Richland Postpone First Sapphire Sale

Author: Danielle Max

(IDEX Online News) – Gemstone miner Richland Resources has announced that it is postponing its first sale of goods from the Capricorn Sapphire project in Australia until the end of the third quarter. The move comes after consultations with its key Sightholders following lower than-expected production.

 According to the company, production in first weeks of the initial start-up and production commissioning phase of the Capricorn project has been lower than projected due to an electrical problem that prevented consistent levels of processing. The issue has now been fixed.  

Instead of a sale, the company is holding a product display and education session at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair, which opens today. The session will be used to introduce the first Capricorn Sapphire sapphires to potential Sightholders and trade buyers, and discuss downstream branding.

 “We have taken the decision not to make the event a formal Sight as the quantity of gemstones is not sufficient for the type of marketing profile we wish to build with customers,” said CEO Bernard Olivier.

 “Whilst it is disappointing, start-up issues like this forms part of a rapid mine redevelopment process as we continue our start-up and ramp-up phase. However I believe the best way to solve these issues are to identify and rectify them while in operation.”


IDEX Online: Marange diamond exports approved

We publish courtesy of National Jeweler

By Vinod Kuriyan and Edahn Golan for IDEX Online

Ramat-Gan—By using an unusual procedure of the Kimberley Process (KP), the outgoing chairman of the rough diamond monitoring body succeeded to pass the draft Jerusalem agreement, clearing the way for Zimbabwean diamond exports.

After a third of the KP members, 17 countries, approved the Jerusalem agreement, with no objections, KP sources told IDEX Online that outgoing KP Chairman Boaz Hirsch has issued a notification that now allows the legal export of diamonds from Marange.

The Jerusalem agreement is a compromise accord worked out by the United States with Zimbabwe during a KP Plenary meeting held in November. The Agreement however was rejected by Canada and Australia, preventing its adoption.

After several months of negotiations, most surrounding sub-section 3(b), which stipulates how many members of the Working Group on Monitoring (WGM) are needed to stop Zimbabwe’s exports in a self-cessation mechanism, Hirsch submitted a revised version to KP members, asking them to state their position by January 10.

When no response arrived, the deadline was extended to January 17, by which time 17 countries expressed their support for the revised draft.

One issue that remains open is Russia’s negative response to the procedure Hirsch used. This will need to be worked out by the incoming KP Chairman Mathieu Yamba.

This development means that $160 million worth of rough diamonds that had been recently bought by four Indian companies can now be legally imported into India for processing. The diamonds were reportedly in a sort of limbo, being held in Dubai’s free trade zone, which meant that technically they hadn’t entered the United Arab Emirates.

This article was first published on IDEX Online on Jan. 18.


Antwerp Express ‘Horror’ at Wikileaks Cable Article

We publish courtesy of IDEX online


The Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe. Organized claims are in the fenced area on the right Photo: Google Earth



(IDEX Online News) – The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) rejected today claims that Belgian companies bought illegal diamonds mined by children in Zimbabwe. The allegations were made by a local newspaper in reference to leaked U.S. cables that appeared last week on Wikileaks.

AWDC said it “read in horror” an article titled “Belgian kopen illegale diamanten [Belgians buy illegal diamonds]” published in De Morgen on December 11. The article claims that “illegal diamonds from Zimbabwe massively found their way to the Western a nd also the Belgian market in 2008” links the Belgian diamond business and child labor “in an inacceptable way.”

“The title ‘Belgians buy illegal diamonds’ is a total aberration,” AWDC said today. The diamonds discussed in the cable had Kimberley Process certificates and purchased in 2007-09. In November 2009, KP sanctions were placed on Marange goods.

The article also alleges ‘According to Cranswick work in the mine is mostly supplied by children.’ No references are made to child labor in the mentioned cables. “It must be absolutely clear that AWDC most strongly condemns child labor and does not wish to be associated with this in any possible way,” the organization declared.

This is the second response from inside the diamond industry to the leaked cables (see more about them here). The first was from WFDB Vice President Ernest Blom who issued a “categorical denial over claims of trading in rough diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange deposits.”

Scarselli Sells 68% of Tendered Fancy Color Diamonds

We publish courtesy of Idex online

(IDEX Online News) – Scarselli Diamonds sold 68 percent of the 300 diamonds offered at its color diamond tender. The tender included yellow, pink, blue, red a nd green diamonds. The company did not disclose prices.

The vast majority of buyers were European, Asian and Indian. Of most interest were the larger goods, notably the yellows, pinks and blues.


The company said that a few of the tender attendees were shown five “very special diamonds.” Three of them were reportedly sold fore more than a million dollars each “representing values in excess of seven figures,” according to the company.


Scarselli Diamonds will hold another color diamond tender in March 2011.

De Beers Expanding Forevermark to Singapore, the Caribbean & Mexico

We publish courtesy of  IDEX online

De Beers is taking its Forevermark brand to Singapore, selected islands in the Caribbean, Mexico and India before the end of 2010, the company announced Wednesday. The brand had more than $150 million in retail sales in the last 18 months and is available in 294 stores across Asia.

