Lucara Diamond Corp. is pleased to announce the recovery of a 470 carat top light brown clivage diamond from its 100% owned Karowe Diamond Mine located in Botswana.
The diamond, measuring 49x42x26mm, was recovered from direct milling of ore sourced from the EM/PK(S) unit of the South Lobe. The 470 carat recovery forms a notable contribution to a series of top quality gem and clivage quality diamond recoveries during a recent production run, including an additional 5 diamonds greater than 100 carats (265ct, 183ct, 161ct, 116ct, 106ct) and 13 diamonds between 50 and 100 carats in weight.
The May production run, dominated by EM/PK(S) ore, produced diamonds greater than 10.8 carat in weight accounting for 12.7% weight percent of total production, exceeding resource expectations. Continued strong resource performance and recovery of large diamonds reinforces the significance of the EM/PK(S) as an important economic driver for the proposed underground mine at Karowe.
The 470 carat diamond was recovered in the Coarse XRT circuit and represents the third +300 carat diamond recovered to date in 2021. Year to date, Karowe has produced 10 diamonds greater than 100 carats including 6 diamonds greater than 200 carats, including the 341 carat (link to press release) and 378 carat (link to press release) top white diamonds recovered in January 2021.
A 204.36 carat fancy yellow diamond hits the block at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on June 8 in New York City. The Dancing Sun, with an estimate of $3.5 million to $5.5 million, is the largest polished diamond ever mined in North America.
It was cut from a piece of rough weighing 552.74 carats. Six smaller diamonds were cut from the same rough, ranging from 14.52 to 1.06 carats, and are also included in the sale. All six are set into rings. The rough diamond came from the Diavik Diamond Mine, the second to open following the great Canadian diamond rush of the 1990s.
The previous record for the largest known gem quality rough ever mined in North America was the 187.66 carat Foxfire rough, also mined at Diavik. It was cut into several gems, including a pair of pear shapes weighing 37.87 and 36.80 carats, auctioned at Christie’s New York in December 2018 for $1.5 million.
South Africa’s Petra Diamonds has put a 39.34 carat Type IIb gem recovered at its iconic Cullinan mine in April up for sale, with viewings beginning June 15.
The company said the diamond of “exceptional quality” in terms of both its colour and clarity, will be showcased in Antwerp, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York.
Petra, which anticipates that the diamond will be sold via a special tender, said that biddings via its online platform will close on July 12.
While it didn’t set a price range for the stone, the miner said high-quality blue diamonds like the one for sale usually fetch the highest values.
Petra’s Blue Moon of Josephine diamond, cut from a 29 carat rough blue diamond, sold for $48.5 million in 2015.
The figure corresponds to a price of $4 million per carat, which remains the world record price per carat ever paid for a diamond.
Cullinan is known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, as well as being the birthplace of the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530-carat Great Star of Africa. The operation also yielded the 317-carat Second Star of Africa. They are the two largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels.
Sotheby’s will offer a fancy-vivid-yellow diamond ring at its New York sale next month, estimating the piece could fetch up to $3 million.
The cut-cornered square step-cut, 73.11-carat, VS2-clarity jewel by Mayfair designer Glenn Spiro, called The Sienna Star, is one of the largest fancy-vivid-yellow diamonds to come to auction, Sotheby’s said Wednesday. The piece is one of the top items at the June 9 Magnificent Jewels sale. The auction will feature jewelry for the “Roaring Twenties 2.0” as people return to the social scene following long lockdowns, Sotheby’s noted.
A private collection of six jewels with a combined estimate of more than $13 million are another headline lot at the New York sale. Those include a necklace by Andrew Clunn, set with 28 oval-shaped diamonds totaling over 168 carats, which carries a high estimate of $3 million, and an emerald-cut, 23.59-carat, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa diamond ring with an upper valuation of $2.8 million.
A Colombian emerald and diamond garland necklace by Harry Winston, estimated at up to $2.5 million, and a 13.02-carat Burmese ruby ring, mounted by Carvin French, with a $2 million high valuation, are also part of the collection. Proceeds from the sale of those six items will be donated to charity.
Additionally, Sotheby’s will showcase a Bulgari ring with a 25.29-carat Kashmir sapphire flanked by diamonds, which it expects will bring in up to $3 million. Meanwhile, a modified square brilliant-cut, 3.75-carat, fancy-intense-pink, VVS1-clarity diamond ring, accented by triangle-shaped and round diamonds, is estimated to fetch up to $2.5 million.
The auction house will present jewels from the collection of philanthropist Margaret Jonsson Rogers, the daughter of Texas Instruments founder and Dallas mayor J. Erik Jonsson, as well as property from the estate of Mary Ethel Weinmann, the daughter of Count and Countess André de Limur, it added.
