De Beers Unveils Five-Year Plan to Dominate Luxury Jewelry Market

De Beers has launched an ambitious five-year plan to become the premier jewelry brand worldwide, Diamond World reports.

CEO Al Cook aims to expand De Beers’ retail presence to compete with luxury giants like Tiffany and Cartier. Cook envisions transforming De Beers from a mining-focused company into a leading jewelry house, capitalizing on its rich legacy and market influence.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Cook said: “Diamonds’ future extends far beyond mining. I’m thrilled by the potential to execute our comprehensive strategy, aspiring to establish the world’s most prestigious jewelry maison—a vision that transcends traditional mining company boundaries.”

Central to this transformation is De Beers’ “Origins” strategy, which seeks to drive demand for mined diamonds by appealing to a new generation of consumers. This includes revitalizing marketing efforts and using innovative techniques to enhance the brand’s reach.

A key part of De Beers’ strategy is strengthening relationships with retail partners. Future plans include forming strategic alliances with major retailers, such as Signet Jewelers in the United States and Chow Tai Fook in China.

Source: Israelidiamond

45 Carat yellow diamond could fetch $3.5m

A 45.07 carat fancy vivid yellow diamond is forecast to sell for $2.8m to $3.5m at Phillips New York on Wednesday (12 June).

It leads the New York Jewels Auction, featuring colored diamonds and gemstones, period jewelry, and signed jewels by Cartier, Bulgari, and Van Cleef & Arpels.

The square emerald-cut VS1-clarity stone has classic step-cut faceting, considered an unusual choice to best show off the color and draw out the illusion of greater saturation.

The Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) gives the diamond a total visual score of 11 out of 12, based on inner grade (3), color dispersion (4) and undertone (4), noting that despite its depth percentage, excellent polish and symmetry grades, its visual presence translates to “a diamond appearing smaller in carat weight”.

The diamond will realize $77,657 per carat if it hits its high estimate. In March a 15.51-carat VS2 fancy vivid yellow diamond sold for $1.14m – $73,253 per carat – at Phillips Hong Kong Jewels Auction, beating its low estimate.

Source: IDEX

Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond ‘Tie’ Necklace Fetches $3.6 Million

An important and rare Van Cleef & Arpels diamond “Tie” necklace smashed its estimate and blew past other impressive gems and jewels to become the top lot at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction, held Friday in New York.

The necklace, circa 1929, composed of graduated links set with variously cut diamonds with elongated tassels that partially rotate, sold for $3.6 million, triple its high estimate of $1.2 million, after a six-minute battle between seven bidders.

It was one of the few marquee items in the sale of 95 lots, a low number for a major New York auction. However, many of the items offered were highly collectible and wearable as shown by the overall results. For example, the sale achieved $30 million, near its $35 million high estimate, with 90% of lots sold and 62% of sold lots achieving prices above their high estimate. Sotheby’s said persons from 30 countries participated in the auction, placing more than 1,200 bids. In addition, seven out of the 10 most valuable jewels in the sale achieved more than $1 million. Art Deco jewels, Kashmir sapphires and white diamonds all performed well.

Quig Bruning, Sotheby’s Head of Jewels for Americas & EMEA, credits Sotheby’s new lower buying premium, set at 20%, for the strong overall results.

“We’re encouraged to see that two-thirds of jewels have sold above their high estimates since our lower buyer’s premium came into effect on May 20, confirming that a fairer fee structure is the definition of client-first, and not only encourages more buyers to participate at auction, but also reiterates that Sotheby’s is open to all.”

See more: Forbes

Botswana may raise De Beers stake as Anglo weighs spin-off

The Botswana government may raise its shareholding in global diamond miner De Beers, President Mokgweetsi Masisi told JCK News, after parent company Anglo American said it plans to spin off or sell the business.

The government owns a 15% stake in De Beers and Botswana accounts for 70% of the company’s annual rough diamond supply.

Anglo outlined a radical review of its business including a sale or divestment of the diamond business to focus on copper, iron ore and a fertilizer project in the UK to fend off a takeover from bigger rival BHP Group.

Masisi told JCK in Las Vegas that Anglo’s sale of De Beers would be “the best thing” if it happens.

The government could raise its shareholding in De Beers “if it’s attractive to,” Masisi told the online diamond news channel. The president in May told CNBC Africa that government would defend its interests in the diamond miner.

Among the plans Anglo could consider is an initial public offering for the diamond business, Reuters reported on May 14, citing sources.

Like other luxury goods, diamond prices have been hammered by a slump in global demand. De Beers has been limiting supply and offering flexibility to contracted customers. In February, Anglo announced a $1.6 billion impairment charge on De Beers. Anglo acquired De Beers in 2011, buying the Oppenheimer family’s 40% stake for $5.1 billion.

