Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dominion completes sale of Harry Winston brand

Dominion Diamond Corp. has completed the previously announced sale of its luxury brand diamond jewelry and timepiece division, Harry Winston, to The Swatch Group Ltd.

As part of the transaction, the company has changed its name to Dominion Diamond Corporation from Harry Winston Diamond Corporation. In connection with this name change, the company's stock symbol will change from HW to DDC on the Toronto Stock Exchange and from HWD to DDC on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Indian diamond industry leaders say the likelihood of the large-scale entry of synthetic diamonds into the market continues to remain low.

Since synthetic diamonds are best-suited to industrial needs and mostly manufactured for that aim, they are less of a threat to the diamond jewelry industry, diamantaires told The Times of India.
Synthetic diamond manufacturers can tailor the stones for specific uses because they are able control their properties of hardness, thermal conductivity and electron mobility.
Only 5 percent of synthetics, which are usually produced to a weight of one carat or lower, make their way to the gem-diamond market. The rest are used in a wide range of industrial and high-tech applications.
Sanghavi Exports Director Aagam Sanghavi says, "Synthetic diamonds no longer pose a challenge to the [Indian] diamond manufacturing centre. They may pose some challenge at the trading level, but can be dealt with [by] disclosure, detection and differentiation."
"The production of synthetic diamonds is less than one percent of that of the global production of natural diamonds annually. All the manufacturers of synthetic diamonds are doing legal business. The synthetic or cultured diamonds are 30 percent cheaper than the natural stones," Sanghavi adds.
Surat Diamond Association President Dinesh Navadia says, "I don't think synthetic diamonds are a threat. The diamond companies should join hands in the promotion of natural diamonds in the country, like the 'A diamond is forever' campaign of De Beers."
Diamond Intelligence Briefs publisher Chaim Even-Zohar said in a presentation at the US/International Diamond Week at the Israel Diamond Exchange last week that around US$500 million of polished synthetic diamonds entered the diamond pipeline in 2012 out of a total of US$22 billion of polished goods.
"You have not heard about this because nobody is telling you about it," he says. "The synthetic diamond manufacturers have substantially increased their production with the use of hundreds of diamond-growing machines.
"A 'perfect' system has been developed where diamonds are produced using the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and then the color is improved using the High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) system. According to estimates, in Surat in India, 5-7 percent of diamonds produced that are less than one point in weight are synthetics."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Exceptional 75-Ct. Pear-Shaped Diamond Highlights Sotheby's NY Sale

Sotheby’s New York annual spring auction of Magnificent Jewels on April 17 will offer 400 lots and a combined presale estimate in excess of $35 million. The centerpiece of this sale is an exceptional 74.79-carat, D, VVS1, potentially flawless, type IIa,  pear-shaped diamond with a presale estimate of $9 million to $12 million.sotheby's 75 carat pear
Lisa Hubbard, the chairman of North & South America at Sotheby’s International jewelry division, said,  “This truly exceptional stone exemplifies the strength of the white diamond market over the last decade. It was acquired by the present owner in 2001 for $4.3 million and today we have estimated it conservatively at $120,000 per carat. The stone has universal appeal and we anticipate that it will draw attention from both the diamond industry and discerning private  collectors alike.”
Hubbard added that the upcoming auction includes a number  of fresh-to-the-market pieces, such as rare colored stones from the Gould family and iconic styles including Cartier’s Tutti Frutti bracelet and panther brooch.
Highlights from the sale will be on view at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center from April 3 to 7 before returning to New York for exhibition on April 13, alongside a selection of pieces from the upcoming Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels.
One of the highlights, a magnificent pair (5.79 carats and 5.68 carats) of pink diamond earclips,  was first sold Sotheby's in 1987 and this lot returns with a presale esimtate of $3.5 million to $4.5 million. Sotheby's stated that these earclips are distinguished by their classic pear-shaped diamond pendants,  an exquisite pair of pink diamonds that are particularly rare today as they were cut prior to the modified cuts being introduced to the market. Another highlight comes from the estate of Lynn Wolfson, a 21.46 carat, D, internally flawless, type IIa, emerald-cut diamond ring with a presale estimate of $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
Sotheby's will also auction six jewels from the Gould family collection,  many pieces of  which were acquired in the first half of the 20th century, including a 22.48 carat emerald and diamond brooch, a 15.23 carat emerald and diamond ring and a 31.34 carat sapphire and diamond ring.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

