Exchange. Two regular productions from South Africa and Angola will again be presented. TAGS said both materials are of high quality and high colour and they are expecting in the region of 25,000 carats of South African goods and 30,000 carats of Angolan goods across a full range of sizes. Final details will soon be forthcoming from the producers, however the event should have a combined value in excess of $40 million.
22 Jan
CIBJO's new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book was the centre-point of a well-attended seminar at the VICENZAORO January jewellery trade show in Vicenza, Italy, on January 19. The precious coral sector was used as a case study for sustainability. The seminar comprised the opening session of the 21st Symposium of the Federation for European Education in Gemmology (FEEG), which was hosted by the Italian Gemmological Institute. In his introduction, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, who moderated the opening seminar, said that consumer confidence, without which, "the entire premise on which our business is built would be meaningless," requires more than just the integrity of the product to be maintained. "Today, and for about 20 years already, it has become increasingly apparent that the ways in...
21 Jan
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said 19 Indian jewellery manufacturers were participating in the Vicenzaoro Winter 2019 trade show, which kicked off last Friday, under the GJEPC-organised India Pavilion.  Restating the importance of Europe as a market for the Indian gem and jewellery export production industry, GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agrawal said, “India’s total exports of gems and jewellery to Europe in 2018 stood at $3.94 billion. Europe has been an important market for India, and Italy has been an entry point for EU countries and Europe in general.” He added, “Vicenzaoro offers a perfect platform for our exhibitors to learn about and understand the market here and, also come up with jewellery that follows changing trends. This also provides us the opportunity...
21 Jan
The Diavik diamond mine in Canada
Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine produced 14.07 million carats in 2018, an 18 percent decline over its 2017 production, while its Diavik mine’s output of 4.36 million carats during the same period was 3 percent lower than the previous year. Rio Tinto said that Argyle’s output drop was mitigated by enhanced processing of higher grade alluvial tailings, while the Diavik output drop was due to lower grade ore, partially offset by higher ore processing. The company said the A21 project successfully mined its first ore in March 2018 and reached commercial production during the fourth quarter. Diamond production guidance for 2019 is between 15- and 17 million carats.
21 Jan
Rebecca Foerster
Rebecca Foerster, until recently the Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning and Marketing at New York's Leo Schachter Diamonds, has been appointed President of ALROSA’s US operations.  Foerster will be principally responsible for the development of polished diamonds sales and customer service for ALROSA USA Inc. Foerster has worked at Leo Schachter Diamonds since 2014. Prior to that, she was, from 2007, Vice President at the US Representative office of Rio Tinto. Previous experience includes being from 1998-2007, Vice President of marketing for Frederick Goldman Inc., a New York jewellery manufacturer specialising in the bridal market and brand development, as well as working at advertising agencies and corporations such as Revlon,...
18 Jan
Bonas-Couzyn NV and International Mining and Dredging Holdings (Pty) Ltd (IMDH) have announced that from February onwards, they will be offering IMDH’s Namibian marine-mined rough diamonds from the Diamond Fields licence area, for auction sale in Bonas-Couzyn’s Antwerp offices. IMDH engages in offshore exploration, dredging and marine mining activities as well as specialised vessel and tool design. Their Namibian subsidiary, Nutam Operations (Pty) Ltd, has been contracted by license holder Diamond Fields (Namibia) (Pty) Ltd. to undertake mining operations within their ML111 offshore Namibian mining license and to sell the production recovered. The first sale from IMDH brings to market approximately 47,000 carats of original marine goods of gem quality, mined by the specialist mining...
18 Jan
ALROSA reported that it had held 32 international auctions for special size (over 10.8 carats) rough diamonds in 2018, earning a total of $463 million for the year. The company traditionally holds auctions in six countries — Russia, Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The largest number of auctions were in Russia, with Moscow seeing 11, while another four were held in Vladivostok. For the first time in many years, the company held two auctions at its sales office in New York, which resumed operations last year. Another six auctions took place in Ramat Gan, three in Hong Kong, four in Dubai and two in Antwerp. ALROSA has planned 37 international auctions for 2019, increasing the number of auctions in Antwerp, New York and Dubai. There will be still...
17 Jan
Signet Jewelers reported disappointing 2018 holiday season sales of $1.84 billion, down 2.5 percent in a comparison with the same period in 2017. Same store sales dropped 1.3 percent. The group’s eCommerce sales in the period, at $222.3 million, were up 5.6 percent year-over-year, while brick and mortar same store sales declined 2.2 percent. The group has revised its fourth-quarter guidance to same store sales being down between 1.6 and 2.5 percent, while guidance for the whole of fiscal 2019 is flat same store sales. Chief Executive Virginia Drosos commented, "Our holiday season performance fell short of our expectations. Early improvements in refreshed merchandise assortment, digital marketing and OmniChannel were more than offset by larger than expected declines in legacy product lines...
