12 Jul
WFDB President Ernie Blom
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has announced that the 2018 World Diamond Congress, the biannual meeting of the WFDB and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), will take place in Mumbai, India, from October 23 to 25.  WFDB President Ernie Blom said, “I am delighted to be able to confirm the dates for the World Diamond Congress. I would also like to express, on behalf of the WFDB, our gratitude to our colleagues at the Bharat Diamond Bourse who kindly agreed to host the 2018 Congress.” He added, “This is a very important meeting where we will be discussing a wide range of issues facing the diamond industry worldwide. The Congress serves as a critical forum for WFDB presidents and members of their...
12 Jul
We apologise to all our readers for having gone offline these past days. We had a major software problem and it took time to fix it. We are happy to say that we are now up and running again and you can now get your latest gem and jewellery news, information and opinion at www.gemkonnect.com once again. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
12 Jul
Russian goalkeeping legend Lev Yashin
ALROSA announced that it has picked two winners for its competition to name a large rough diamond with a football-related name. A 69.7-carat stone will be named Lev Yashin after the legendary Russian goalkeeper, while a 76.53-carat one will be named Brilliant Moment. The competition was run to commemorate the ongoing FIFA World Cup football tournament being held in Russia. More than 550 people participated in the 10-day competition and many of them made more than one suggestion. Surnames of footballers from various squads, variations to the championship's name and even the name of official match ball were among the most popular suggestions. Humorous names were also proposed — suggestions came in naming the stone after the...
12 Jul
Princeton University is tapping the expertise of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in gemological research and the analysis of optical centres to evaluate how to use the unique properties of diamonds to create a highly secure communications network. The GIA said in a press release that a research paper, published in the July 6 issue of Science magazine examines how colour centres created by replacing two carbon atoms with one silicon atom in the crystal lattice of a synthetic diamond could be used to store and retransmit information in a quantum communications network, that would allow for the transmission of information between physically separated processors. GIA Research Associate Lorne Loudin, one of several co-authors of the article, used instrumentation and techniques...
26 Jun
De Beers announced that it had provisionally sold $575 million worth of rough diamonds in its 5th sales cycle of this year. This is a 3.8 percent increase over the $554 million actually sold in Cycle 4 this year and is 6.3 percent over the $541 million actually sold in Cycle 5 of 2017.  De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said, “Sentiment in the diamond industry’s midstream is positive following the JCK Las Vegas trade show at the start of the month, and we continued to see good demand for our rough diamonds across the product range.”
22 Jun
Global demand for diamond jewellery grew 7 percent in dollar terms over the first quarter of this year in a year-on-year comparison with 2017, according to research conducted by ALROSA. The miner said the growth could be attributed to a combination of increased consumer demand and the strengthening of other currencies against the dollar. The Asia-Pacific region recorded the strongest growth at 11 percent, mainly due to growth in mainland China along with stronger demand in Hong Kong and South Korea that was fuelled by increased tourist traffic.The Asia-Pacific region accounted for 20 percent of global diamond jewellery demand in 2017. US and Canada sales grew by  5 percent. ALROSA sees this as significant as the US accounted for 53 percent of global demand in 2017. Japanese demand grew by...
21 Jun
ALROSA's International mine near Mirny
Russian state-controlled diamond mining major ALROSA has revised its output plan for its International mine, located 16 kilometres southwest of the town of Mirny. The revision is the outcome of stricter health and safety norms for the mine’s underground construction in the wake of the Mir mine accident in 2017. ALROSA said it is suspending construction below the 800 metre depth level in order to address gas dynamic issues. The company projects a resumption of limited mining at these levels by the end of this year after studies are carried out. Full resumption of mining operations below the level 800 meter level is estimated to take place in 2023, after which the underground mine will return to its designed capacity of 500,000...
21 Jun
Dominion Diamond Mines has announced the auction of its latest production of fancy colour rough diamonds along with stones over 10.8 carats in co-operation with I. Hennig Tenders. Viewings for the auction will be hosted by I. Hennig Tenders and are scheduled in Antwerp from July 5 to 11 and in Ramat Gan from July 15 to 18. The online auction event will take place on July 19.Participation is strictly by invitation only. Dominion said that the most recent production from the Misery kimberlite pipe of its Ekati diamond mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada has delivered a quantity of exceptional yellow fancy colour stones, which will be presented for sale at the upcoming auction.  Dominion plans to expand the Ekati mine by developing an underground operation below the Misery kimberlite...
20 Jun
ALROSA announced it had sold 111 large gem-quality diamonds weighing a total of 1,725 carats for $10.5 million at its auction in Dubai from May 27 to June 14. Each individual diamond weighed more than 10.8 carats — what ALROSA calls ‘special sizes’. Winning bids were placed by 32 firms from India, Belgium, Israel, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The auction was the third this year. "The auction has concluded with excellent results for us, with the starting price being almost doubled. This once again confirms that diamond market participants are still interested in our products. We plan to hold the next auction in Dubai in October-November this year," said Evgeny Agureev, Director of the United Selling Organisation (USO), ALROSA’s rough diamond sales arm.
