133 Carat Yellow Diamond Fetches $5.5 Million At Sotheby’s Auction

A 133.03 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond achieved a sale price of more than $5.5 million, becoming the largest fancy vivid yellow diamond to sell at auction.

This was the top lot at Sotheby’s December 5 Magnificent Jewels auction in New York. The unmounted cushion modified brilliant-cut gem with VS2 clarity surpassed its high estimate of $5 million.

The diamond was purchased by Diacore, a diamond manufacturer best known for crafting rare, exceptional diamonds and high-end jewelry.

The company also has a joint partnership with Sotheby’s called “Sotheby’s Diamonds,” in which they manufacture and market diamonds specifically for private sale at Sotheby’s locations in London, New York and Hong Kong.

Source: Forbes

Signet Sales Decline in Weak US Market

Signet Jewelers’ sales fell in its third fiscal quarter as the US economy weakened and engagement-ring demand underwent an expected downswing.

Revenue decreased 12% year on year to $1.39 billion for the three months that ended October 28, the retailer reported Tuesday. Same-store sales those at branches open for at least a year were also down 12%, while net profit slid 69% to $11.7 million.

“These declines were driven by the impact of heightened inflationary pressure on consumers’ discretionary spending and the decline in the bridal category, driven by lower engagements,” the jeweler said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sales dropped at all of the company’s store chains, the largest of which are Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared. Overall bridal revenue slumped 15% to $664.6 million, while sales of fashion jewelry dipped 12% to $448.2 million. Signet’s services division including jewelry rental and repairs offset the declines with a 5% increase for a total of $169.9 million.

The results were in line with Signet’s expectations: The company had forecast sales of $1.36 billion to $1.41 billion for the period and projected that engagement-ring sales would only start recovering in the fourth fiscal quarter, which began October 29. A lull in dating during Covid-19 manifested as a drop in proposals this year, management had explained in the past.

The jeweler barely changed its sales outlook for the full year, predicting revenue of $7.07 billion to $7.27 billion down only slightly from an earlier projection of $7.1 billion to $7.3 billion.

Bridal demand rallied in November as anticipated. Still, sales in the fourth fiscal quarter, which includes most of the holiday shopping season, will likely range from $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion, the company said a decline of up to 10% from last year’s $2.67 billion.

“Trends through Black Friday weekend, including sequential improvement in engagement trends, are performing in line with guidance expectations for the fourth quarter,” said Signet CEO Virginia Drosos. “As we enter the holiday season, jewelry remains a top-of-mind gifting category for consumers in a value-conscious shopping environment.”

Total sales for the jeweler’s first three fiscal quarters fell 10% year on year to $4.67 billion. Net profit for the nine-month period, which ended October 28, rose 85% to $184.2 million because of charges in the previous year relating to litigation and a pension settlement.

Source: diamonds.net

Rio Tinto Delighted with Argyle and Diavik Tender

Rio Tinto said it was delighted with the results of its first Beyond Rare Tender of polished pink and red diamonds from Argyle, in Australia, and yellow stones from Diavik, Canada, though it declined to reveal any prices.

Sinead Kaufman, chief executive of Rio Tinto Minerals, said only that the results reflected the global demand for highly collectible natural colored diamonds.

The first in a series of sales featured a collection of 87 diamonds, weighing 29.96 carats in total. Successful bidders came from Australia, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, US and Israel.

Among the lots were seven Masterpiece sets of Argyle dink diamonds and yellow Diavik diamonds, 11 matched pairs of colored diamonds and 30 single diamonds, including one remarkable fancy red Argyle diamonds.

The iconic Argyle mine closed in November 2020 after 37 years. It produced 90 per cent of the world’s pink, red, blue and violet diamonds.

Source: IDEX

Christie’s sells rare blue diamond for over $40m USD

The 17.61 carat, pear-shaped Bleu Royal diamond, set in a ring, fetched $43.8 million

The 17.61 carat, pear-shaped Bleu Royal diamond, set in a ring, fetched $43.8 million, they said.

It is the “largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue gem” ever to appear for sale in auction history, Christie’s said.

Part of a private collection for 50 years, it was the first time the Bleu Royal was sold at an auction.

“This diamond is amongst the rarest to have been unearthed,” the auction house said in a statement.

Christie’s said only three fancy vivid blue diamonds over 10 carats had appeared for sale in its 250-year auction history, in 2010, 2014 and 2016.