Masisi told JCK News Botswana’s ideal partner in De Beers would be a long-term investor. The government will try to keep the “bad guys out” and wants investors whose vision is aligned with the government’s.

“One of the characteristics of a bad owner is someone who has impatient capital,” Masisi said. “This industry requires somebody who is in it for the long-haul, because it has its ups and downs.”

Source: Mining.com

Lab Grown Diamonds Market Projected to Hit $59.5 Bn by 2032 with Strongest Growth in Asia Pacific Region

According to Vantage Market Research the Global Lab Grown Diamonds Market Size is expected to reach a value of USD 27.2 Billion in 2023. The Lab Grown Diamonds Market is projected to showcase a CAGR of 9.1% from 2024 to 2032 and is estimated to be valued at USD 59.5 Billion by 2032.

The lab-grown diamonds market has emerged as a formidable force within the diamond industry, captivating consumers with its ethical and sustainable approach to creating stunning gemstones. Unlike mined diamonds, which are extracted from the earth through an environmentally impactful process, lab-grown diamonds are meticulously crafted in controlled laboratory environments.

This innovative technology replicates the natural diamond formation process, resulting in stones with the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as their mined counterparts. The burgeoning lab-grown diamond market is fueled by a confluence of factors, including rising environmental consciousness, evolving consumer preferences, technological advancements, and increasing disposable incomes.

Read more: Einnews

Gem Diamonds finds 172 carat stone at Letšeng

Africa focused miner Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 172.06 ct Type II white diamond at its prolific Letšeng mine in Lesotho, just days after another major find.

The diamond, recovered on June 2nd, is the seventh greater than 100 carat precious stone recovered this year at the operation, the company said.

Type IIa diamonds are the most valued and collectable precious gemstones, as they contain either very little or no nitrogen atoms in their crystal structure.

The Letšeng mine is one of the world’s ten largest diamond operations by revenue. At 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, it is also one of the world’s most elevated diamond mines.

Diamond miners are going through a rough patch as US and Chinese demand for diamond jewellery continues to be weak and the popularity of cheaper laboratory grown diamonds continues to rise.

In 2015, man made diamonds had barely made an appearance as a competitor to natural diamonds. By last year, these stones accounted for more than 10% of the global diamond jewelry market, according to industry specialist Paul Zimnisky.

The market values of small to medium diamond mining companies, including Canada’s Lucara, South Africa’s Petra, and Gem Diamonds itself, are around $100 million or less. This is only about a third or a fourth of the price the large stones they aim to find may be worth.

Source: Mining.com

De Beers Will Quit Growing Diamonds for Jewelry

De Beers Group announced late last week that it will be suspending production of diamonds for jewelry at its Lightbox factory in Gresham, Oregon, pivoting instead to industrial diamonds for technology applications.

The company made the announcement Friday, in the midst of the Las Vegas jewelry trade shows.

The lab-grown pivot is part of a broader new strategy called “Origins,” which is designed to grow desire for natural diamonds while cutting costs.

In an interview with National Jeweler on Friday, De Beers CEO Al Cook elaborated on the decision, including on the future of Lightbox, the lab-grown diamond jewelry brand De Beers launched six years ago.

“Element Six used to produce diamonds because they were hard and they could be used industrially,” he said. “Now, with the price of synthetic diamonds coming down, it opens up this amazing set of technological activities. We’re in partnership with … a number of high-tech companies looking at how you use diamonds as components in the digital era.

“That bit for us is really exciting. And that’s where the future of synthetic diamonds lies for us.”

Despite the transition at the factory, Cook said Lightbox will continue as a brand, drawing upon existing stock for the immediate future.

“At the moment, we’ve got a lot of stones available to Lightbox. Production will continue for a few months to ensure that they’ve got a stock of beautiful lab-grown diamond stones they can sell.”

After Lightbox depletes its existing stock, “we’ll see where the brand goes and we’ll see what happens,” Cook said. “I think it’s too early to say.”

De Beers announced the launch of the Lightbox lab-grown diamond brand during the Las Vegas shows in 2018.

At first, De Beers was growing the diamonds for Lightbox at its Element Six facility in the United Kingdom.

In October 2020, it opened its $94 million Lightbox factory in Gresham, a Portland suburb.

In an attempt to control the direction of the lab-grown diamond market, De Beers set an $800/carat price structure for the line.

It also marketed Lightbox as jewelry for less-special special occasions, like Sweet 16s or graduations, not milestones like engagements or anniversaries, which, it posits, should be celebrated with natural diamonds.

