28 Feb
There are 38 loose diamond and gemstone exhibitors along with 37 jewellery exhibitors participating in the India Pavilions of the 2019 Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show and Hong Kong International Jewellery Show that is organised by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The two shows with overlapping durations — the former from February 26 to March 2 at the AsiaWorld Expo and the latter at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre — are key for the Indian industry, which directs a significant portion of its exports to Hong Kong. GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agrawal said, “Hong Kong is the leading export market for Indian gems and jewellery. A staggering $11.43 billion of India’s overall $39.46 billion gem and jewellery exports in 2018 were to Hong...
28 Feb
Stephane Fischler
The Kimberley Process must galvanise its absolute commitment to its conflict-prevention mission, and this will require the expansion of the definition of "conflict diamonds" to cover all forms of systemic violence, including those carried out by state and private security forces. This is one of the major points of World Diamond Council (WDC) President Stephane Fischler’s message to a special meeting on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict, which is being conducted today in New York as part the United Nations General Assembly's 73rd Session. A proposal to expand the definition of “conflict diamonds” was put forward by the Government of Canada at last November's KP Plenary Meeting in Brussels, and was supported by both the industry and civil...
28 Feb
As a development of a movement that was seeded by a series of meetings between the Gemmological Institute of India (GII) and the National Gem Testing Center (NGTC) of China, an initiative to develop an international standardisation protocol of the Asia-Pacific (including India) and China region are under way in Hong Kong today. The goal is to form a body known as the Asia-Pacific Gemstone and Technology Standardisation Alliance (AGA). An open forum was organised today in Hong Kong by the NGTC with the participation of the GII, the World Jewellery Confederation CIBJO, the Gem & Jewellery Institute of Thailand (GIT), the Central Gem Laboratory (CGL) of Tokyo, the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong (DFHK), the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong (GAHK) and the Hong Kong Institute of...
28 Feb
Rio Tinto's Argyle mine in Western Australia
Rio Tinto reported in its annual financial results that its net earnings and profitability from its diamond production in 2018 had risen. Earnings rose 28.3 percent to $118 million on gross revenue of $695 million from the $92 million earned on gross revenue of $706 million in 2017. Earnings had risen despite a 15 percent lower mine production of 18.43 million carats as against 21.63 million carats in 2017. The company said that the global supply of natural rough diamonds in 2018 was lower than 2017. Rio Tinto expects this trend to continue into 2019, as new sources of supply are unable to satisfy growing demand. The first half of 2018 also saw a reduction in miners’ inventories coinciding with improved prices. However...
28 Feb
Barrick Gold's Cortez mine in Elko, Nevada
Barrick Gold is attempting to become the world’s largest gold producer by launching a hostile $17.8 billion all-share takeover offer for Newmont Mining. The bid comes in the wake of a number of on-and-off talks between the two mining companies about a merger. The last such talks took place in 2014. The bid, if successful, would also leave uncertain, the fate of Newmont’s own $10 billion takeover of Goldcorp that was announced last month. Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg commented, “It’s a desperate and bizarre attempt to muddle up our deal,” adding, “It is certainly not the sort of behaviour that will appeal to investors who want to invest in serious, well-run companies.” Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton wrote to the...
27 Feb
ALROSA reported that it recovered a 98.8-carat rough diamond on February 17 at the Zapolyarnaya kimberlite pipe, which is the part of the Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit. The gem-quality octahedral stone has a visible yellow shade and has inclusions in the intermediate and peripheral zones. ALROSA United Selling Organisation (USO) Director Evgeny Agureev commented, “This is the second major find since the launch of the deposit last October. It speaks of the great potential of the Verkhne-Munskoye deposit. Not every kimberlite pipe regularly produces large diamonds over 50 carats — especially large crystals like this one, weighing almost 100 carats.” He added, “Despite some inclusions, it is clear that this is a high quality stone. After a detailed study and evaluation, I believe it will...
26 Feb
The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF announced the launch of GemTrack, a new service for the middle of the process chain, that enables the providing of an expert scientific opinion linking a cut gemstone to the rough stone from which it originated. While the SSEF emerald “Paternity Test” system along with a blockchain tracking system has been trialled in 2017 by coloured gemstone miner Gemfields and has recently been adopted by Fura, the GemTrack system allows the middle market in the process chain to adopt a customer assurance technology. The service involves the combination of crystallographic, structural, chemical and microscopic analyses, which allow for a detailed and potentially unique characterisation and fingerprinting of a rough stone. These same features can later be later be...
26 Feb
ALROSA announced that it earned $8.3 million from an international auction for special size rough diamonds (over 10.8 carats) in Dubai. The company said it sold 121 rough diamonds with total weight of 1,950 carats. Firms from the UAE, India, Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong, Russia and the US participated in the auction, with 31 firms placing winning bids. ALROSA United Sales Organisation (USO) Director Evgeny Agureev commented, “ALROSA and Dubai have a longstanding partnership. Since 2014, we have been cooperating with the Dubai Diamond Exchange on industry issues; we have our trading company here, where we regularly hold auctions.” He added, “This year, we decided to increase the number of auctions in Dubai to five, because we see stable demand, including from local firms.” In 2018, ALROSA...
25 Feb
After a disappointing holiday season that saw lower than expected sales coupled with higher than anticipated credit costs, Signet Jewelers has made a voluntary separation offer to its 3,400 corporate staff as it strives to continue with its three-year turnaround plan. Signet, the parent group of the Zales, Jared’s, Kay Jewelers and Piercing Pagoda jewellery brands that collectively account for 3,500 retail stores, has said that the offer is to district manager-level employees and above who have been with the company at least two years. Chief People Officer Mary Liz Finn said in a memo to employess, ”Our high-production areas of distribution, manufacturing, customer care and security are not eligible for the program.” If not enough voluntary separations are forthcoming by Signet’s March 25...
