Natural Diamond Vs Synthetic Diamond


by Raul Sapora

From a scientific perspective, a synthetic diamond has the same chemical composition, the same crystal structure, the same optical and physical properties of a natural diamond. As synthetic diamonds are conceptually identical to natural diamonds, they need to be analyzed and spotted by a gemological laboratory. Synthetic diamond screening is nowadays a major concern of the Jewelry Industry.

Unexpectedly, as far as I am concerned, Ada Diamonds[i], a synthetic diamond distributor, after discovering a few natural diamonds mixed in a synthetic diamonds melee lot, has implemented enhanced screening procedures to further inspect all parcels of melee diamonds to ensure that all diamonds sold are in fact synthetic, not mined and therefore not illicit mined diamonds. Despite it is based on the same principle (synthetic vs natural diamond screening), a whole new and extremely dangerous variable has been imported into the Diamond Trade: protecting synthetic from natural. I believe most of you who read this will smile at this – I did too at a first glance – but it is also easy to realize that a new powerful weapon has been forged and consigned to marketing experts, and if the synthetic diamond industry will have consumers perceive that synthetic diamonds are a better alternative, people will buy them.

The situation is becoming more and more complex. Retailers are in a constant state of great distress: they are uncertain whether they should sell synthetic diamonds or not. On the other end, mining companies are addressing the problem with considerable delay and most probably caught inside the conceptual circle of the same marketing campaign which had decreed their triumph in the past. When Martin Rapaport in his world renowned educated reprimand[ii] to Leonardo di Caprio says that ‘false claims and misleading marketing surrounding the sale of synthetics is having an impact’, I am afraid he forgets to say that diamond itself owes its success to the unrivalled advertising slogan created by Mary Frances Gerety for De Beers in 1948 ‘a Diamond is Forever’, and that claim is disingenuous anyway. De Beers was successful in making diamonds appear rarer than they are, by aggressively restricting the supply of diamonds on the market, and moreover nothing is going to be forever, not even diamonds.

I am a gemologist and Responsible Sourcing Auditor, and those who know me quite well are prepared to hear me pronounce the sentence: “The ethical nature of a gemstone has today as much to do with its social context and its environmental provenance as it has with its optical and chemical properties.” In fact, in my opinion, gemology without Responsible Sourcing is merely a scientific understanding of gemstones, and the world needs much more than this. Gemology, as a matter of fact, is evolving through ethics. Therefore, as a gemologist I have to protect truth, even if truth sometimes can be multifaceted.

Diamond Foundry, a Synthetic Diamond producer who raised a capital of over $100 million from 12 billionaires[iii], including Twitter founder Evan Williams and actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, was launched in late 2015, after two years of research and development.” A diamond is a diamond,” says Martin Roscheisen, Diamond Foundry’s founder. “Scientifically it is a tetrahedral carbon allotrope, and it is the same thing whether mined or man-made.”

“Proud to invest in Diamond Foundry, a Company reducing human & environmental toll by sustainably culturing diamonds,” Leonardo di Caprio tweeted.

Apparently, the arguments embraced by synthetic (or lab grown as they like to say) diamonds manufacturers are mainly ethical: to some consumers they seem to be conflict free and socially responsible. That is because synthetic diamond marketers are touting their product to be “conflict-free”, which misleadingly associates all real diamonds with conflict diamonds.

Accusations of exploitation and inhumane working conditions in mines cast a dark shadow over the diamond industry. Mining is also said to be devastating to the environment, due to the amount of energy it requires, the potential for chemical leaks, and the harmful effects that removing large amounts of earth has on local ecosystems[iv]. Some of those arguments are highly deceptive: the world of diamonds, gemstones and jewellery is changing. The legislative landscape, consumer awareness of the problems in the jewellery supply chain and broader civil society groups demanding transparency and disclosure have impacted dramatically on this scenario: nowadays, thanks to Kimberley Process, Responsible Jewelry Council and other initiatives, just a very small fraction of diamonds production is being used to finance wars. Also, it is extremely important to understand that the diamond industry employs an estimated 10 million people around the world directly and indirectly, and also has become the almost entire economy of some specific, otherwise isolated locations, like Botswana and Northern Canada[v]. Another commonly repeated misconception is that diamond mining harms local ecosystems and wildlife. However, diamond mining is perhaps one of the least environmentally destructive forms of mining there is today. Diamond mining uses very few, if any, chemicals, and diamond mines leave a small footprint on local environments compared to other forms of mineral extraction. Most people are unaware of the role diamonds play in bringing real benefits to people in the countries around the world where diamonds are sourced. Nowhere is this more evident than in Africa.