Hong Kong Luxury Sales See Further Revival

Hong Kong retail sales rose in October as tourism to the municipality continued to improve and the government implemented initiatives to stimulate the economy.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts climbed 27% year on year to HKD 5.1 billion ($653.1 million) for the month, according to data the government’s Census and Statistics Department released Thursday. Retail sales across all product categories increased 6% to HKD 33.77 billion ($4.32 billion).

The growth also reflected a favorable comparison with the same period last year, when the municipality was still operating under strict Covid-19 restrictions, leading to extremely low tourism. Hong Kong derives a large portion of its luxury revenue from tourists — primarily from China — who come to purchase goods. The border between Hong Kong and the mainland reopened at the beginning of the year.

For the first 10 months, proceeds from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts surged 55% to HKD 50 billion ($6.4 billion). Total retail sales for the period grew 17% to HKD 336.06 billion ($43.03 billion).

In October, 3.5 million visitors arrived in Hong Kong, compared to 80,524 during the same month of 2022. Of those, 2.7 million were from the mainland, versus 47,607 the year before.

“The value of total retail sales increased further in October over a year earlier alongside the continued revival of inbound tourism,” a government spokesperson said. “Further recovery of visitor arrivals should benefit the retail sector. Continued improvement in household income and various activities that bolster the economy, including the ‘Night Vibes Hong Kong’ [events], should also provide support. Yet factors such as tight financial conditions and economic uncertainties could weigh on consumption sentiment.”

Source: diamonds.net

Rio Tinto sells stake in Canadian diamond project, ups interest in copper

Rio Tinto is reshuffling its interests in two Canadian projects as the global miner seeks to focus on assets considered key for the world’s transition to a green economy, such as copper and lithium.

The company has decided to sell its 75% interest in the Fort à la Corne diamond project in central Saskatchewan to joint venture partner Star Diamond Corp. in exchange for shares in the junior.

As a result, Rio Tinto Exploration Canada will own a 19.9% stake in the exploration and development company.

Rio Tinto’s head of exploration Dave Andrews said the company was now “firmly focused” on identifying opportunities in metals and minerals that support the energy transition.

“We are grateful to Rio Tinto for the significant monetary investment and expertise it has contributed to the project over the past more than five years, which has meaningfully advanced what Star Diamond believes is one of the most promising diamond projects in the world,” president and CEO Ewan Mason said in a statement.

Rio Tinto’s move follows years of tension between the partners over the terms of their development agreement. The situation saw both companies face off in court and, at one point Star Diamond considered cutting RTEC out of the project.

The partners reached an agreement on the subject in December 2021, after which RTEC put the project on hold until it could determine whether it wanted to continue or exit the venture. The camp was demobilized, and the project put on care and maintenance in the first quarter of 2023.

Copper and lithium
Rio Tinto has also moved to increase its stake in Canada’s Western Copper and Gold Corporation (TSX: WRN), which is advancing the Casino project in the Yukon Territory.

Under the deal, RTEC is acquiring 3,468,208 common shares at a price of C$1.73 per share, or about C$6 million ($4.4m) total. This increases Rio Tinto’s ownership to 9.7% of Western’s outstanding common shares.

Vancouver-based Western Copper and Gold, which remains the sole owner of the Casino project, said it would use the proceeds of this fresh investment to fund specific areas of study with the aim of progressing through permitting to a development phase of the proposed mine.

“We are pleased that Rio Tinto has elected to continue to invest and work with Western to advance the Casino project, with a focus on furthering infrastructure development and streamlining the regulatory process,” CEO Paul West-Sells said in the statement.

Rio Tinto chief executive officer Jakob Stausholm recently said in an interview that the company continued to look for ways to increase exposure to key minerals and metals, particularly copper and lithium.

Source; Mining.com

Rick Ross’s Diamond-Set Rolex

On Sunday, the American rapper was photographed in Miami in an eye-catching street-style look that included a Louis Vuitton denim shirt, gray trousers, and multi-colored sneakers.

He upped the ante by wearing sunglasses at night, a chain-link necklace set with colored stones, a pinky ring, and a Rolex Datejust set with dozens of carats of diamonds for extra oomph.

Models like this, which are typically customized after being purchased from an authorized dealer, are coveted and can command up to $45,000.

A closer look at Ross’s eye-catching watch reveals its 41 mm case, which contains a dial that’s been pave-set with diamonds. Datejust signatures including dauphine hour markers, a date window at 3 o’clock, as well as the brand’s name and logo are also front and center.

For a similar model offered at the beloved Atlanta jeweler Ice Box, the case and bracelet require over 19 carats of stones for full coverage, and the dial takes over 5 carats. It’s all tied together with a fully gem-set Jubilee bracelet.

