Phillips Showcases $15M Pink Diamond at Second Geneva Auction

A 6.21-carat pink diamond will be the star of the second jewelry auction Phillips will hold in Geneva, where it is expected to fetch up to CHF 13.6 million ($15 million).

The fancy-vivid-pink, VS1-clarity, type IIa diamond ring is among several important and rare pieces on offer at the sale, called Geneva Jewels Auction: Two, which will take place on May 13, Phillips said Tuesday. The auction will be at the Hotel President Geneva for the first time, and it will include over 100 specially curated items from well-knowns design houses such as Cartier, JAR, Suzanne Belperron, and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Prior to the sale, Phillips will exhibit the jewels in New York; London; Taipei, Taiwan; and Singapore. The auction house will also hold a simultaneous selling exhibition called “Symbols, Colour and Form,” which will feature jewels from contemporary designers Alix Dumas and DYNE.

Here are the rest of the of the top five items Phillips will feature at the main sale:

This 280.84-carat Colombian emerald is from a private collection. Known as The Amazon Queen, it carries an estimate of CHF 1.4 million to CHF 2.4 million ($1.5 million to $2.6 million).
A 27.27-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow diamond ring will also go under the hammer. It is expected to bring in between CHF 1 million and CHF 1.8 million ($1.1 million to $2 million).
A pair of earrings set with pear-shaped, D-flawless, type IIa diamonds weighing 10.07 and 10.12 carats has a presale price range of CHF 1.2 million to CHF 1.6 million ($1.3 million to $1.8 million).
Phillips will offer this brilliant-cut, 1.56-carat, fancy-red Argyle diamond at the Geneva auction. Named The Argyle Phoenix, it is estimated at CHF 910,000 to CHF 1.4 million ($1 million to $1.5 million).

Source: Rapaport

Sarine Blames Economy and Lab Growns for 2023 Loss

Sarine recorded a $2.8m loss for 2023 as it battled macro-economic challenges in China and beyond, as well as increasing disruption from lab growns.

The Israel-based diamond tech business made an $8.8m profit the previous year. Revenue for 2023 was down 27 per cent to $42.9m.

Sarine said sales of equipment and the recurring scanning revenues that came from them had been hit by lower consumer demand and manufacturers’ reduced polishing activities.

Sales to India, its biggest single market by far, fell 27 per cent to $22m.

However it did sound a note of optimism after a “challenging year”, suggesting that a sharp fall in lab grown retail prices could lower retailers’ margins and make them less attractive.

“While it may be too early to call this a new trend, the slowdown could indicate that the natural diamond and LGD segments of the diamond jewellery market are reaching a new equilibrium,” the company said.

Sarine said it had launched its Most Valuable Plan (MVP) for the optimal planning of small rough diamonds and had adapted rough planning technologies to lab growns to attract new customers and generate additional recurring revenues.

Source: IDEX

A Colorful Life: Leibish Shares the Many Hues of His 40-Year Diamond Career

Leibish Polnauer

Behind his small and grandfatherly stature is a man who’s not afraid to say anything, and usually does. Leibish Polnauer has been in the diamond industry for over 40 years and runs an extremely successful business. But if not for a crazy fluke and a bit of luck, that business wouldn’t exist.

Polnauer — affectionately known in the trade as simply “Leibish” — welcomed Rapaport’s editorial team to his office in Israel’s diamond bourse to talk about how he got his start, the market for colored diamonds, what he thinks of lab-grown, and how the industry has changed over the years. We also got a sneak peek at some of the jewelry pieces his company is currently working on.

Leibish showing the Rapaport team fancy-colored yellow diamonds.

The train ride epiphany
Around 1980, after several years as a diamond polisher and the loss of his job at a factory that went out of business, Polnauer went to London to try to sell a parcel of diamonds. He didn’t manage to offload a single stone, but on the train, on the way back from his business meetings, he saw an advertisement in The Guardian for crown jeweler Garrard, featuring a pear-shaped, brown diamond. Using his abundance of “Israeli chutzpah,” he called the number and told them he had diamonds to sell. The managing director invited him to his office on Regent Street, where he told Polnauer he was making a tiara for a wedding and needed 106 pear-shaped diamonds in four weeks.

Despite his cheeky admission to our team that at the time he had never even heard of pear-shaped diamonds, Polnauer took on the challenge, flew to New York, and secured the stones needed for the piece. He brought them back to London, and Garrard, thrilled with the selection, cut him his first check for GBP 106,000, equivalent to about GBP 1 million ($1.3 million) today.

A Leibish custom made ring bearing a 5.43-carat Mogok vivid-pink sapphire and green tsavorite.

He used that experience to convince Graff to do business with him. At the time, the jewelry house worked with a sultan whose wife gifted every visitor to their palace with a diamond watch, and Graff was desperate for the pink and yellow diamonds needed to create 50 to 70 watches per year. And thus began Polnauer’s career in the colored-diamond business.