Lucapa Diamond announced that it has entered into a binding asset sale agreement for the acquisition of a 24km2 mining lease and a 283km2 exploration tenement encompassing the mining lease and associated equipment and assets the Merlin Assets from Merlin Operations Pty.
Merlin Operations is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merlin Diamonds Limited, which is in liquidation. The Merlin Tenements are located in the Northern Territory of Australia, approximately 720km southeast of Darwin.
Merlin is home to Australia’s largest mined rough diamond on record and has the potential to be the only producing diamond mine in Australia, following the closure of Rio Tinto’s iconic Argyle mine in 2020, after 37 years in production.
The strategic acquisition is supported by a A$20 million ($15.5m) private placement plus a share purchase plan to raise up to A$3 million ($2.3m).
The acquisition price of A$8.5m cash represents a ~A$2/ carat multiple on Merlin’s existing 4.4m carat JORC compliant resource and complements Lucapa’s existing portfolio, the company said, adding a near-term development opportunity with an existing 4.4m carat mineral resource estimate in Australia to Lucapa’s two existing producing assets in Angola and Lesotho.
The ~300km2 tenement package also comes with significant exploration upside, Lucapa said, through over 70 unresolved anomalies in areas where all kimberlite discoveries have been diamondiferous.
The Sakura ring was the star at Christie’s Hong Kong, setting a world-record auction price for a purple-pink diamond.
The cushion-cut, 15.81-carat, fancy-vivid, internally flawless stone sold within its estimate for $29.3 million, or $1.9 million per carat, at the May 23 Magnificent Jewels auction, Christie’s said Sunday. The piece, purchased by a private Asian buyer, was also the most valuable jewel sold at auction so far this year. Overall, the Hong Kong sale raked in $76.8 million, the auction house’s highest total for a jewelry auction in four years.
“We are very excited to have marked another important chapter in jewelry-auction history today, with The Sakura realizing a record-breaking price,” said Vickie Sek, chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific jewelry department. “The strong sell-through rates and exceptional prices achieved for top-quality colored diamonds and gemstones reflect a robust market demand.”
However, even with the record pricing, the pink diamond still fell short of its $38 million high estimate.
“I would not consider this to be at the lower end of the market price, but there was room for it to go [further] if the current economic stability and situation was better,” Harsh Maheshwari, executive director of colored-diamond dealer Kunming Diamonds, told Rapaport News. “Post-Covid-19, if a similar item were to be auctioned, it would possibly touch, or break, the higher end of the estimated price.”
Meanwhile, The Sweet Heart, a heart-shaped, 4.19-carat, fancy-vivid-pink diamond ring, brought in $6.6 million, or $1.6 million per carat, within its presale valuation.
Other notable items include a necklace with a 50.05-carat, D-flawless, type IIa briolette diamond pendant, which garnered $2.7 million. That price, which comes to $53,399 per carat, was just above its low estimate. A square emerald-cut, 31.17-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow, VS2-clarity diamond ring went for $2.2 million, smashing its high estimate, as did a Cartier necklace with diamonds and five Colombian emeralds weighing a total of 16.43 carats, which achieved $2.1 million.
Overall, Christie’s sold 82% of items on offer at the auction.
The Natural Diamond Council (NDC), which groups the world’s seven leading diamond producers, has inked a deal with China’s top jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook to boost demand for mined rocks in the Asian market.
The partnership, the trade organization’s first collaboration with a retailer, seeks to attract young Chinese customers to naturally produced diamonds.
It also comes as Chow Tai Fook, which has more than 4,500 stores in East Asia and the United States, plans to expand its global footprint.
“One of our key priorities this year is to work closely with natural diamond retailers to protect and convey the authentic and unique beauty of natural diamonds together,” David Kellie, CEO of the Natural Diamond Council, said in the statement.
“I am confident that this partnership will solidify the values of and forge consumers’ desire for natural diamonds,” Chan Sai-Cheong, managing director (Mainland China) of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group added.
Earlier this month, the world’s biggest jeweller Pandora dealt a blow to diamond miners by announcing it would no longer sell mined gems, but exclusively man-made ones.
Since 2011, when prices peaked thanks to China’s younger shoppers, diamonds have faltered. Lab-grown stones, initially priced confusingly close to the real thing, posed a challenge.
The NDC, until 2020 known as the Diamond Producers Association, focuses on marketing mined rocks and its funded by its members: ALROSA, De Beers, Dominion Diamonds, Lucara Diamond, Petra Diamonds, Rio Tinto and RZM Murowa.
Rio Tinto has unveiled a preview of its final showcase of rare Argyle pink, red and blue diamonds from its iconic mine in the remote east Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Mining ceased at Argyle on 3 November, 2020 and the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is the final collection of the rarest diamonds from the final year of Argyle operations.
The Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual invitation-only event for the past 38 years, is widely considered to be the most anticipated diamond sale in the world, showcasing the pinnacle of Argyle’s production to an exclusive group of collectors, diamond connoisseurs and luxury jewellery houses.
Chief executive of Rio Tinto Minerals, Sinead Kaufman said,“I am delighted to launch this historic collection of extraordinary diamonds, a testament to the amazing Argyle ore body and the men and women who have worked so hard to bring these diamonds to market.”
Comprising 70 diamonds weighing 81.63 carats, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender has a record number of diamonds larger than one carat. The collection is headlined with Lot Number 1, Argyle Eclipse™, a 3.47 carat diamond that is the largest Fancy Intense Pink diamond ever offered at the Tender.
Patrick Coppens, General manager of Sales and Marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business who has been involved throughout the history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender said “The Argyle pink diamond story has continued to enthral throughout the years following the remarkable discovery of the Argyle mine in 1979. The final Tender collection of these beyond rare diamonds will be keenly sought after as heritage gemstones of the future, coveted by collectors and connoisseurs from around the world.”
Titled The Journey Beyond, the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender takes its reference from the 1.5 billion year journey from creation to discovery and their remarkable impact on the world diamond and jewellery history. The Tender collection comprises five ‘hero’ diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds:
Lot 5: Argyle Bohème™ 1.01 carat, radiant shaped Fancy Red diamond
Also offered alongside the 2021 annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender are 41 lots of carefully curated Argyle blue diamonds, weighing 24.88 carats in total. Titled Once in a Blue Moon, these are the very last blue and violet diamonds to emege from the Argyle mine.
Jewellery historian Vivienne Becker said, “this final epoch making offering of pink, red and blue diamonds encapsulates the near-impossible rarity and compelling beauty of the natural treasures gifted to the world by the east Kimberley region of Western Australia. Over the near four decade life span of the Argyle mine, Rio Tinto has built a unique diamond brand of integrity and authenticity, an Australian icon and source of national pride, now recognised and asked for, by name, across the globe.”
The 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender will be showcased in Perth, Antwerp, Singapore and Sydney, subject to COVID-19 protocols. Bids close on September 1, 2021.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has seen a rise in submissions of lab-grown diamonds with counterfeit inscriptions that make the stones appear natural.
Clients using the GIA’s update or verification services are increasingly sending in goods that prove to be synthetic, the organization said Monday. These stones have falsified girdle engravings that reference a genuine natural-diamond report number, while most have almost identical measurements and weights to the natural diamonds they mimic.
In a recent case, someone submitted a 3.075-carat, H-color, VVS2-clarity, triple-Ex, lab-grown diamond to GIA Antwerp for an update. The stone carried a report for a 3.078-carat, G-color, internally flawless, triple-Ex natural diamond. The synthetic stone’s real-life dimensions were within hundredths of millimeters of the measurements in the natural-diamond report, the GIA noted.
“This unfortunate situation demonstrates why it is important, especially in any transaction where the buyer does not have a trusted relationship with the seller, to have the diamond-grading report updated before completing a purchase,” said Tom Moses, the GIA’s executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer.
The GIA blotted out the counterfeit inscription and inscribed a report number for a new certificate that it issued, adding the term “laboratory-grown” on the girdle, as is its practice.
In February, the institute reported that it had received a number of lab-grown or treated stones carrying natural reports and fake inscriptions.
India’s jewelry industry could lose business to rivals such as China and Mexico if the US goes ahead with its proposed new tariffs on the sector, industry leaders warned this week.
Fresh import duties would jeopardize jobs and the well-being of the industry in both India and America, officials from the southern Asian nation said Monday in a meeting with the US Trade Representative (USTR).
The calls come after the USTR threatened to levy punitive tariffs of up to 25% on 17 jewelry categories originating in India, as well as on certain goods from other countries. The action, which it announced in March, was a response to e-commerce taxes in those jurisdictions that targeted online retailers. The proposed tax excludes loose diamonds.
Around 140 members of the Indian trade submitted petitions against the move before the April 30 deadline, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said Tuesday. The USTR allowed a panel of industry representatives to present comments at the virtual meeting.
Leading the delegation, GJEPC chairman Colin Shah argued that India had already seen a decline in gold-jewelry exports to the US after losing its preferential trade status with the US around 15 years ago. The latest move would exacerbate the situation, he insisted.
“Further [duties] on jewelry will accelerate that drop, and the beneficiaries will be China and Mexico,” Shah told USTR officials.
While Indian jobs would shift to other countries, US jewelry companies would miss out on the long credit and memo facilities that Indian suppliers offer, Shah added. In addition, India jewelry companies operate an estimated 500 offices across the US, employing thousands of locals, he asserted.
India’s exports of gold jewelry to America fell 22% from $1.9 billion in 2007 to $1.49 billion in 2019, according to a report the GJEPC released in March.