India's FY14 imports of rough diamonds seen jumping 25%: Trade body

India's imports of rough diamonds are likely to jump by a quarter in the next fiscal year from $14.5 billion now, as exports of the processed gems to top consumers increase and Indian exporters enter newer markets.
India, the world's largest processor of rough diamonds, gets most of its supply from firms such as top producer De Beers , mining giant Rio Tinto, and Russian state-owned Alrosa. It is looking to boost exports and cut imports to rein in a ballooning current account deficit.
"We will go to newer markets to beat the slowdown, for example, the countries of the former Soviet Union are buying in huge quantities from India," said Pankaj Kumar Parekh, vice chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, which represents more than 5,500 of the country's exporters.
The trade body expects India's exports of cut and polished diamonds in the fiscal year to March 2014 to be 25 per cent higher than current estimates of $16 billion, equivalent to 66 per cent of total gems and jewellery exports.
It expects exports of gems and jewellery to rise 6.6 per cent to $50 billion. Exports of gems and jewellery - which include diamonds - constitute 14 per cent of India's total trade, and employ 3.4 million workers, with the Middle East taking most of India's gems and jewellery shipments.
Demand from the euro zone could be depressed because of the region's debt crisis, though he bet on a revival in demand from the United States. "Things are in the doldrums in the European Union, and the buoyancy is visible in India and China," said Parekh.
India processes about 92 per cent of the world's diamonds, followed by Belgium, Israel and China. Most of the diamonds are sourced from world miners through Dubai.
World diamond production has been steady at 120 million to 130 million carats or roughly about $15 billion in value terms, putting an upward pressure on prices, the Council said. Miners are unlikely to ramp up production without a massive improvement in the world economy, it added.
Exports of silver jewellery are likely to grow at a robust pace next year, as growing numbers of buyers opt for the cheaper metal in the facing of rising gold prices. "Middle class consumers are finding gold expensive, and the metal is being replaced by silver," said council official Sabyasachi Ray.
A 10-gram quantity of silver is valued at 547.8 rupees, against 29,766 rupees for a similar quantity of gold. Exports of silver jewellery rose to $715 million in the 11 months to February, an annual increase of 10 percent, compared with flat exports of $18.12 billion of gold jewellery, data from the trade body showed.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Harry Winston Expects Luxury Division Sale to Close March 26

Harry Winston Diamond Corporation received the required regulatory approvals to the company's proposed sale of its luxury brand diamond jewelry and timepiece division, Harry Winston Inc., to the Swatch Group.

The companies expect that the transaction will close next week, on or about March 26. With the closing, Harry Winston Diamond Corporation will change its name to Dominion Diamond Corporation.In January, Harry Winston agreed to sell its luxury division to Swatch for  $750 million in cash along with a debt ‎repayment of $250 million on its behalf.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

C’mon people take the red pill.

There has been a war against saving. People have been deceived into living and spending  like there is no tomorrow. Who can blame them? But it is not because we worry less about the future or planning for tomorrow, it is because the system has been set up such that for decades, saving has been a losing proposition whilst leverage and debt have been winners. 

Low interest rates and endless money printing stimulate production and consumption and decrease savings. Savers get a zero to low nominal interest rate which in reality is a negative real interest rate. The incentive is to borrow and spend, not save. 

We have been corrupted and enticed with cheap credit into becoming the perfect consumer. There is no trade off, foregoing current consumption for future consumption. With cheap money we can have it all, now and later. The latest smart phone, the newest computer, no worries put it on the credit card, just make sure you have the latest version of this or that technology. 

This is an illusion intentionally created and stimulated by central bankers to keep the system going. Short term gains over long term stability. Live today don't worry about tomorrow. The government will look after you anyway. Won’t it?

But what has enabled governments and the banks to do this? Was it lack of regulation or deregulating the banking industry? Was it unbridled capitalism? Was it greed? .....Forget it! 

The enabler has been a centuries old unholy alliance between government and their bankers. We haven’t had free markets and capitalism for hundreds of years. First we have the creation of central banks with government granted monopoly on the issuance and creation of money is not capitalism. That fits right in with the central planning of communism. 

Then came fractional reserve banking, which in reality is nothing less than fraud. This allowed the system to be dangerously leveraged and bankers to accumulate enormously wealth.

Last was the bait and switch tactic of any good con. The original backing of paper money with gold and silver, which was necessary for people to accept paper money, was removed. Dishonest money backed by nothing removes all restrictions on government spending and erodes incomes and savings.
Why is it that the need for separation of state and religion is easily understood, but the need for the separation of state and the economy is not understood at all?

None of this would have been possible in a free market where these same banks would not be guaranteed by the governments they are in bed with. If banks were allowed to fail and people had a choice of what to use as money, these banks would have failed and people would get their money out of the governments’ (bankers) monopoly money and into the real currencies of choice, gold and silver.

Fortunately it is not possible to suppress and manipulate the market indefinitely. The market will eventually override flawed policy. This is what we see happening today. It began as a slow process, with the smart money leading. The market is choosing gold and silver as the preferred currency.
Do not wait for governments to sort out the mess and move back to honest money. They won’t. They can’t. Faced with the choice between them and you they will always choose their own survival and go Cyprus. 

This is the paradox of democracy. In order to be elected they need the majority of votes. In order to get the votes they need to give more in entitlements and take less in taxes. How is it possible to spend more than you take in forever? You can borrow but there is a limit to how much you can borrow before nobody will lend to you anymore. The best way is to print the money (monetize debt). This is an invisible tax called inflation. The only difference to any other tax is it erodes the value of your earnings and savings rather than confiscating a portion.