A Leibish custom made flower ring set with a heart-shaped, 0.29-carat, fancy-purplish-red Argyle diamond surrounded by pear-cut, D-color white diamonds

Changing with the times
Throughout the years, Polnauer has watched his business grow from diamond sourcing and manufacturing to include in-house designers that create custom pieces for clients whom they usually never meet face-to-face, but who nevertheless aren’t afraid to drop massive sums of money for a beautiful, original Leibish creation.

One of the most important lessons Polnauer has learned during his time in the colored-diamond industry is that people shop first by color, then by price tag. He has broadened his business to include colored gemstones, because if someone wants a blue diamond but can’t afford it, a sapphire or tanzanite can often present a compelling and cheaper alternative.

Three custom-made rings by Leibish featuring an oval, 8.51-carat, royal blue sapphire; an oval, 5.49-carat emerald; and a cushion-shaped, 3.74-carat, fancy-green-yellow diamond surrounded by white diamonds.

Most of the firm’s clients are wealthy 30- to 60-year-olds who have a penchant for color, because, as Polnauer notes, “color is excitement.” They purchase multiple pieces to match their clothing. One client in Texas bought 13 rings in a two-year period because she loved color. Meanwhile, another client ordered a ring for his wife, who then decided she needed earrings to match. When those were ready, she wanted a necklace to complete the set. Polnauer was more than happy to comply, and in a four-day time span, he saw his bank account padded with an additional $500,000.

A radiant-cut, 1.03-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink Argyle diamond.

But working in the colored-diamond industry isn’t always easy. Recently, the company was tasked with sourcing dozens of matching yellow diamonds to be used for a watch created by Jacob & Co. That search took the company on a two-year, international hunt before they finally filled the commission.

Other changes over his more than four-decade career have also been difficult. He has sadly watched as the Israeli diamond-manufacturing sector has diminished in importance with India’s growth, and learned the meaning of providing added value to customers.

A radiant-cut, 0.71-carat, fancy-red Argyle diamond.

“People used to just want to buy a stone, but now they want to buy a product,” he says. “You have to have an internet business; you have to manufacture jewelry. You also have to really be on point with your presentation. When business was face-to-face, if you screwed someone, he would just walk away upset. Now, with the internet, he doesn’t walk away. If he doesn’t like what he gets, he sends it back, and he writes a bad report about you on Google, and you have to pay for the return shipment, so presentation is crucial.”

No lab-grown zone
While many in the industry have welcomed the advent of lab-grown as a way to make money from clients who can’t always afford natural stones, Polnauer pulls no punches about his dislike of what he calls “fakes.”

He believes lab-grown to be detrimental to the natural-diamond industry, because the fall of synthetic prices “pulls down the price of real diamonds.”

He’s also not shy about making it known how damaging he thinks De Beers was with its marketing of lab-grown.

“De Beers made a tremendous self-destructive move by introducing a product which is undermining the basic product they sell,” he explains. “They cannibalized their own sales and did a tremendous disservice to the industry.”

However, Polnauer believes when it comes to lab-grown, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Lab-grown is stealing the story from natural diamonds,” he says. “But there is a saying: ‘When the music stops, the dancing stops,’ so hopefully everything will work out for the best.”

Staying optimistic
His brazenness has seen Polnauer ride out many market ups and downs, the latest challenge being the Israel-Hamas war that started when the latter attacked the country on October 7. When asked if it’s affected his business, he says it has. While he notes that those who want to buy his products still will, and those who don’t never would have anyway, he believes the negative sentiment is “poison” for an industry based on “illusion and sentiment.”

Despite it all, he remains hopeful. When it comes to the future of the trade, he thinks “fancy-colored diamonds will flourish, gemstones will flourish and the jewelry market will flourish, because I’m an optimist, and if you put that positivity out there, everything will work out.”

Source: rapaport

108ct. Pink Diamond at Heart of New Partnership

Dubai-based manufacturer Choron has signed an agreement with Storm Mountain Diamonds to cut and polish a 108.39-carat stone from the Kao mine in Lesotho.

Storm Mountain, a joint venture between Namakwa Diamonds and the Lesotho government, recovered the type IIa diamond in March. The stone is one of the largest pink diamonds ever discovered, Storm Mountain said last week.

“Storm Mountain continues to consistently deliver extraordinary diamonds, and this diamond further cements the Kao mine as the primary producer of pink diamonds globally,” said Storm Mountain board chairman Robert Cowley. “We are thrilled to enter into this agreement with Choron, and we look forward to the next chapter of this diamond’s story.”

Storm Diamonds will retain a minority share in the stone, while Choron will manufacture and market it, Choron CEO Anshul Gandhi told Rapaport News. The company has not disclosed the other terms of the partnership.

“It is a privilege for Choron to unlock the secrets within this remarkable pink diamond, and we look forward to revealing the story of this historic diamond,” said Ghandi. “Our artisans will meticulously transform this rough diamond into an array of polished diamonds that will be remembered for generations to come.”