Since the line’s launch six years ago, lab-grown diamond prices have dropped precipitously. Lightbox cut its prices by as much as 40 percent last month.

Cook said De Beers expects the trend to continue.

“For a lot of retailers out there, the incentive to sell natural [diamonds] and the incentive to sell lab-grown are reversed. There was a period of time, a year-plus ago, when retailers got more of a margin sometimes from selling lab-grown diamonds.

“They were cheap to manufacture, and they could be sold as near-equivalents to natural diamonds. We didn’t do that in De Beers Group. We made very clear through Lightbox that these were two entirely different propositions,” he said.

“Not everyone followed our approach. It is now very clear that for all the retailers I can speak to here at JCK, the margin you get by selling a natural diamond is far greater than the margin that you get by selling a lab-grown diamond. It’s also clear that the gap is going to grow rather than shrink. We expect the price of lab-grown diamonds to go down and down, to continue collapsing.”

As it transitions production at the Lightbox factory in Gresham, De Beers announced Friday that it also will be consolidating its Element Six chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond-growing facilities, going from three factories to the one factory in Oregon.

Source: Michelle Graff Nationaljeweler

Lab Grown Threat to Botswana Economy

Lab grown diamonds are a threat to Botswana’s economic lifeblood, says the country’s president Mokgweetsi Masisi.

He was speaking to reporters on Wednesday (29 May) ahead of the first phase in a $6bn project to extend the life of Jwaneng, its flagship diamond mine.

“If lab grown diamonds take our space, then you and I are finished,” he said. He pledged to wage “a peaceful assault against lab grown diamonds, to give confidence to our partners and dampen any attraction to lab growns.”

He was departing for JCK in Las Vegas, where he also said he’d be lobbying the US over G7 sanctions on Russia that route all EU diamonds through a single entry point in Antwerp.

Meanwhile work is about to start to start of the first phase of the Jwaneng development, a establish a drilling platform at a cost of $1bn.

It began commercial operation in 1982 as an open pit operation run by Debswana, a 50:50 joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government.

Open pit operations are expected to end in 2032 but underground mining could extend Jwaneng’s life to 2050 or beyond.

It currently represents about 40 per cent of De Beers total production (10.3m carats in 2022).

Three quarters of Debswana’s production is currently sold by De Beers. But under a new deal agreed last June, the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) will see its share increase over the next decade from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

Source: IDEX

Gem Diamonds finds sixth 100+ carat stone in 2024

Africa focused miner Gem Diamonds has unearthed a 212.9 carat Type II white diamond at its prolific Letšeng mine in Lesotho, less than a month after a previous major find.

The diamond, recovered on May 28th, is the sixth greater than 100-carat precious stone recovered this year at the operation, the company said.

Type IIa diamonds are the most valued and collectable precious gemstones, as they contain either very little or no nitrogen atoms in their crystal structure. Boart diamonds are stones of low quality that are used in powder form as an abrasive.

The Letšeng mine is one of the world’s ten largest diamond operations by revenue. At 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, it is also one of the world’s most elevated diamond mines.

Diamond miners are going through a rough patch as US and Chinese demand for diamond jewellery continues to be weak and the popularity of cheaper laboratory grown diamonds continues to rise.

In 2015, man-made diamonds had barely made an appearance as a competitor to natural diamonds. By last year, these stones accounted for more than 10% of the global diamond jewelry market, according to industry specialist Paul Zimnisky.

The market values of small to medium diamond mining companies, including Canada’s Lucara (TSX: LUC), South Africa’s Petra (LON: PDL), and Gem Diamonds itself, are around $100 million or less. This is only about a third or a fourth of the price the large stones they aim to find may be worth.

Source: Mining.com

Lucapa recovers 195 carat diamond from Lulo mine

Lucapa Diamond announced Tuesday that together with its Lulo alluvial mine partners, Endiama and Rosas & Petalas, the company has recovered a 195 carat Type IIa diamond from its Lulo mine in Angola.

The diamond is the sixth largest and the 44th +100 carat diamond to be recovered from the Lulo mine, the company said, adding that the 195 carat Type IIa diamond is the fourth +100 diamond to be recovered at Lulo this year.

The mine, which hosts the world’s highest dollar-per-carat alluvial diamonds, began commercial production in January 2015. Only a year later, it delivered the largest ever diamond recovered in Angola a 404 carat white stone later named the “4th February Stone”.

Lucapa has a 40% stake in the Lulo mine. The rest is held by Angola’s national diamond company (Endiama) and Rosas & Petalas, a private entity.

Angola is the world’s fifth diamond producer by value and sixth by volume. Its industry, which began a century ago under Portuguese colonial rule, is successfully being liberalized.

Source: Mining.com