A few facts:

·        An estimated 5 million people have access to appropriate healthcare globally thanks to revenues from diamonds.

·        Diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana to receive free education up to the age of 13.

·        An estimated 10 million people globally are directly or indirectly supported by the diamond industry.

·        The diamond mining industry generates over 40% of Namibia’s annual export earnings.

·        Approximately one million people are employed by the diamond industry in India.

·        The revenue from diamonds is instrumental in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

·        An estimated 65% of the world’s diamonds come from African countries.

It is quite evident that synthetic diamonds pose a firm and serious threat to this huge network, while so much has been done and is being done to eradicate unethical implications from the complex jewelry world. As I said already, reactions have been slightly late and perhaps, at least in the early stage, not commensurate to the actual danger.

After almost one century and a half after diamond discovery in South Africa – happened in 1867, when fifteen year old Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs found the Eureka diamond on his father’s farm, on the south bank of the Orange River – and after the end of the De Beers monopoly, seven of the world’s leading diamond companies (De Beers, Alrosa, Dominion Diamond Corporation, Petra Diamonds, Gem Diamonds, Lucara Diamond Corporation, Rio Tinto Diamonds), founded in May 2015, the Diamond Producers Association (DPA): its mission is ‘to protect and promote the integrity and reputation of diamonds, thereby ensuring the sustainability of the diamond industry[vi].

DPA launched an advertising campaign called “Real is Rare,” that adopts a new verbiage on diamond marketing, in which the abracadabra claim “A Diamond is Forever” has been replaced by a narrative that is totally different from the past. The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) announced at the JCK, Las Vegas a few days ago that their 2017 marketing budget will total US$ 57 million. DPA’s Chairman Stephen Lussier commented: “The Board’s decision is a major turning point for the Diamond Producers Association and the diamond industry. All Board Members are aligned behind the goals and plans of the DPA, which is now fully equipped to fulfil its mission of communicating to next generation consumers about the timeless beauty and emotional value of diamonds. We look forward to working closely with the diamond and jewellery trade and with other industry organisations to build a stronger future for our sector” [vii].

The words pronounced from Lussier sound so far away from the place and time in which De Beers was the guardian of the trade and could steadily increase the price of diamonds, thus ensuring that diamonds were a good investment over time.

Is such a potentially huge advertising campaign enough to react to synthetic diamonds? In my opinion the necessary game changer in this dangerous situation are ethics and Responsible Sourcing practices. The only way is ethics, quoting Stacey Hailes’s speech at Birmingham a few weeks ago. It is of paramount importance for consumers to consider what the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for Rough Diamonds, the Responsible Jewelry Council, the Signet Responsible Sourcing Program are among others doing. Although we are all working towards the full enforcement of these practices, they already had a significant impact on illicit trade in rough diamonds.


[i] As reported in ‘Is This Lab-Grown Diamond Company Trolling the Trade?’ by Rob Bates, on JCKonline (June 1, 2017)

[ii] Rapaport, ‘Synthetic Diamond Scam’ April 2016

[iii] ‘Why Leonardo DiCaprio is backing man-made diamonds’ by Sophie Morlin-Yron, CNN money ( August 30, 2016)

[iv] ‘A Lab-Grown Diamond Is Forever’, by Chavie Lieber (June 14, 2016)

[v] ‘The History of Lab Grown Diamonds: Value Proposition’, by Ehud Arye Laniado (June 14, 2017)

[vi] Diamond Producers Association mission statement (

[vii] DPA ups its Marketing Budget for 2017 – Allocates US$ 57 Million for the Purpose, TJM (June 6, 2017)


De Beers Raises Prices 3% at $650M April Sight



Author: Avi Krawitz

RAPAPORT… The De Beers April sight ended last week with an estimated value of $650 million after ‎the company raised prices by an average 3 percent. Some boxes, including stones ‎above 5 carats and 1 carat to 2 carat goods, increased by high single digit percentages. ‎De Beers boxes continue to sell at an average premium of about 5 percent on the ‎secondary market. ‎

‎“There were some price adjustments but overall it was a positive sight and the changes ‎were measured,” said Nigel Simson, head of ‎beneficiation at De ‎Beers. “The market has ‎improved as the Christmas and Chinese New Year seasons provided a platform from ‎which to build in 2013. We’ve seen some positive signs with polished inventories coming ‎down.”‎