Petra Believes Rough Prices Have ‘Bottomed’

Petra Diamonds’ rough prices started to bounce back at its latest tender, indicating the market has “likely bottomed,” it said Thursday.

The company’s third trading session brought in $67.9 million from the sale of 519,397 carats, at an average price of $131 per carat. Prices were 19% higher on a like-for-like basis — comparing similar categories of diamonds — than at the fiscal year’s second tender, which ended in October.

Last week, the miner reported early results from the tender of $58.7 million from 462,794 carats, at an average price of $127 per carat. During the remainder of the tender, it sold an additional 56,600 carats for $9.3 million. That comprised 25,200 carats from the Cullinan and Finsch mines in South Africa, which yielded $3.1 million, and 31,400 carats from the Williamson mine in Tanzania, bringing in $6.2 million.

Total rough-diamond revenue for the first fiscal half, which included three tenders, came to $187.8 million, down 7% year on year, the company noted. Like-for-like prices for the six months fell 13% compared to the equivalent three tenders the year before.


US Polished Imports Fall in October

US polished-diamond imports dropped 21% to $1.5 billion in October, recording a fifth consecutive year-on-year decline, according to recent data from the US Commerce Department. The decrease reflected a fall in the volume of imports as well as a lower average price. Polished imports have not seen a year-on-year rise since May, when the timing of the JCK Las Vegas show prompted an 18% increase.

Source: US Commerce Department data; Rapaport archives.

About the data: The US, the world’s largest diamond retail market, is a net importer of polished. As such, net polished imports — representing polished imports minus polished exports — will usually be a positive number. Net rough imports — calculated as rough imports minus rough exports — will also generally be in surplus. The nation has no operational diamond mines but has a manufacturing sector, so it normally ships more rough in than out. The net diamond account is total rough and polished imports minus total exports. It is the US’s diamond trade balance, and shows the added value the nation creates by importing — and ultimately consuming — diamonds.


Rio Tinto Delighted with Argyle and Diavik Tender

Rio Tinto said it was delighted with the results of its first Beyond Rare Tender of polished pink and red diamonds from Argyle, in Australia, and yellow stones from Diavik, Canada, though it declined to reveal any prices.

Sinead Kaufman, chief executive of Rio Tinto Minerals, said only that the results reflected the global demand for highly collectible natural colored diamonds.

The first in a series of sales featured a collection of 87 diamonds, weighing 29.96 carats in total. Successful bidders came from Australia, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, US and Israel.

Among the lots were seven Masterpiece sets of Argyle dink diamonds and yellow Diavik diamonds, 11 matched pairs of colored diamonds and 30 single diamonds, including one remarkable fancy red Argyle diamonds.

The iconic Argyle mine closed in November 2020 after 37 years. It produced 90 per cent of the world’s pink, red, blue and violet diamonds.

Source: IDEX

Pink Diamond Ring Headlines Heritage Sale

A 3.06-carat pink diamond ring will be the star of an upcoming jewelry sale at Heritage Auctions, where it is set to fetch as much as $300,000.

The modified marquise-shaped, fancy-pink stone, surrounded by 0.55 carats of full-cut diamonds, will lead the December 4 Holiday Fine Jewelry Signature Auction in Dallas, Texas, Heritage said Monday.

Other standout items include pieces by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Tiffany & Co., and diamond earrings created in 1950 by Parisian jeweler Jean Schlumberger. One of the more interesting lots is an enamel and 18-karat gold helicopter by Pierno Frascarolo & Co.

Here are some of the other top items:

A ring by designer David Webb features a pear-shaped, 18.65-carat Ceylon purple sapphire, 9.35 carats of full-cut diamonds and a turquoise cabochon, estimated at up to $80,000.
An emerald-cut, 4.62-carat, H-color, VS1-clarity diamond ring is expected to fetch up to $75,000 at the auction.
This ring is set with a cut-cornered rectangular-cut, 5.57-carat, fancy-intense-yellow, VS1-clarity diamond center stone, flanked by tapered bullet-shaped white diamonds and rectangular-shaped emeralds. It carries a presale price range of $50,000 to $75,000.
Heritage will offer this cushion-shaped, 19.51-carat sapphire and diamond ring for $50,000 to $70,000.

Source: Rapnet

Rapaport calls for help and support for US Diamond Protocol as World Diamond Council (WDC) and De Beers lobbyists push for sanctions plan that will destroy small US jewelers and dealers. 

Visit for facts and support. Martin Rapaport will fast for three days next week — Tues.-Thurs., Nov. 7-9 — to protest WDC’s support for Kimberley Process that certifies Russian diamonds. Trade is urged to fast for one day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, as WDC and KP meet in Zimbabwe. Prices of rounds stabilizing; 1 ct. RAPI +0.3% this week but -2.2% for Oct. Fancies still falling. Surat factories to close for three weeks over Nov. 12 Diwali holiday. NY DDC to hold Israel trade week Nov. 27-30.