Forevermark is a brand that De Beers developed on a small scale a number of years ago and that has been recently expanded. Diamond from De Beers are earmarked for the brand and sold to participating Sightholders that polish the goods under strict guidance. The diamonds are later marked with a serial number and the Forevermark logo.

According to De Beers, leading independent auditor Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) inspects and monitors every Forevermark partner to ensure compliance the standards on a regular basis. This ongoing process ensures that the Forevermark supply chain is deemed responsible at every stage and Forevermark’s Pipeline Integrity is preserved and maintained.

Forevermark selected Forevermark Jewellers in each market to ensure these standards are maintained. In Singapore, Forevermark will be available from Aspial and Lee Hwa stores. Diamonds International in the Caribbean and Mexico will exclusively retail Forevermark diamonds and diamond jewelry in seven stores. Diamonds International is currently the largest fine jewellery retailer in the Caribbean.

Forevermark has had a presence in India since late 2009. De Beers is currently in discussions with a number of retailers with the intention of appointing Authorized Forevermark jewelers before the end of the year.

According to Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier, “‘we launched Forevermark little more than two years ago with the goal of becoming the world’s leading diamond brand.

“We wanted to develop a brand that not only defines quality and integrity within the diamond industry but that also inspires leading independent jewellery manufacturers and retailers to create precious and exciting diamond jewellery. We believe that growing into these new and vibrant markets is bringing us closer to realizing that goal.”

Harry Winston Returns to Profit, Boosted by Rough Diamond Prices

We publish courtesy of IDEX Online

Author: Edahn Golan

A combination of higher prices a nd an increase in the volume of sales led to an 89 percent increase in rough diamond sales by Harry Winston Diamond Corporation in the second the quarter of the fiscal year. The firm sold $86.8 million worth of rough and had retail sales of $66.9 million.

Harry Winston reported consolidated sales of $153.7 million, rising 62 percent from last year. This resulted in earnings from operations of $28.9 million, compared to a $3.9 million loss in the same quarter of the prior year.

The increase in rough diamond sales was a result of a 62 percent increase in rough diamond prices and a 17 percent increase in the volume of sales in the quarter.

Harry Winston’s share of rough diamond production was 0.65 million carats compared to 0.57 million carats, 14 percent higher.

Retail sales increased 37 percent to $66.9 million. Sales in Europe increased 40 percent to $24.7 million, sales in Asia increased 40 percent to $22.6 million and U.S. sales increased 31 percent to $19.6 million.

Consolidated net income for the second quarter was $16.5 million compared to net loss of $24.5 million in the second quarter of 2009.

“Both mine production and rough diamond sales increased in parallel with the growth in retail sales from our network of international stores particularly at the high end,” said Chairman and CEO Robert Gannicott. “We expect further growth in retail sales supported by renewed marketing efforts as customers seek out true craftsmanship.”

DTC Holds Business Excellence Seminar

We publish courtesy of IDEX Online

The concept of the New Normal reflects on the increasing opportunities that are afforded us by seeking to adapt quickly to the developing landscape. - Shine

DTC Sightholders in London for the Sight also attended the annual Business Excellence Seminar (BES), a series of lectures a nd discussions on how to improve business.

Entitled ‘Operating in the New Normal,’ the BES was hosted by DTC CEO, Varda Shine who said in her opening remarks that “the concept of the New Normal reflects not only the new economic realities that are being imposed on our businesses, but also the increasing opportunities that are afforded us by seeking to adapt quickly to the developing landscape.”

She went on to say that if companies are to succeed, evolution will be the watchword.

De Beers CEO Gareth Penny took the audience back to the beginning of Supplier of Choice and talked about how the challenges the industry faced then have been addressed over the past ten years but cautioned that there are challenges ahead of us.

Four guest speakers held then a series of breakout sessions. Dr Tore Opsahl, Research Associate at Imperial College Business School discussed the role of social networks to spur business growth. He was followed by Dr Andrew Scott, Professor and Deputy Dean (Programs) at London Business School whose presentation focused on how economies normally recover from downturns and how this is affected by financial factors and how financial problems in developed nations are transmitted to emerging countries.

Dr Gemma Calvert, Professor of Applied Neuroscience at the University of Warwick, discussed how consumer behavior is represented in the brain looking at how we actually make choices. Last, Dr Graham Baxter, Associate Director at the International Business Leaders Forum, highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility and its impact on the bottom line and consumer confidence.

Shine concluded the day by summarizing what each presentation means to diamond businesses across the pipeline.

She highlighted a number of points. The global economy is still in a fragile state and may well become more volatile than before; although interest rates are likely to remain low, the world is deleveraging and borrowing too heavily in the current climate to chase market share and could have negative repercussions

As the diamond industry seeks new opportunities in the new normal, emerging markets – both geographical and virtual – are likely to become of increasing importance, she added.

Corporate Responsibility (CR) is a necessity and not an optional extra, Shine emphasized. Although leading in this field may not always be easy, it is the right thing to do and seeking partnerships in CR activities can be an effective model. Finally, Neuroscience has shown that emotional rather than rational decision making plays the biggest part in consumers’ buying habits; as the diamond is a product so heavily wrapped up in emotion, the industry’s marketing approach should play to these strengths.