22 Feb
Gemfields' new sort house at its Montepuez ruby mine
Coloured gemstone miner Gemfields today unveiled a new ruby sort house at its Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique. The $15 million sort house, which the company says is the first of its kind in the coloured gemstone industry, will be on a par with the best diamond facilities in the world. The facility itself will raise production levels significantly. It works by using the natural properties of rubies as a means of automated sorting. The process starts with washing of the raw material, before passing it under ultra-violet (UV) light. Rubies naturally fluoresce under UV light, meaning optical sorters can detect the fluorescence and employ blasts of air to direct individual rubies to separate channels for further...
22 Feb
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver
Wholesale prices for lab-grown diamonds have fallen by up to 60 percent since De Beers began selling synthetic stones for jewellery with its Lightbox brand in September, CEO Bruce Cleaver told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. He said the slide would continue as improved technology increases the quality and volume of lab-grown diamonds. Lightbox projects selling 20,000 carats of synthetic diamonds by the end of 2019, but once De Beers’ own factory in the US state of Oregon goes fully operational in 2020, its output will be more than half a million carats of synthetic rough a year. "The margins that were out there are not sustainable," is quoted as saying. "I like to compare it to a flat screen TV. The first ones were very expensive...
21 Feb
De Beers announced its preliminary financial results for 2018, reporting that though total revenue increased to $6.1 billion, up 4 percent from 2017’s $5.8 billion, underlying earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) had decreased 13 percent to $1.25 billion from 2017’s $1.44 billion. The company said that although current economic forecasts remain positive, the outlook for 2019 global diamond jewellery consumer demand faces a number of headwinds, including the risk of a potential intensification of US-China trade tensions, the Chinese government’s ability to rebalance economic growth towards consumption, and further exchange rate volatility. De Beers said that while unit costs and upstream profit margins were maintained, it undertook incremental expenditure on a...
21 Feb
Incoming Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik
Danish mass-market jewellery brand Pandora, which recently appointed Alexander Lacik, the current CEO of Britax Ltd., the British manufacturer of childcare products including car seats, strollers, and high chairs, as its new CEO, has determined that the major reason for the poor performance that led to the departure of CEO Anders Colding Friis is internal. Lacik may only join by September but Pandora has already launched a two-year turnaround plan aimed at correcting those internal issues under the joint caretaker leadership of CFO Anders Boyer and COO Jeremy Schwartz, who had been brought in from The Body Shop. Pandora shares, which had dropped almost 90 percent after a profit warning that led to the former CEO’s exit, surged...
20 Feb
An 88.22-carat D, IF Type IIa oval cut diamond will headline Sotheby’s spring Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction in Hong Kong, slated for April 2. The diamond, cut from a 242-carat rough that was discovered in Botswana’s Jwaneng mine, carries a pre-sale estimate of between $11.2- and $12.7 million. According to Sotheby’s, the diamond is one of only three oval diamonds over 50 carats that have been offered at auction. The April 2 auction will also feature an emerald and diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels alongside a specially curated collection of coloured gemstones and coloured diamonds of exceptional quality, Sotheby’s said.
18 Feb
Coloured gemstone producer Gemfields launched its #EveryPieceUnique promotional campaign in India with an installation at Mumbai’s High Street Phoenix mall over February 16 and 17. The campaign targets consumer engagement by offering visitors the chance to win a pair of earrings set with Gemfields Mozambican rubies, by posting a picture of the installation on social media.  The installation showcased Gemfields’ half emerald and half ruby faceted female form, a rhino sculpture and a depiction of a flowering African baobab tree. The installation features Gemfields’ key campaign messages of transparency, a commitment to conservation and the company’s efforts to mitigate the impact of mining on the environment.
18 Feb
Richard Duffy
Petra Diamonds Limited announced that Richard Duffy would take over as CEO from Johan Dippenaar while reporting a 10 percent increase in production to 2.02 million carats and a 15 percent increase in sales to 1.74 million carats, in its unaudited interim results for the six months to December 31, 2018. Revenue for the period was $207.1 million, up from the $191.8 million during the same period the previous year. The results exclude the Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture and Helam Mining, both of which were sold by December 5 and 6 respectively. Full year production guidance has been maintained at between 3.8  and  4 million carats. Outoing CEO Dippenaar commented, “As we have also communicated today, these are the last results that I will be...
14 Feb
Mitali Kikani, who won the Brooches or Pins category,picks up her award
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) held the presentation ceremony of its Artisan Jewellery Design Awards 2019 jewellery design competition on Wednesday in Mumbai. The event also featured the official release of the GJEPC-sponsored AATMAN - Inspirations 2020 jewellery trend forecasting book put together by luxury industry analysts from The Futurist’s group led by Paola De Luca. Sponsored by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and co-sponsored by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), the design competition is aimed at recognising and rewarding India’s best jewellery design talent. Speaking on the occasion, GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal reiterated the need for the...
14 Feb
The Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) said that after a successful pilot last year, it will again hold an auction of special stones at the HKTDC’s Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show in Hong Kong. The auction will be held at IDI’s Israel Diamond Pavilion, which this year will host 58 companies. The goods will be on view and bids may be placed between February 26 and 28. Progress on the bidding will be shown on screens located within the pavilion.  The IDI said Israeli exhibitors will be presenting diamonds especially suited to Asian markets, with several companies showing very large and important stones and fancy coloured diamonds. Moreover, many of the exhibitors will also be showing specially designed pieces of diamond jewellery. As it did last year, the IDI said the...

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