Sightholders expected a larger increase from De Beers and were therefore satisfied with ‎the changes made. One Antwerp-based sightholder said he was concerned the company ‎may opt to make consecutive increases by small increments rather than one larger ‎change at once.‎

Simson declined to speculate on future price changes stressing that De Beers reviews ‎prices before every sight after assessing various aspects of the market, including ‎polished and rough trends, and market liquidity among other factors.‎

Initial reports from this week’s ALROSA sale indicate similar increases of an average 3 ‎percent implemented by the company.‎

Sightholders noted that speculation in the rough market has calmed since the sight. ‎‎“People expected De Beers to raise prices by more than it did, which is why there was ‎speculation in the market in the last month,” one Mumbai-based sightholder said. “Now ‎that they didn’t increase by so much and they supplied enough goods to the market, I ‎don’t see why there should be speculation.”‎

He added that De Beers supply returned to normal levels after there were shortfalls in the ‎first two sights of the year. Rapaport estimates that De Beers sight sales fell 8 percent ‎year on year to $1.75 billion during the first three sights of 2013.‎

Still, sightholders who spoke with Rapaport News agreed that their biggest concern ‎remains the low profit margins they can achieve from manufacturing. One sight ‎participant reported that while healthy margins usually hold at 10 percent to 15 percent, ‎diamond manufacturers are currently gaining about 5 percent on their polished. As a ‎result, manufacturers are not increasing their output especially since the next two months ‎are traditionally a quieter period in the polished market, he added.‎

As a result, there are lingering concerns about further price hikes. “There are some ‎margins in the polished, though not enough,” said one sightholder. “They’re okay to ‎sustain a business if you have a strong business model and a solid balance sheet but I ‎think that any increase from now would be catastrophic.”‎

De Beers Chairman  ‎

Anglo American has not yet appointed a new De Beers chairman to replace Cynthia ‎Carroll who has resigned as Anglo’s chief executive officer (CEO). Mark Cutifani, former ‎CEO of Anglo Gold Ashanti, last week took over from Carroll as Anglo CEO with Carroll ‎scheduled to leave the company at the end of April. Anglo owns 85 percent of De Beers ‎with the Botswana government holding the remaining 15 percent.   ‎

* Picture: De Beers sorting facility in Botswana. (Courtesy De Beers).

Zimbabwe and De Beers’ decline

Source: New Zimbabwe

Author: Tafadzwa Musarara


OBERT Mpofu has become the first and only African mines minister to take De Beers head on, and successfully inflict collateral damage on the century-old world diamond cartel leader.
Mpofu has forced the Oppenheimer dynasty to make a hasty exit from the conglomerate which they had ruled as their own family fiefdom for more than 70 years.
This is a big feat for a mines minister of a third world country to fight a worldwide establishment with a foundation deeply rooted in the Scramble for Africa. Founded in 1888 by Cecil John Rhodes, De Beers’s diverse business operations include diamond extracting, trading, cutting and polishing, jewellery manufacturing and retail.
The former diamond-mining giant has a record of providing massive material and financial assistance to former repressive colonial regimes in countries where it operated, including Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. De Beers grew phenomenally during the apartheid era when it bought several businesses that were closing in protest against the repressive political system in South Africa. This has resulted in De Beers owning at least 40% of major entities listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. During apartheid, De Beers crafted all statutes and policies on diamond trade in South Africa and benefitted from black cheap labour.

But in Zimbabwe, after decades of looting, De Beers is well and truly in retreat, soon to be a footnote in history.

“De Beers stole our diamonds,” bellowed Mpofu during his address to the Dubai Diamond Conference last month.
“We had De Beers in Zimbabwe exploring in Marange for 15 years. They exported 100,000 metric tonnes of diamond ore to South Africa for what they claimed was to carry out laboratory tests. No results of that exercise were revealed to the government of Zimbabwe as required by law. Soon after their departure, it took villagers living in the same particular area few days to start mining diamonds.”

And speaking to members of African Diamond Producers in Jerusalem on the sidelines of the 2010 Kimberly Plenary, Mpofu said: “Fellow Africans, our problems getting KP certification [to export diamonds] have serious underlying currencies.

“Apart from our bilateral arguments with Britain, we see that De Beers is behind the funding of this hostile civic society. We have a history with De Beers.

