Collection of Blue Diamonds to Fetch Over $70M

The eight De Beers blue diamonds.
The eight De Beers blue diamonds.

Sotheby’s will sell a group of eight fancy-blue diamonds from De Beers across its global Magnificent Jewels auctions, expecting the set to bring in more than $70 million.

The stones are cut in various shapes and range from 1.22 to 11.29 carats, with a total weight of 32.09 carats, Sotheby’s said last week. The polished originates from five rough blues that De Beers and Switzerland-based manufacturer Diacore purchased jointly from Petra Diamonds in November 2020. Diacore cut and polished those stones into eight diamonds over the past two years.

Sotheby’s will offer three stones from the eight-piece group, called The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection, this year. The first, a cushion brilliant-cut, 5.53-carat, fancy-vivid blue diamond will go under the hammer at the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on November 9, with a high estimate of $15 million. Meanwhile, the December 7 Magnificent Jewels sale in New York will feature a cushion brilliant-cut, 3.24-carat, fancy-vivid blue, internally flawless diamond estimated at up to $8 million. That jewel will be joined by a cushion-cut, 2.08-carat, fancy-intense-blue diamond with an upper price tag of $1.5 million.

“I have remained in awe of the De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection since the first moments I set eyes on it,” said Olivier Wagner, head of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auctions in Geneva. “The market for colored diamonds and precious gemstones has never been stronger. [The diamonds] will, I am sure, captivate all collectors of exceptional gemstones.”

Sotheby’s will sell the remaining five diamonds at its spring 2023 Magnificent Jewels auctions. Those include a step-cut, 11.29-carat, fancy-vivid-blue estimated at up to $50 million; a step-cut, 4.13-carat, fancy-intense-blue expected to go for up to $3.5 million; and a cushion brilliant-cut, 3.10-carat, fancy-vivid-blue diamond with a high price of $5 million.

In April, Sotheby’s sold another De Beers blue diamond: a step-cut, 15.10-carat, fancy-vivid-blue, internally flawless stone that went for $57.5 million in Hong Kong.


Petra Diamonds in Partnership Deal With Stargems on White And Blue Diamonds

342.92 carat Type IIa white diamond: Petra Diamonds

Petra Diamonds Limited has sold a 342.92 carat Type IIa white diamond and an 18.30 carat Type IIb blue diamond, both recovered at the Cullinan Diamond Mine in South Africa.

The stones have been sold into a partnership with Stargems (Pty) Ltd. Petra will receive an upfront payment of US$10.0 million for the 342.92 carat stone and US$3.5 million for the 18.30 carat stone, as well as retaining a 50% interest in the profit uplift of the polished proceeds of both diamonds, after costs.

Stargems is a Johannesburg-based subsidiary of Stargems Group, an international and vertically integrated diamond company, and is a diamond beneficiation licencee, allowing for the two diamonds to be cut and polished in South Africa.

Petra’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Duffy commented: “These two diamonds are wonderful examples of the very high quality and rare white and blue diamonds that are so well known from the Cullinan Diamond Mine. We are delighted that both stones will be manufactured in South Africa and it is fitting that we will be working with Stargems, who specialise in the sourcing and supply of the finest diamonds to customers across the world.”

Meanwhile, Shailesh Javeri, Chairman of Stargems Group, commented: “The stones will be beneficiated in South Africa at our Stargems cutting factory in Johannesburg and we look forward to working closely with Petra during the manufacturing process to reveal the eventual polished gems.”

Source: Idex

Petra Diamonds finds 342-carat rough at Cullinan mine

342.92-carat Type IIa white diamond.

South Africa’s Petra Diamonds has recovered a 342.92-carat Type IIa white rough at its iconic Cullinan mine.

The company said the diamond is “exceptional” quality, in terms of both its colour and clarity, and that it will likely be sold at the September tender.

Petra fetched in March $12.2 million for a 299.3-carat Type IIA white diamond. That meant it obtained $40,701 per carat, which exceeds the $34,386/ct received for the 424.89-carat “Legacy of the Cullinan Diamond Mine” in May 2019.

Type II diamonds are found less frequently and are more valuable than Type I diamonds, as they have no measurable nitrogen impurities. This gives them exceptional transparency and brilliance.

Cullinan is known as the birthplace of the famed 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.

Cullinan is known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, such as the 39.34-carat stone Petra found in April and which sold for $40.2 million earlier this month. It was the company’s highest price ever for a single stone.


Rare Rough Blue Diamonds

rare blue diamonds

Recovered from the famous Cullinan Mine in South Africa, these blue diamonds are among the world’s most expensive

Five blue diamonds have been recovered from Petra Diamonds’ famous Cullinan mine in South Africa.