17 Jan
Indian Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu will formally launch a Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council on January 31. The move comes after a third and decisive meeting of 14 industry bodies including the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), the India Bullion & Jewellers Association (IBJA),  the All India Gems & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC, formerly GJF) and the Association of Gold Refineries & Mints (AGRM), with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in Delhi on Wednesday. The new domestic council will not have individuals as members, but instead represent the interests of the participating industry bodies that currently cater to a variety of specific segments. Bharat Diamond Bourse President Anoop Mehta observed, “The...
16 Jan
Synthetic diamonds are now in a growth phase
ABN Amro Bank has said in its diamond sector outlook for 2019 that the year is one of great uncertainty and that lab-grown diamonds, spurred by the entry of De Beers into the segment, are in for a growth phase. This will lower demand for natural diamonds and push prices down. Diamond miners could, as a result, stop searching for new mines and speed up production from existing ones. The clear winner in all of this will be the consumer, the report says. The report, written by the bank’s Coordinator for Foreign Exchange & Precious Metals Strategy Georgette Boele, comments, “The diamond industry has moved from a relatively stable environment to a highly uncertain environment. It notes that 2018 was the year that De...
15 Jan
ALROSA announced that it will develop new mining operations in Zimbabwe with the support of that country’s government. An announcement to this effect was made on Monday during Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit to Moscow. Negotiations held in 2018 by ALROSA and the Zimbabwe resulted in a decision to start operations in the country and open an ALROSA subsidiary there. This company will implement projects for exploration and mining operations with a view to establishing joint diamond and other ore mining enterprises. Towards this, ALROSA (Zimbabwe) Limited was established on December 6, 2018, in Harare. Within the next month ALROSA’s experts, including geologists and mining engineers will arrive in the country to start the operations. ALROSA CEO Sergei Ivanov stated, "Today we...
14 Jan
Patrick Evans
Patrick Evans, who quit as CEO of Canada’s Dominion Diamond last month, is launching a company to make lab-grown diamonds larger than one carat, aimed at the bridal market, reports the Financial Times. While the De Beers-owned Lightbox lab-grown diamond brand has targeted the fashion market and sells its product at between 30- and 40-percent below the price of natural stones in the 1-carat size range, Evans says he hopes to sell the larger, bridal-market stones at only between 15- and 20 percent discounts to the price of natural stones. Evans, who says he has secured financial backing from wealthy individuals and one jewellery company which he declined to name, is reportedly searching for a location in the US to set up a production plant with access...
14 Jan
CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri
The Board of Directors of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has approved the first edition of the Responsible Sourcing Book, which provides a framework and guidance for due diligence related to the responsible sourcing of gemstones and precious metals in the jewellery sector. It becomes the latest in CIBJO's Blue Book series of definitive industry guides for standards and nomenclature, joining the Blue Books for diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls, precious coral, precious metals and gemological laboratories. The new Responsible Sourcing Book is the product of a year-long project, which included the creation of the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Commission and a policy document that was presented at the 2018 CIBJO Congress in...
14 Jan
ALROSA reported that its total diamond sales in 2018 grew six percent year-on-year to $4.507 billion. Rough diamonds sales grew to $4.412 billion, polished diamonds sales stood at $95.3 million. The diamond miner also said that its December sales of rough and polished diamonds increased by 38 percent in a year-on-year comparison to $328.7 million. Rough diamond sales reached $323.7 million while polished diamond sales were $5 million. "A six percent sales growth in 2018 was driven by both high demand for rough diamonds and positive price dynamics in the first half of the year. Market demand was strong in all rough diamond categories, and the traditional slowdown in demand in the second quarter due to seasonality was not registered this year,” said ALROSA United Sales Organisation Director...
11 Jan
The just-recovered 127-carat diamond
Canadian miner Lucara Diamond Corp. announced it had recovered a 127-carat, top white gem diamond, from its fully-owned Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. Lucara said that since mining began at Karowe in 2012, a total of 129 diamonds in excess of 100 carats have been recovered, 33 in 2018 alone. That tally includes 12 diamonds larger than 300 carats in size, of which 5 were recovered in 2018. In addition, Lucara has sold 180 diamonds in excess of $1 million each and ten diamonds have sold for in excess of $10 million each. Lucara CEO Eira Thomas commented, "The recovery of this latest, high-value, top white 127-carat diamond attests to the remarkable nature of the Karowe ore-body, which has consistently delivered large, high-...

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