If the flashy timepiece is anything like most Datejust 41 models, it runs on a calibre 3235. The self-winding movement was developed in-house by Rolex, and runs at a frequency of 28,800 vph.

It also features 31 jewels and provides the “Hustlin’” rapper with a 70-hour power reserve. The watch may be the latest show-stopper we’ve seen on Ricky Rozay’s wrists, but it’s far from his only diamond-set piece of wrist candy.

Source: finance.yahoo

India’s Rough Imports Rise Despite Supply Freeze

India saw a slump in polished-diamond exports but an increase in rough imports in October as global demand remained slow and manufacturers brought goods into the country ahead of a two-month shipment freeze.

Polished exports fell 33% year on year to $1.26 billion, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) reported earlier this month. Inbound rough shipments rose 9% to $1.02 billion despite a two-month voluntary pause on imports aimed at reducing inventories. The policy came into effect on October 15.

A decline in rough prices ahead of the optional freeze and the Diwali holiday created an opportunity for Indian companies to buy, added GJEPC chairman Vipul Shah.

Sources: Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Rapaport archives

About the data: India, the world’s largest diamond-cutting center, is a net importer of rough and a net exporter of polished. As such, net polished exports — representing polished exports minus polished imports — will usually be a positive number. Net rough imports — calculated as rough imports minus rough exports — will also generally be in surplus. The net diamond account is total rough and polished exports minus total imports. It is India’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the nation creates by manufacturing rough into polished.

Source: Diamonds.net

Low Diamond Demand, Struggling Chinese Economy Dent TSL

Hong Kong-based jeweler Tse Sui Luen (TSL) reported a loss in the first fiscal half amid economic challenges in China and dwindling demand for diamond jewelry.

The company’s net loss came to HKD 58.3 million ($7.5 million) for the six months that ended September 30, compared with a profit of HKD 1.8 million ($230,000) a year ago, TSL said last week. Sales for the period rose 8% to HKD 1.35 billion ($172.8 million).

Revenue in mainland China, TSL’s biggest market, decreased 3.2% to HKD 870.6 million ($111.7 million) as consumers tightened their budgets in light of the challenging economy. The company also sold more gold products as diamond demand dropped.

“Affected by international economic concerns and China’s property sector challenges, consumers are more conservative in their spending,” the company stated. “The Chinese government has rolled out measures to bolster consumer confidence and speed up economic recovery, which has led to some improvement in retail sales. Riding on the uptrend of pure gold demand, the group has focused more on [that] business to partially compensate for the loss of sales caused by the sharp decline in diamond demand.”

In Hong Kong and Macau, sales surged 41% to HKD 407.5 million ($52.3 million) as the municipality saw a steady rebound in tourism following the reopening of its border with mainland China. The company also benefited from the Hong Kong government’s distribution of new stimulus vouchers, as well as large-scale campaigns to stimulate the economy.

“These government initiatives helped the group to achieve a notable increase in the turnover of its Hong Kong and Macau retail business,” Tse Sui Luen added.

Source: Diamonds.net

Yellow Diamond Ring to Lead Bonhams Sale

A 10.19-carat yellow diamond ring will lead an upcoming auction at Bonhams in London, where it is set to fetch up to GBP 160,000 (approximately $199,300).

Bonhams will offer the radiant-cut, fancy-intense-yellow, VS1-clarity stone, set between shield-cut diamond shoulders, at its December 7 London Jewels auction, it said Tuesday.

Two additional yellow diamonds for sale include a brilliant-cut, 10.02-carat, fancy-yellow diamond single-stone ring and a step-cut, 8.45-carat, fancy-yellow diamond ring accented by four pear-shaped diamonds set between baguette and step-cut diamond shoulders. Both pieces carry estimates of GBP 50,000 to GBP 70,000 (approximately $62,300 to $87,200).

The 149-lot auction will also feature pieces from multiple single-owner private collections, spanning from 1870 to the modern day. These comprise jewels from Cartier, Bulgari, Graff, Moussaieff, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, Boucheron, Tiffany & Co., David Webb, and Grima.

Highlights from a single-owner private European collection are a Lalique Art Nouveau enamel, pâte-de-verre, sapphire and diamond pendant from around 1905 to 1915; a Cartier Panthère coral, emerald, onyx and diamond brooch, circa 1968; and a Cartier ruby and diamond clip and ear clip suite brooch combination that dates to about 1960.

Another collection, from a descendant of Dorothy Maud, Countess Haig, boasts a pearl and diamond tiara necklace presented to the countess by Queen Alexandra in 1905 on her marriage to General Haig.

Source: Diamonds.net