Belgium’s Diamond Shipments Drop Further

The Diamond Office in Antwerp. (Antwerp World Diamond Centre)

Belgium’s diamond trade slowed in June, with polished exports down 44% year on year to $469 million, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). However, the rate of decline eased following heavier drops in April and May, when the global industry shut due to the coronavirus. US orders rose 4% to $173 million in June, indicating a gradual recovery as the important retail market reopened.

Belgium Trade Data for June 2020
 June 2020Year-on-year change
Polished exports$469M-44%
Polished imports$350M-66%
Net polished exports$120M2019: Deficit of $185M
Rough imports$351M-48%
Rough exports$237M-71%
Net rough imports$114M2019: Deficit of $125M
Net diamond account$6M2019: Deficit of $60M
Polished exports: volume146,350 carats-60%
Average price of polished exports$3,206/carat40%
 1H 2020Year-on-year change
Polished exports$2.49B-58%
Polished imports$2.51B-59%
Net polished exports-$14MDeficit decreased 95%
Rough imports$2.75B-37%
Rough exports$2.25B-55%
Net rough imports$494M2019: Deficit of $621M
Net diamond account-$508M2019: Surplus of $360M
Polished exports: volume1.2 million carats-46%
Average price of polished exports$2,097/carat-21%

Source: Antwerp World Diamond Centre; Rapaport archives

About the data: Belgium is usually a net exporter of polished diamonds. As such, net polished exports — representing polished exports minus polished imports — will normally be a positive number. The nation is also a net exporter of rough. While Antwerp is home to some high-value manufacturing, its main role in the market is as a facilitator of rough-diamond trading, with companies from around the world coming to the city to buy rough. The net diamond account is total rough and polished exports minus total imports. It is Belgium’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the nation creates by exporting rough or manufacturing it into polished.


Graff Blue Diamond Ring Fetches $12.5 Million

Graff Vivid Blue Diamond Ring

A crossover ring with two fancy vivid blue diamonds designed by Graff Jewellers has smashed its pre-sale estimate.

The ring has sold at the Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction fetching more than $12.5 million USD.

Rapaport to Auction Historic Sierra Leone 709ct. Peace Diamond

709 carat rough diamond

Rapaport Group has been appointed as the marketing and sales agent of the Peace Diamond by The Government of Sierra Leone.

The 709 carat Rough Diamond was recovered by diamond diggers in the village of Koryardu in Sierra Leone West Africa.

50% of the Peace Diamond sale value will directly go to benefit the community where the diamond was discovered, and the people of Sierra Leone.


Diamond Futures Exchange Launches In India

Indian ICEX Diamond exchange

To help the Diamond industry limit losses when polished prices fluctuate. The Indian Commodity Exchange has launched the first diamond futures trading contract.

Diamond futures contracts work as price insurance, when fluctuations impact the value of inventories. With the futures trading traders agree on a price for a contract.

The new exchange platform gives investors a format similar to commodities exchanges such as Comex, Nymex and the London Metal Exchange.

Over 100 members and approximately 4,000 clients have registered with ICEX exchange.

The Indian government approved diamond futures trading in September 2016.