Mpofu had to contend with and defeat the De Beers machinery which could not fathom that for the first time in its century-old cartel, it had failed to lay its dirty hands on the world biggest and most lucrative diamond find.

The KP-supervised diamond sales of 2009 and 2011 impacted negatively on De Beers’ share price leading to the ousting of its chairman, Nick Oppenheimer, as other shareholders felt he had failed to stop Mpofu’s growing popularity in KP and the massive diamond sales from Marange which were now deflating world diamond prices.

Oppenheimer’s imperial management style failed to conquer the Marange find as the Zimbabwe phenomenon triggered the emergence of new entrants, mainly from India, who could not enter the diamond industry previously due to De Beers’ imposed restrictive measures.

The movie Blood Diamonds tremendouslyexposed De Beers’ dealing in diamonds mined from rebel-controlled areas. However, the threat made by Mpofu to take De Beers has worsened its integrity woes.

The battle for the Marange diamonds Kimberly Process (KP) certification had serious invisible forces at play, which informed the resistance and the demonisation of these mining operations. The quantum of financial resources deployed by De Beers to civic society organisations to carry “oversight” on Marange is the highest given in the history of the KP.

Mpofu’s three-year fight for the KP certification of these mines and re-instatement of his country as a full KP member did not only re-shape the jurisprudence of this diamond trade controlling body but put Zimbabwe on the international map.

A recent report, South Africa’s De Beers: The most unethical corporation, authored by the St Antoninus Institute, a Catholic business think tank, described De Beers as the most manipulative corporation in the world. The report adds: “DeBeers is guilty of more than all that. It is an integral part of the old-boy network instituted by the British and encompassing different US operations and interests for the purpose of controlling international governments and populations for the good and in the interest of a number of corporations, especially banks.

“The American version of this international network is called the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). Anyone drawing attention to the dark side of the objectives of this outfit is branded and derided as giving credence to the ‘conspiracy theory’.

“DeBeers supports CFR and its other international version as they are means to protect the integrity of its cartel. The other major members of CFR, the banks, support the group because it allows them to introduce their people in all different types of governments and political parties so that these government will never consider commandeering or nationalising the assets of the banks (bankers are paranoid about collaterals but how do you enforce a collateral against a sovereign government?).

“Through CFR, De Beers undermines the political process of several countries, including the US.”
The fall of De Beers in Zimbabwe and the continued fight by Mpofu brings relief to many other African countries who could not stop the Wild West behaviour in their areas of jurisdiction.

Since the discovery of diamonds in the Kalahari desert in 1969 by De Beers, the Bushman – the indigenes of this area – have never known any peace as they face displacement any time. It is expected, therefore, that Batswana activists are going to ride on Mpofu’s victory as they now realise that zizi harina nyanga.

Tafadzwa Musarara is the chairman of Resource Exploitation Watch

De Beers’ rough diamond sales drop 15% in 2012

Courtesy of Diamond World

Forevermark expands its reach by 40%


De Beers noted that in 2012, there was a 16 percent drop in its total sales to US$6.1 billion, while rough diamond sales decreased by 15 percent to US$5.5 billion. The company stated that its rough diamond sales took a slide down mainly owing to the diminished demand, changing product requirements from Sightholders, and reduced availability of some goods. Sales of rough diamonds via De Beers’ auction platform decreased to US$356 million in 2012 which the company attributed to subdued buyer activity.

Also, diamond jewellery demand from US, China and Japan did see an increase, although at a slower pace than in 2011.

Rough diamond prices dropped 12 percent in the years 2012. Also as the polished prices declined especially towards the third quarter of the year and with the increased stock levels at the cutting centre stock and tightening liquidity in the midstream resulted in a rough there was a correction in the rough diamond prices in the third quarter and by the year end, the rough prices stabilized, reflecting a modest improvement in consumer demand during the holiday sales season in most major diamond jewellery markets.

The Forevermark brand of the De Beers group saw an increase in its reach, as stores licenced to retail Forevermark diamonds grew by 40 percent to more than 900 independent jewellers worldwide. It grew in core markets of China, Japan, India and the US, and was launched in two new licensee markets – Canada and the UAE.

The year’s diamond production at De Beers totalled 27.9 million carats (2011: 31.3 million carats). Also, Anglo American plc completed its acquisition of a further 40 percent interest in De Beers, bringing total shareholding to 85 percent. There was free cash flow of $697 million, down 15 percent (on y-o-y basis) and debt was reduced by 61 percent to $722 million, excluding ‎shareholder loans. ‎De Beers is maintaining an outlook of moderate growth in diamond jewellery demand in 2013, with a more positive picture emerging from China and India compared to 2012. It noted that as the diamond manufacturing ‎sector is currently holding high inventory levels, particularly in the high end goods, the challenges in liquidity continue.