They are among the world’s most expensive diamonds, and were formed deep within the Earth about 400 miles below the surface, which is four times as deep as white diamonds. The element boron, which is what gives the stones their blue colour, combines with carbon and crystallises under extreme pressure and heat.

Photo: Donald Woodrow

The sales tender for the five Type IIb blue diamonds will close later this month, on November 24, following viewings in Antwerp, Hong Kong and New York. They weigh 25.75, 21.25, 17.57, 11.42 and 9.61 carats, respectively.

Type II diamonds contain no detectable nitrogen in their chemical structure, which means they boast exceptional transparency.

Blue diamonds are so rare that most people, even in the jewellery industry, never have a chance to see one. It’s incredibly unusual that these five diamonds were all recovered within the space of one week’s production in September.

Their birthplace, the Cullinan mine, is one of the most important sources of blue diamonds. It’s also the origin of the 3,106 carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530 carat Great Star of Africa and the 317 carat Second Star of Africa, which are set into the British Crown Jewels.

It’s the first time that five rough blue diamonds have been offered for sale at the same time. In 2013, a 25.5 carat blue diamond was sold by Petra Diamonds for over US$16.9 million.

Source: asiatatler

Petra to sell blue diamonds recovered at Cullinan

A 20.08-carat Type IIb blue diamond recovered at Cullinan.

Petra Diamonds (LON: PDL) announced the launching of a special tender process for the Letlapa Tala Collection, which comprises five blue diamonds sourced from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. 

Cullinan is known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, as well as being the place of birth of the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530-carat Great Star of Africa and the 317-carat Second Star of Africa, being the two largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels.

In a press release, Petra said that the name of the new collection actually means ‘blue rock’ in Northern Sotho (commonly known as Pedi), the predominant language spoken in the Cullinan area.


The collection consists of five Type IIb blue diamonds of 25.75, 21.25, 17.57, 11.42 and 9.61 carats, respectively. Type II diamonds contain no detectable nitrogen in their chemical structure and tend to display exceptional transparency. Type IIb stones contain a small amount of boron, which is what determines their blue colour.

“Blue diamonds are so rare that most people working in the diamond industry have never even seen one,” the media release states. “There are no official statistics on their recovery, so it is therefore even more unusual that these five spectacular stones were all recovered within the space of one week’s production in September 2020.”

According to Petra, this is likely to be the first time that five blue rough diamonds have ever been offered for sale at one time, with buyers being offered the chance to bid either on individual stones, more than one, or for the entire collection.

The Letlapa Tala gems will be available for viewings in Antwerp from October 25 to November 1; Hong Kong from November 5  to November 10; and New York from November 16 to November 20, 2020.


Petra Diamonds shares fall on debt for equity deal

Petra Diamonds Cullinan Diamond Mine

Petra Diamonds has abandoned plans to sell the business in favour of a debt-for-equity restructuring, it said on Tuesday, sending its shares lower because of the deal’s dilutive effect on existing stakeholders.

The London-listed company, which mines diamonds in South Africa and Tanzania, had put itself up for sale in June as part of the restructuring process but has received no viable offers, it said.

Its shares have slumped by more than 80% this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has battered the global diamond sector, with mines forced to shut down while consumer demand collapsed. The shares opened with an 18% drop and by 0952 GMT were down 3.6%.

Petra said its existing $650 million of bond debt will be partly replaced by up to $337 million of new notes, including $30 million of new money contributed by debtholders.

The remaining note debt will be converted into equity, leaving debtholders with a combined 91% of the company while diluting existing shareholders to a combined stake of only 9%.

“For existing equity holders it is very dilutive, as expected,” wrote Liberum analyst Ben Davis.

Existing shareholders will be diluted to “next to nothing”, Shore Capital analysts wrote.

Peel Hunt analysts took a more optimistic view, saying the restructuring would give Petra a more sustainable balance sheet and help it to benefit from a recovery in markets for rough diamonds. They calculated that Petra would be left with $444 million of gross debt.

Petra said it expects to seal a “lock-up agreement” cementing the terms with the noteholder group and South African lenders in early November. It expects the restructuring to become effective in the first quarter of 2021.

The agreement also includes new governance arrangements and cashflow controls.

Petra Chief Executive Richard Duffy expressed the company’s gratitude to the noteholder group and South African lenders for their agreement in principle to provide “meaningful additional liquidity” in what has been a difficult period.

Source: reuters

Petra Diamonds recovers five rare large high-quality blue diamonds at Cullinan Mine

blue diamonds Cullinan

South Africa’s Petra Diamonds, which put itself up for sale in June, announced on Wednesday it had found five high-quality blue diamonds, but toned down the news by saying the discovery won’t help turn around its fortunes.

