We bring you important updates for the diamond industry across various sectors of retail, mining and updates from developing markets of India, China and Africa.
- > In August, De Beers launched the diamond valuation program for pre-owned diamonds. The program available to diamond retailers provides valuations and grading for diamonds pre-owned by customers and is intended to bring De Beers close to customers and deepen the diamond giant’s understanding of the reselling process. With rising costs, stricter mining regulations, this might be the diamond miner’s foray into an alternate business strategy.
- > Dharmanandan Diamonds will showcase a 3D viewing virtual showcase for diamonds in the upcoming Hong Kong Jewellery Show. The showcase will enable retail diamond buyers to view diamonds in greater detail on the screen. The technology would also reduce cost for retailers by allowing them to keep majority stock in warehouses and directly ship to customers once orders are received.
- > Sarine Technologies has created a diamond grading system to measure features of diamonds and remove the uncertainties and variations that come from human grading systems. The system is originally developed for Tiffany & Co. but will be available to other retailers or grading laboratories.
- > RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) dropped for all polished diamond sizes as buying slowed due to anticipation of Hong Kong Jewellery Show. Following the De Beers large sight, rough trading slowed and prices also softened. The upcoming holiday season and performance at upcoming jewellery show will decide the prices for rest of the year.
- > RapNet stopped listing EGL graded diamonds on its Diamond Grading Network after the group found inconsistencies in the grading quality of diamonds certified by EGL. EGL follows the grading terminology of GIA but is not as strict as the latter while determining the quality of diamonds.
- > Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) postponed the fourth International Diamond Week that was scheduled to begin on September 1st due to ongoing conflict in Gaza and associated security concerns.
- > Petra Diamond’s Cullinan mine, which has been in news this year for large diamond finds, has produced a 232 carat, D color, Type II a diamond of exceptional clarity. The stone is reputed to be of type II a, which signifies that it has no measurable nitrogen impurities.
- > Rio Tinto donated diamonds from its Australian Argyle Diamond mine to Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, US. The mine is famous for its colored diamonds and currently is the only producer of pink diamonds. The donation would be used for display and research purposes.
- > Alrosa’s profit rose by 58 percent in the first half of 2014 that ended on June 30. The revenue increased by 27 percent for that period and diamond production declined by 7 percent. Major contributing factor for the rise in profits is weakening of Russian ruble against dollar.
Diamond Industry in Africa, India and China
- > In a bid to increase revenues from diamonds, Zimbabwe has changed regulations to increase processing of rough diamonds before they leave the country. The country is seeking partnership with Chinese firm Chow Tai Fook for setup of processing facilities strengthening its ties with China.
- > Botswana government announced the opening of Ghaghoo mine in the Central Kalahari reserve triggering protests from human rights and environmental activists. Gem Diamonds holds a 25-year mining license on the project which once operational would become the second largest project for the company after Letšeng in Lesotho. The Ghaghoo mine is expected to produce 200,000 carats per annum worth of roughs.
- > Ebola epidemic in West Africa has affected the diamond industry since traders have stopped visiting the affected countries and in some cases returned diamond parcels. Sierra Leone due to the severe outbreak would miss this year’s diamond revenue target of $200 million.
- > The state government of Gujarat has approved a special economic zone and Diamond Exchange center for Surat – the diamond capital of India. This move has prompted a shift of Diamantaries from Mumbai to Surat and around 9,500 traders have submitted applications for office space in the newly proposed facility.
- > India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and China’s Guangzhou Panyu Economy & Trade Promotion Bureau signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase trading and investment ties between two countries. The MoU will give gem and jewelry industry in Jaipur, India special benefits. Jaipur is a processing center for colored gemstones and China has a growing market for these colored stones.