De Beers: Rough prices to continue to rise

We publish courtesy of: National Jeweler


Mumbai–Diamond Trading Co. (DTC) Managing Director Varda Shine told Reuters that rough diamond prices will keep climbing in 2011 due to increased demand from the world’s largest diamond-consuming market, the United States, as well as a growing desire for diamonds in India and China.

But prices won’t climb as steeply as they did in 2010, she said. De Beers previously reported that rough diamond prices shot up 27 percent last year after a significant decline in 2009 due to the global economic crisis and subsequent drop in demand.

In the same interview, Shine, who heads De Beers’ rough sales and marketing arm, said that diamond jewelry demand in the United States is expected to increase a modest 5 percent this year as the employment situation improves and the American economy resumes growth.

In the world’s second-largest market for diamond jewelry, Japan, demand is expected to decline slightly as the nation struggles to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged it last month, she said. Increases in demand for diamond jewelry in China and India are expected to balance out any declines in Japan.

Shine also noted that demand for rough is expected to outpace supply in the next five to 10 years due to the lack of new mine finds and continual growth in India and China.


We publish courtesy of Israeli Diamond Industry Portal

Author: Michelle Moshelian

Letitia Chow, Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, which publishes the Jewellery News Asia publication, kindly granted the Israel Diamond Institute an interview to discuss the state of the Chinese diamond and jewelry sectors.


Israel Diamond Institute: We hear all the time that China is market of the future. What is your opinion on this?

Letitia Chow: China isn’t the market of the future – it’s the market of today.

IDI: Do the people in China feel that, or is it an industry feeling?

LC: I suppose that for jewelers and people in the jewelry business inChina, they wouldn’t consider themselves important compared to suppliers in the rest of the world. This is because things are developing very rapidly in general in China, and the country’s economy is improving.

When foreigners visit China, I think they will feel the spirit – the feeling, the confidence – the very positive energy there. While the jewelry industry is developing and doing well… there are other sectors that are doing even better. Therefore, I don’t think they would say, “Oh, we are very important in the world market.”

Of course, there are certain industry associations that monitor the development of the sector and try to lead and help further the industry. These associations, which make contact with the global industry, are certainly aware that China is certainly exciting for many supplying centers.

IDI: Can you tell us about the Chinese jewelry and diamond consumer market – for example the size of the sector?

LC: It’s very difficult to put a figure on the industry. Such statistics are not readily available – not like in certain countries where they have been monitoring the numbers very closely for a long time. Many of these statistics were driven by organizations like De Beers and international trade, bodies which, because of their relationship with local industries, can set up panels to monitor the figures. Of course, there are jewelry trade associations in China that also try to do the job, but the availability of these statistics is limited. All the figures that people quote today are very rough estimates. However, the figures are certainly very interesting.

IDI: What kind of diamonds or jewelry are the Chinese consumers interested in? Is there a difference in taste in different areas?

LC: Absolutely – there is certainly a difference in taste according to region. There is a sizeable wedding jewelry market that uses a lot ofdiamonds. I think that we have to thank, again, De Beers for encouraging consumers to promote diamonds as a gift of commitment. The younger generation is certainly influenced by all this promotion. Although China is still a very important market for gold jewelry, young people have a very open mind toward diamond jewelry.

IDI: Are you talking specifically about the Forevermark campaign?

LC: No. De Beers started promoting diamonds in mainland China many years ago, and this helped establish the market that has been expanding. The younger Chinese generation likes diamonds – they prefer diamonds to pure metal jewelry. For a long time, the Chinese market only accepted a very narrow range of qualities of diamonds, but that has changed a lot. It has broadened, which is good news for everyone – for all the suppliers. After all, the very narrow range of fine quality diamonds is limited. So now the Chinese have opened their minds, and they accept a wider range. We’re talking about maybe lower color, lower quality.  It’s actually a very good thing – it helps expand the market.

IDI: Are the Chinese interested in brand names? Which has moreappeal – Foreign brand names or Chinese?