Petra, which has been hit by a triple whammy of weak market conditions, power emergencies in the home country and covid-19, found the Type IIb blue diamonds at its flagship Cullinan mine.

The high quality stones, in terms of both their colour and clarity, range in size from 9.6 carats to 25.8 carats, the company said.

The miner didn’t indicate the diamonds’ potential value but said it is considering sale options.

“These finds, whilst a positive development, will not have a material impact on the likely terms of the required long-term solution to improve the group’s capital structure, nor the significant level of equity dilution that existing shareholders are likely to experience in connection with its implementation,” Petra said in the statement.

The company also warned that measures to improve its capital structure could result in significant equity dilution.

Blue stones are among the rarest and most valuable and have lately fetched higher prices than white diamonds. Last year, Petra sold a 20.08-carat blue gem for $14.9 million, or about $741,000 per carat.

“Flexible” approach to sales
Petra was already struggling when the covid-19 pandemic added further pressure to a sector that was just beginning to show some green shots.

The miner tried in 2019 to turn around its fortunes after piling up debt to expand its flagship Cullinan mine in South Africa. The renowned mine, where the world’s largest-ever diamond was found in 1905, produces about a quarter of the world’s gem-quality diamonds. It is also the source of the vast majority of blue stones.

In May, Petra failed to make an interest payment on a $650 million bond, but won some breathing space from creditors who said they would not declare a default until August.

The diamond producer also cancelled May and June tenders because of travel restrictions and low demand from the midstream. While it originally expected to hold a tender in September, Petra said it was still evaluating the optimal route to market for the stones it mines. It added it would release further information to its customer base once a decision about the marketing plan to follow had been made.

For now, the company is taking a “flexible” approach to selling diamonds in light of ongoing travel restrictions triggered by the global pandemic.

Despite the numerous challenges, Petra is targeting a ramp-up to pre-covid-19 production levels. It added it will disclose production targets for 2021 once it reaches a “sustainable level of operational stability.”

Petra finds 20.08-carat blue diamond at flagship Cullinan mine

Petra 20.08 carat blue diamond

South Africa’s Petra Diamond has found yet another big rock at its iconic Cullinan mine, one of the many coloured diamonds it has unearthed at the operation this year.

The exceptional 20.08 carat blue gem quality diamond Type IIb demonstrates that Cullinan remains a significant source of rare blue diamonds, and confirms the ability of the mine’s plant to recover the full spectrum of precious stones, Petra said.

In April this year, the company found a 424.89 carat exceptional D colour Type IIa diamond at the same mine. The stone was sold the next month for just under $15 million.

In 2015, Petra sold “The Blue Moon of Josephine”, a 29.6 carat blue diamond, for $48.5 million, marking a world record price per carat at auction for any diamond at the time.

Petra Diamonds on a roll after another major find at Cullinan


South Africa’s Petra Diamonds has found yet another big rock at its iconic Cullinan mine, the third coloured diamond over 100 carats since March that has been unearthed at the operation.

“It is the third Type II D colour gem quality diamond weighing more than 100 carats recovered at Cullinan since March”

The 209.9 carat, D colour, Type II gem quality diamond is also the fourth such stone discovered by Petra so far this financial year.

Petra Diamonds shares fall on lower diamond prices at flagship mine

Petra Diamonds

Shares of Petra Diamonds Ltd slid as much as 10 percent on Monday after lower diamond prices at its flagship Cullinan mine and an increase in net debt took the shine off higher half-year revenue.

The company has been trying to keep a lid on debt after heavy investments and a stronger South African rand had burdened the miner, which pays in rands and earns in dollars.

Petra’s net debt jumped to $557.2 million (422.06 million pounds) in the six months to Dec. 31 from $538.9 million as at Sept. 30. The company was forced to raise $178 million last May by issuing equity to cut its debt burden.

Rough diamond prices fell to $96 per carat from $140 per carat in the previous year at the Cullinan mine, which in 1905 yielded the Cullinan diamond the largest rough gem diamond ever found and now part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

“The significantly lower realised Cullinan pricing and the impact on cashflow generation sees us take renewed caution,” said RBC, which cut the miner’s price target to 40 pence from 65 pence after the company’s half-year report.

Petra posted an 8 percent jump in revenue to $207.1 million, about 10 percent below RBC forecasts of $230 million, hurt by lower pricing at Cullinan. The company stuck to its production forecast 3.8 – 4.0 million carats for fiscal 2019.

Shares of the miner, which runs four mines in South Africa and one in Tanzania, were 8.5 percent lower at 41.12 pence.

Source: Euronews