19 Jun
WDC Acting President Stephane Fischler
The World Diamond Council (WDC) reaffirmed its commitment to driving ongoing positive change through reform at the 2018 Kimberley Process (KP) Intersessional meeting which kicked off in Antwerp on June 18 and will run through June 22. The Intersessional is an annual forum where members gather to discuss the technical aspects of the various working groups that comprise the KP. Individual members of the WDC currently serve on a range of KP working groups that include Monitoring, CAR Monitoring Team, Statistics, Rules and Procedures, Participation and Chairmanship, Alluvial and Artisanal Production and Diamond Experts.  Addressing the Intersessional, Acting WDC President Stephane Fischler reiterated the need for KP review and...
19 Jun
Last Word Communications owner Michelle Orman interactswith an attendee at the 2017 New York Career Fair
Nearly 50 companies, including Lorraine Schwartz, Tiffany & Company, London Jewelers, Diamonds Direct and many more are expected at its Jewelry Career Fair in New York on July 13, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) said in a press release.  “Since the inception of GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair, our mission has been to foster networking, opportunity and stimulating discussion,” said Kathryn Kimmel, GIA senior vice president and chief marketing officer, and co-founder of the GIA Jewelry Career Fair. “Between the exceptional panelists, face-to-face career advice and array of recruiters at this year’s event, it is sure to garner success for job seekers.”...
18 Jun
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) announced that its Scientific & Technological Research Centre for Diamonds (WTOCD) has developed a technology that fully automates the diamond polishing process and opens up the possibility of diamonds once again being polished on a large scale in Antwerp. According to a AWDC press note, FENIX, the new, fully automated technology, which has been 10 years in development, enables diamonds to be polished between 10 and 20 times faster than the current manual system. A stone, that would typically consumer and entire day in processing, can now be polished in one and a half hours, the AWDC said. AWDC Chief Executive Ari Epstein commented, “This discovery fundamentally changes the diamond polishing process. Today’s wages simply make it too expensive to...
15 Jun
French luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has launched a dedicated jewellery section on its online retail portal 24sevres.com. The web retailer, which sells fashion items from LVMH’s own labels along with those of competitors like Italian brand Valentino, said the dedicated jewellery section would feature product from 13 brands. Prices for jewellery will range from $90 to $2,500. A study by Bain found that the jewellery segment grew faster than any other in the luxury goods sector barring shoes, clocking a 10 percent rise in constant currencies to €17 billion ($19.64 billion) in 2017. Rival Richemont, which owns the Cartier brand among others, is also boosting its web presence as high-end jewellery and watches increasingly find customers online. Richemont’s online retailer Yoox...
14 Jun
The DEF Board at the event in Las Vegas
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) hosted its Diamonds Do Good Awards on May 31 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. The funds raised will be used to provide higher education scholarships and assistance to empower young people living in diamond producing countries and where the diamond industry does business and to help communicate this ‘diamonds do good’ impact to consumers. Botswana top achiever student and recent Yale graduate Opelo Matome represented the DEF’s student scholars. She said, “I am ever grateful for the opportunities I’ve been granted through the support of organisations like the Diamond Empowerment Fund and my country’s prioritisation of education, truly one of the most powerful catalysts for change”. The...
14 Jun
After the fiery destruction it has wrought in Hawaii, the Kilauea volcano is now causing it to rain gemstones on the island. Residents have begun finding decent-sized peridot crystals in the rubble and ash of recent eruptions and lava flows. Volcanos are known to spew out quantities of the mineral olivine, which is magnesium iron silicate, in their eruptions. However, this is usually found in the form of a green, sandy residue. Mount Kilauea’s eruptions, however, have thrown hot magma high into the air, where the high crystallisation temperature of olivine enables it to quickly transform into peridot crystals before hitting the ground. Residents of Hawaii are not, however, expected to grow rich suddenly even if they collect buckets full of the gemstones. Peridot...
14 Jun
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), the state-owned entity that now controls all diamond mining in the country, is looking at securing $200 million in foreign direct investment while also ploughing in another $200 million from its own diamond sales earnings to bring the country’s rough diamond output up to 10 million carats a year by 2023. Stating this, ZCDC Chief Executive Morris Mpofu said that the strategy, contained in the company’s Diamond Value Management (DVM) plan, will primarily target exploration given that Zimbabwe’s easy-to-mine alluvial deposits have been depleted. Thus apart from the famed Chiadzwa diamond deposits in Marange that are currently being exploited, the ZCDC would look at other areas in Chimanimani as well as known kimberlites in Chihota and Mwenezi...
13 Jun
ALROSA's production township at Udachny
Russian diamond mining major ALROSA said it had spent RUB 4.4 billion ($70 million) in 2017 on environmental programs. The company named two major projects it termed as being of special importance. The first was the restoration of sewage treatment facilities in the town of Udachny, where one of its major mines is located. The treatment facility, with a capacity of 15,000 cubic metres a day, is of strategic importance to the local fisheries, requiring special protection of rivers in the region. The facility’s restoration allowed the additional clean-up of effluents so that they were compliant with the threshold levels for fish reservoirs. The second project involved the construction of a centre to pump quarry and drainage...
13 Jun
The Meya Mining digs in Sierra Leone
Auction platform Koin International will hold a rough diamond tender in Antwerp from June 18 to 26 of original productions from Meya Mining in Sierra Leone, Ekapa Minerals in Kimberley, South Africa and over 60, 000 carats of original Angola production. The tender also includes a larger than 10.8-carat single stone from Angola.  All productions are a full range of colours and qualities. Viewings will take place by appointment in Antwerp at the offices of Koin International and Miranel BVBA on Schupstraat in the diamond district.

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