Fancy-Color Price Index Beats Expectations

FCRF yellow diamonds

Prices of fancy-color diamonds slipped marginally in the fourth quarter of 2020 as stability in the yellow category helped the sector stave off a heavier slump, according to the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF).

“Although 2020 was challenging in terms of logistics and travel, contrary to market expectations, fancy-color diamond prices proved to be resilient, with minor price decreases across the board,” the FCRF said Monday.

The organization’s Fancy Color Diamond Index for yellows inched down 0.3% year on year in the three months ending December 31, while prices for blues fell 1.3%. Pink fancy-color diamonds decreased 0.9%, with the overall index slipping 0.8%.

The 1.50- and 5-carat categories were the strongest for fancy blues, increasing 0.5% versus the previous quarter, while fancy-vivid blues decreased 0.6%, led by soft prices for 1-carat stones in that category. Pinks stayed mainly flat compared to the third quarter, with 2-carat fancy pinks seeing the highest rise, up 1.4%. In yellows, the fancy-intense, 5-carat segment grew 0.8%, and the price for fancy-vivid, 3-carat stones was up 0.7%. Fancy-yellow, 1.50-carat diamonds increased 0.6% during the period.

The FCRF believes prices of yellows will continue to remain strong throughout 2021.

“2020 was a fascinating year; wholesalers and retailers alike had to overcome many logistical hurdles in order to finalize simple transactions, while demand for fancy-color diamonds was solid,” said FCRF advisory board member Eden Rachminov. “I expect 2021 to be a bullish year for yellows; their current price is relatively low and I think that a price increase is inevitable.”

The index tracks prices of yellow, pink and blue fancy-color diamonds in Hong Kong, New York, Geneva and Tel Aviv.


Study yields new insight in hunt for rare, valuable yellow diamonds

Yellow diamonds, some with colourless cores

A new study by University of Alberta scientists could help guide the search for rare, high-value yellow diamonds in the Canadian North.

The researchers, led by PhD student Mei Yan Lai, examined the chemical makeup of stones recovered from the Chidliak and Ekati mines in Northern Canada to get a better understanding of how they formed.

“Without this research, we wouldn’t know that two separate formation events occurred, and that the second, more recent event is responsible for the yellow colour,” explained U of A diamond geologist Thomas Stachel.

“The more we know about the origin of these potentially high-value diamonds, the better results for diamond exploration and value creation in Northern Canada.”

Lai said they wanted to understand the origin of the yellow colour in the diamonds from the two deposits.

“Canadian yellow diamonds have never been studied spectroscopically in detail. Our results suggest that the cause is the preservation of unstable single nitrogen atoms preserved inside the diamonds,” explained Lai, who conducted this research as part of her master’s studies in the Diamond Exploration Research Training School under the supervision of Stachel.

The research team determined that some yellow diamonds contain colourless cores, meaning that the yellow outer layers crystallized on top of clearer centres. Lai determined that the yellow diamonds crystallized no more than 30,000 years before the kimberlite eruptions that brought them up to Earth’s surface.

“Our analysis shows that the colourless cores in these yellow diamonds are about one billion years older,” Lai said. “In fact, the carbon isotope compositions and nitrogen concentrations of the colourless cores and yellow outer layers are significantly different, suggesting that they formed in at least two distinct events and involved different diamond-forming fluids.”

The researchers said discovering a potential new source of yellow diamonds in the Canadian North is economically significant, as the previous main source of high-quality yellow diamonds, the Ellendale Mine in Western Australia, was recently shut down.

The discovery of colourless cores in some of the yellow diamonds may also be of interest to the jewelry trade, said Lai.

“Occasionally, rough yellow diamonds lose their vibrant yellow colour after being cut and polished—probably because this kind of diamond has a thin layer of yellow overgrowth on top of the geologically older colourless core,” she said.

The project is a collaboration with Dominion Diamond Mines and Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. Part of the analyses were done at the Gemological Institute of America.

The research is supported by a bursary through DERTS, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience program.

The study, “Yellow Diamonds With Colourless Cores—Evidence for Episodic Diamond Growth Beneath Chidliak and the Ekati Mine, Canada,” was published in Mineralogy and Petrology.

Source: miragenews

Ellendale revival on the horizon with increased diamond value

Ellendale diamonds

Gibb River Diamonds has completed a review of the mothballed Ellendale diamond mine in Western Australia that will help it edge closer to a proposed restart.

The independent appraisal, which was completed by which was completed by Independent Diamond Valuers International (IDVI) valued gems from the Ellendale 9 East Lobe at $US750 ($1120) per carat.

This price represents a 20 per cent increase since 2008, largely due to the high number of fancy yellow diamonds unearthed at the West Kimberley-based mine.

With these results, a mine revival is looking ominous for the site, which was closed in 2015.

Last December, Gibb River Diamonds accepted an offer from the Western Australian Government apply for new tenements at the site.

“This review is important as it helps Gibb River Diamonds to make commercial decisions regarding mine planning and development priorities at Ellendale,” the company stated.

“Previous operators had a contract to sell the fancy yellow component of their production to Laurelton Diamonds (the jeweller Tiffany & Co).

“It is uncertain if similar premium prices can be achieved with any future fancy yellow goods.

“However, there is a potential opportunity to capitalise in the uniqueness of these fancy yellow goods to sell above market prices.”

The independent appraisal showed a further 18 per cent increase at the Ellendale 9 deposit to $US559 per carat since 2008.

The Ellendale 4 deposit also experienced an increase in value to $US135 per carat, representing a 5 per cent rise in 12 years.

IDVI uncovered 16 per cent fancy yellow diamonds within the Ellendale East Lobe, compared with 9 per cent in the West Lobe.

Gibb River has affirmed that as this information is based on generic sales data, future sales results could “vary significantly” from those in the report, as no sales have occurred since 2015.


Vivid Yellow Diamond Recovered By Alrosa

Alrosa Vivid Yellow Rough Diamond

A 34.17 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow Rough Diamond was recovered by Almazy Anabara a mining company affiliate of Alrosa.

This is the Alrosa diamond mines largest fancy colored rough this year.

The diamond was found at its Ebelyakh alluvial mining deposit in the remote region of Yakutia in northeastern Russia.

The Vivid Yellow Diamond will be sent to Alrosa in Moscow at the end of the month for a detailed assessment, but the company said it is a transparent intense yellow crystal with a minor inclusion.

This year  Almazy Anabara recovered a 27.85 carat pink diamond the largest pink stone in Alrosa’s history.