LC: The Chinese are absolutely interested in brand names. Foreign or domestic, because I think consumer confidence is based on branding. They want to know that what they are buying is worth the money and offers good backup and support. A brand usually represents a guarantee of quality and service and the Chinese consumers appreciate that whether its fashion, or cosmetics or jewelry. The consumers feel a lot more comfortable when they have a sense of reassurance of buying from the supplier. That means that there’s some kind of branding behind it. Talking about brands, the Israeli Diamond Industry is also promoting its mark. I think it’s a very good move, but they need persistence. I think it’s very important. Obviously though, such a move , requires resources.

IDI: For what occasions do Chinese consumers buy diamond jewelry?

LC: There are a few high seasons. I think you are aware of, for example, Labor Day in May, because they have a long holiday, and there is the National Day on October 1, May 1, and October 1. On these occasions, nearly the whole country is on holiday, so people spend money, they celebrate, they take tours, and they also make big purchases. Obviously the most important season is toward the end of the year, around the Chinese New Year, when a lot of weddings take place. So there’s the wedding season. Meanwhile the Chinese market is also picking up some Western habits – celebrating Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and of course, Christmas! As you know, so many international consumer brands have entered the Chinese market they are bringing in these Western celebrations. They will take any opportunity to push a sale! Chinese consumers are also learning, taking an interest and being influenced.

IDI: How big is the diamond industry in China?

Jialiang Gao www peace-on-earth org

LC: It’s very difficult to say. In manufacturing, we’re talking about 30,000 diamond cutters before the recession. Now, I think it would be closer to 20,000. The industry is certainly expanding because of the demand. Some of the big retail chains are also going into diamond cutting because of the control in mainlandChina and the complications of duties. Many Israeli companies are members of the China Diamond Exchange. Still, it’s a lot easier if Chinese retailers have the capacity to manufacture diamonds there for jewelry manufacturing and retail in mainland China.

IDI: What sort of diamonds do companies in China specialize in?

LC: They don’t cut very, very small diamonds because the labor cost is high and competitive. Also, for a better profit margin they would like to (I say would ‘like to’ because it sometimes depends on the supplier) handle a finish of 20 points and better quality.

IDI: Where are diamond imported from?

LC: Oh, everywhere. But I must say that the Indians are very active. What happened is that a lot of Indian suppliers have either established operations within mainland China or send people to China very frequently, so they are seen as very active. The main business is to sell to jewelry manufacturers in centers and hubs like Szechuan or Panyu. Of course, Chinese jewelry manufacturers and Hong Kongjewelry manufacturers who make jewelry for sale in mainland Chinause quite a fair amount of Israeli-supplied diamonds and even Belgian – it all depends on availability, who has the most suitable goods. Of course, because of the quantities of diamonds being cut by the Indians, they will always have the biggest share.

IDI: Do the Chinese people speak English and read English?

LC: Yes, more and more people are better-educated. In business, too,more people understand the language.

IDI: Would a consumer be put off by a Western English approach, or would it give more value?

LC: I would think that people would consider imported goods and like them, because there is a perception that imported merchandise are of good quality or more trendy.

Thank you Letitia Chow




DTC First Sight for 2011 creates history

We publish courtesy of Diamond World

The Diamond Trading Company’s First Sight for 2011 was a historic one, as it was opened for the first time by a DTC Sightholder. The honour went to Mr. Erez Daleyot, Group CEO of DD Manufacturing (DDM), who also received an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the DTC.

Mr. Daleyot won this historic honour at the Diamond Empowerment Fund auction held in London last November where the DTC had allowed Sightholders to bid for the opportuity of opening the first Diamond Sight of 2011 and being a guest of De Beers’ Chairman, Mr. Nicky Oppenheimer and Ms. Varda Shine, CEO of DTC. ” He said, “The Diamond Empowerment Fund’s vision and values fit perfectly with our own, and we are very excited to have had the opportunity to support them to create a better future for the next generation in southern Africa.”

Ms. Shine, Board Member of DEF and co-host of the DEF charity event last year at which $1,000,000 was raised, commented that “we were so pleased that one of our Sightholders won the bid, and especially a company that is aligned with our own DTC beneficiation objectives in supporting empowerment and development of opportunities for youth in southern Africa. DDM has been a fantastically generous supporter of good causes at our past charity events.”

DD Manufacturing (DDM) specialises in loose, larger polished diamonds to deliver diamonds of the highest attainable cut and quality to top-end jewellery retailers around the world. Life Diamonds (South Africa), amongst the largest diamond manufacturing operations in South Africa, and an integral part of the DDM group, actively supports social projects.