Blue and Pink Diamond Ring Fetches $3.7m

A “Toi et Moi” ring featuring blue and pink diamonds – both over 5.0-cts – sold for $3.7m (£3m) almost double its high estimate, at Bonhams London.

The ring was crafted and signed by Mouawad, the Geneva-based jeweler to royalty and high society, which was founded in 1890. It carried a pre-sale estimate of $1.3m to $1.9m (£1m to £1.5m).

The radiant-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing 5.03 carats, is obliquely-set with a radiant-cut fancy purple-pink diamond, weighing 5.13 carats. The gallery and shoulders are pave-set with brilliant-cut diamonds of pink and blue tint.

The 113-lot sale, on 13 June, made a total of £6,590,562, with 78 per cent sold by lot and 99 per cent sold by value.

Source: Idex

De Beers plans return to marketing roots as split from Anglo American looms

De Beers, which created the global market for diamond engagement rings through its “A Diamond is Forever” campaign, is shifting back to its marketing roots as its parent company Anglo American (LSE: AAL) moves to sell it off.

Its new ‘Origins’ strategy is part of a wider pivot back towards natural diamonds, announced on May 31. The move makes sense because marketing has always set the diamond sector apart from other mineral industries and the industry risks losing its way if it becomes focused only on mining and turns away from the demand creation side, New York City-based diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky told The Northern Miner.

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“Marketing is what moves the needle,” he said. “You can throw money at the problem, you can create demand if the products are marketed properly. You have to look at it as a luxury product, not as a commodity.”

In announcing the divestiture of De Beers on May 14, Anglo said the move would give both companies “a new level of strategic flexibility to maximize value” for Anglo American and the government of Botswana, which each hold 85% and 15% stakes, respectively, in the diamond company. The Botswana government also indicated on June 10 that it wants to increase its interest in De Beers. High capital needs and declining diamond supply present further challenges in the diamond sector, analysts say.

Anglo’s announcement of its De Beers plans, as well as plans to sell off its South Africa-based Anglo American Platinum (JSE: AMS) and its steelmaking coal assets was triggered by BHP’s (ASX: BHP) unsuccessful, multi-billion-dollar acquisition bid in mid-May.

‘Growing desire’
De Beers is also suspending its Element Six lab-grown diamonds (LGD) subsidiary for jewelry to focus instead on synthetic diamond technology for industrial applications, it said in May. Production for the Lightbox LGD brand will stop in a few months, De Beers CEO Al Cook said in a June 13 interview with diamond news site Rapaport.

“The outlook for natural diamonds is compelling,” Cook said in a news release, adding that the company’s new approach will involve “growing desire for natural diamonds through the reinvigoration of category marketing, embracing new approaches that maximize reach and impact.”

Cook explained to Rapaport the need to tell better diamond stories is greater now that “there are more diamonds above the surface of the Earth than below the surface. Every year, diamond mines are closing.”

De Beers first entered the synthetic diamond jewelry market in 2018. In setting up a solid difference between mined and lab-grown diamonds, the company initially offered Lightbox jewelry for up to 80% less than its competitors’ prices.

Slowing sales, production
The stronger emphasis on marketing also comes as De Beers grapples with lower sales, with Cycle 4 rough diamond sales, at $380 million this year, down by 20% from last year’s Cycle 4 period of $479 million, the company reported on May 23. The Cycle 4 period approximately covers two weeks in May. Cook said the sales were due to the seasonally slower second quarter and less trading in India during the elections.

Production declined 8% to 31.9 million carats in 2023, from 34.6 million carats in 2022. First quarter output this year, at 6.8 million carats, was down 23% from the year-earlier figure of 8.9 million carats.

The wider industry is also facing the challenge of lower demand, especially in the United States and China. Amid the slow demand, De Beers cut the price of 0.75-carat stones by 4% to 6% at this year’s fourth trading session, according to a May 7 report from Rapaport. In the first sale of the year, the company cut prices by about 10%.

The issue of declining production could be expensive for De Beers to deal with, BMO Capital Markets diamonds analyst Raj Ray implied.

“From mining business point of view, not having a parent company like Anglo American backing De Beers could have some serious implications for diamond supply going forward,” he said.

Rough diamond supply has dropped to around 120 million carats from 150 million carats in 2017-2018, Ray said. It’s expected to drop even more in the next four to five years.

Amid the supply constraints, De Beers has invested $1 billion in expanding the life of its flagship Jwaneng mine in Botswana, and $2.3 billion to move underground the Venetia mine in South Africa.

“The next 12 to 24 months don’t look great for the rough diamond industry,” Ray said. “Anyone looking at De Beers will have to acknowledge (that). There’s huge capital investments that are needed over the next few years across mines to be able to maintain supply, forget about growing supply.”

But despite that hurdle, Ray and Zimnisky both see De Beers maintaining its 30% share of the global diamond market.

“They’ll continue to be the pre-eminent producer in the world,” Ray said. “Anyone who will buy (De Beers) will continue to fund its projects. I don’t see any significant drop in production from the De Beers portfolio.”

Going solo?
Once De Beers formally leaves Anglo as part of the company’s restructuring, which CEO Duncan Wanblad has said could take 18 to 24 months to complete, the diamond miner will face the prospect of being purchased or going alone.

Zimnisky said either option has its own difficulties.

“This is something Anglo has wanted for a while,” he said. “They wanted Anglo to become more of a pure play copper producer, or a green infrastructure buildout commodity producer hoping it would lead to a higher valuation for the company. That said, De Beers is a complicated business and not easy to sell. It has (the) Debswana joint venture, which is the crown jewel of the company.”

Ray agrees that few potential buyers would have interest in a company like De Beers whose business requires massive capital investments. An IPO is also unlikely, he said.

“There’s little interest in the diamond sector from an equity perspective. I don’t see how in a potential IPO there’s enough interest in a new diamond story,” he said. “This has to be a private sale or consortium that needs to come in and take a longer-term view of the diamond sector. There could be growth expected in the retail segment. That’s where I think anyone taking a look at De Beers would see the value.”

Both analysts also see the De Beers sale having minimal impact on the junior exploration sector for diamonds.

“In order to stimulate exploration across the industry you would have to see a notable diamond price recovery,” Zimnisky said. “Prices have been flat for almost a decade now.”

Source: Mining.com

The 10.2-Carat ‘Eden Rose’ Fancy Pink Diamond Fetches $13.3 Million

Fancy colored diamonds made their mark at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale, held Tuesday in New York.

The top lot of the sale was “The Eden Rose,” a 10.2-carat internally flawless round brilliant fancy intense pink diamond. It sold for $13.3 million, beating its $12 million high estimate. Chrsitie’s said the diamond exhibits a pure pink hue, unlike many natural pink diamonds that typically display secondary hues such as purple, orange or gray. “The Eden Rose stands out for its complete absence of any secondary color, rendering it exceptionally rare,” Christie’s said in a statement prior to the auction.

The New York Magnificent Jewels sale achieved a total of $44.4 Million, with 90% of the 144 lots sold. The auction featured an array of diamonds, notable colored gemstones and pearl jewelry, and jewels from important houses such as Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany & Co. and Van Cleef & Arpels. The sale is part of Christie’s “Luxury Week” of auctions being held this week.

“Collectors participated actively in all areas of the sale, paying strong prices for rare colored gemstones and natural pearls in particular,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s international head of Jewelry.

Read full article: Forbes

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

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