Thursday, October 28, 2010

Diamond Exchange

The Diamond Exchange Ltd. Australia.

When this Australian diamond dealer went belly up it not only left customers out of pocket but brides with bare fingers. A Current Affair investigates how Aussie brides-to-be are being left empty handed on their special day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pink Panther Diamond Ring to Sell for £24 Million

The Pink Panther diamond goes on sale next month, with odds looking up for it to become the most expensive diamond ever to be sold, as it is believed it will fetch no less than £24 million.

Quite a hefty amount for an engagement ring.

Luckily, it’s not meant to be that, since it’s a collector’s piece, with several potential customers already expressing interest in it, despite the exorbitant price tag, This Is Money informs.

The Pink Panther diamond weighs 25 carats and was created by Harry Winston, jeweler to the stars. For the past 60 years, it’s been in a private collection but will exchange hands (and owners) next month.

Pre-sale estimates indicate that the diamond could become the world’s most expensive stone, with odds to sell for anything in between $27 million and $38 million (£17 – £24 million).

Even if it fetches the lowest estimate, it would still knock the previous record holder, a 35-carat Wittelsbach diamond that sold for £16.3 million.

According to David Bennett, chairman of the international jewelry department at Sotheby’s, the high interest in the Pink Panther is due to the fact that it’s labeled one of the rarest and close to perfect diamonds in the world.

“I cannot exaggerate just how rare this stone is. This sale is one of the most exciting of my 35-year career,” Bennet says, as cited by the aforementioned e-zine.

“It is one of the most desirable diamonds ever to come to auction and its beauty has haunted me since the very first time I set eyes on it some years ago,” Bennet adds.

The diamond is classified as a “fancy intense pink,” a very rare color, as per the Geological Institute of America. It’s set between two other diamonds on a silver ring support.

“There is something so exuberant, joyful and intensely feminine about a pink diamond that makes them absolutely irresistible,” Bennet adds of the diamond, also described as “potentially flawless.”

Thursday, October 14, 2010

India's diamond bourse set to shine anew

India's first diamond exchange, which opens next week, expects turnover to rise 10-15 percent annually the next five years, challenging the dominance of traditional centres like Belgium and Israel.

Bharat Diamond Bourse, which shifts to a bigger site on Oct 17 after a near-two-decade delay, currently has a turnover of $27-28 billion, and hopes to grow substantially on higher participation from diamond traders across the globe. "We expect diamond traders from Israel and Belgium to start trading over here. And we also expect primary producers to come and sell their produce in India," Anoop Mehta, president of the exchange, told reporters at a pre-launch meet.

The exchange, with over 2,300 members, will be housed in 8 towers over an area of 20 million sq feet at the Bandra-Kurla complex, an emerging business district in suburban Mumbai. The exchange proposes to get buyers, sellers, banks and customs officials under one roof to facilitate exports of polished diamonds, Mehta said adding State Bank of India and Bank of India will have a presence in the bourse.

Over the next couple of years, Mehta expects global diamond companies to open offices here, and compete with the trading centres of Belgium and Israel which together account for turnover of $50 billion. In 2009/10, India imported 149.8 million carats of rough diamonds, up 24.5 percent on year, and exported 59.9 million of cut and polished diamonds, up 28.3 percent on year. India processes about seven in every 10 of the world's diamonds, accounting for 57 percent of the global diamond processing industry.

The country's diamond processing industry accounts for 70-75 percent of total diamond exports and employs 850,000 people, making it the largest cutting centre by value and number of employees. "All top 400 exporters are over here (at the bourse), which accounts for 90 percent of the turnover," Mehta said. The exchange, which was incorporated in 1984 with diamond exporters and state-run trading firm MMTC Ltd. , earlier operated out of the city's traditional diamond hub in south Mumbai. While the bourse was expected to move to its new premises in the early 90s, it was held up by procedural delays, Mehta said.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Botswana records first trade surplus in 20 months

Strong diamond sales in June underpinned solid national export figures for the month enabling Botswana to record its first trade surplus, P202.7 million, since October 2008, latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has shown.

October 2008 marked the onset of a 10-month recession driven largely by a 20.9 percent contraction in the mining sector, which constitutes more than a third of the Gross Domestic Product. During that period, Botswana witnessed heavy trade deficits, running into P4 billion in the first quarter of 2009, as the value of imports greatly outweighed that of exports.

However, the CSO's recent data indicates that exports for June 2010 at P3.48 billion outweighed imports for the same month at P3.28 billion, enabling the country to declare a trade surplus for the first time since September 2008.

The CSO was quick to point out that June's improved performance, however, did not alter the overall trade picture for the second quarter.

"This was not enough to influence trade balance for quarter two of 2010 as the trade deficit for the quarter stood at P1.54 billion," the statistics body reported.

June's healthier trade position was driven by P2.61 billion in diamond exports and similarly stronger export values for copper/nickel at P394.4 million and textiles at P70 million. Month-on-month, the value of diamond exports in June 2010 was 55 percent higher, copper/nickel 50 percent and textiles 70 percent.

The CSO figures reveal that the value of diamonds exported in June represent the strongest monthly exports of the gems since August 2008, shortly after which exports plummeted by nearly 65 percent as mines cut production in response to the recession's onset.

In addition, diamond exports' contribution to total exports rose to 75.1 percent month-on-month in June 2010 from 69.6 percent.

"The steep increase in exports coupled with the noticeable trade surplus could be a sign of recovery in exports which were seriously affected by the economic crunch," the CSO said.

With inflation in South Africa - which supplied 68 percent of Botswana's imports in June - declining from 6.2 percent in January to 3.5 in August, analysts believe forthcoming CSO statistics could reveal more trade surpluses after June 2010.

Diamonds are expected to continue propping exports up, as sightholders scramble for gemstones ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday in November, the Christmas/New Year festive period and the Chinese New Year next February.

Staff Writer