Desperate governments will do desperate things when their backs are against the wall. We have seen this in spades if we care to look. "Quantitative Easing", "stability levy", nice terminology for what is in fact more accurately called counterfeiting and theft. 

We need to rescue ourselves and take charge of our financial future. We need to personally make the move back to honest money by getting out of their dishonest system. How? Simple:

Reduce consumption. Most of what we buy is stuff we don’t need. Buy gold and silver with the savings from the reduced consumption. Move all your existing savings into physical gold and silver
You cannot change the system politically. Not enough people understand what is going on. The change has to be on an individual basis, waking one person at a time. Remaining in their FIAT currency and keeping your savings in the banking system just puts it on a platter ready for the taking.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
‘There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” ― Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

ROCKWELL DIAMONDS : Completion of Jasper Mine acquisition increases Rockwell's optionality in Middle Orange River region

Completion of Jasper Mine acquisition increases Rockwell's optionality in Middle Orange River region

Rockwell Diamonds Inc. ("Rockwell" or the "Company") (TSX: RDI; JSE: RDI) is pleased to announce that it has, consequent upon the Old Order Mining Rights held by Jasper having been converted into New Order Mining Rights, completed its acquisition of the Jasper Mine by settling the purchase consideration through the issue of shares.
The agreement to acquire the Jasper Mine project, which is contiguous to Rockwell's Saxendrift Mine, formed part of the transaction to unwind the Company's Black Economic Empowerment ("BEE") partnership with Africa Vanguard Resources ("AVR") (as announced on March 19, 2012):

  • Jasper acquisition: Rockwell's application for the New Order Mining Right at Jasper has recently been approved, triggering the payment by the Company of R2.0 million (C$221,484) in Rockwell shares listed on the JSE Limited, to the Jasper shareholders. A total of 533,332 shares were issued at R3.75 (C$0.41) per share, which represents the 5-day volume weighted moving average price at the time that the agreements were signed in March 2012. The Jasper shareholders have undertaken not to trade these shares for a period of one year.
  • Unwinding of AVR BEE shareholding: A new black economic empowerment partner, which shares the Company's vision and is committed to adding value to Rockwell has been identified. Good progress has been made in terms of securing external funding to cover purchase consideration by the new BEE shareholder in order to finalize the unbundling of the transaction with AVR.

The Company has outlined the way forward for this newly acquired property. Geological studies to estimate the resources at the Jasper Mine are well advanced and the Company is on track to release a NI 43-101 compliant technical statement before the end of May 2013. Initial assessments of the alluvial Jasper deposit suggest that its production profile may be similar to Saxendrift in terms of quality, size and value. Accordingly, by processing materials mined from Jasper at the Company's Saxendrift Mine, there is the potential to extend the life of the Saxendrift operation with limited new investment. The Company is also reviewing the possible construction of an in field screen at Jasper with projected efficiency benefits for the overall operating cost structure of the mine.

"The Middle Orange River region, which is known for its large and high-valued gem-quality diamonds, is a key area of focus for Rockwell, with the Company targeting a processing capacity of 500,000 m3 per month of quality gravels. The Jasper Mine project is an important component of this strategy as it provides the potential to extend the mine life of the contiguous Saxendrift Mine," explains James Campbell, CEO, Rockwell Diamonds. "Jasper increases our options within the Saxendrift Complex to grow our production profile, and deliver on our forecast recoveries."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Graff Visits IDE for U.S./Intl. Diamond Week

The third day of the U.S./International Diamond Week at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) on March 19 counted 200 foreign buyers taking part, and among the foreign diamantaires inspecting the goods on offer was British jeweler Laurence Graff, a leading global buyer of large special diamonds and specializes in the top end of jewelry retailing.
Known as the 'King of Diamonds,' the London-based jeweler bought a 50-carat, rectangular-cut, D-color, potentially flawless diamond ring for $8.37 million at Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels auction in December. In 2010, he bought a rare pink diamond weighing 24.78 carats for a record-breaking $46 million at auction, and immediately named it The Graff Pink. In 2008, he bought the famous Wittelsbach Diamond for $24.3 million. israel graff

Graff was personally escorted around the trading hall by IDE's president, Yair Sahar, and New York Diamond Dealers Club president Reuven Kaufman. More than 150 Israeli diamond companies are offering in excess of $1 billion of polished goods for sale.
Graff said the U.S./International Diamond Week was an "excellent idea, well-planned and executed with a tremendous number of people taking part. Is it like this every day?" he asked as he left the hall.
The largest group of buyers is from the U.S., while there are also buyers from the U.K., Belgium, South Africa, India, Hong Kong, Turkey, Japan, China, Spain, Canada, Russia and Switzerland.
Following Graff, Vladimir Lakeev, the director of international auctions at diamond mining giant ALROSA, toured the trading hall and commented that ALROSA may expand its diamond sales activity in Israel in 2014. "The Israel Diamond Exchange has many large diamond firms, and we have been doing business with dozens of IDE members for many years," he noted.
"We are very pleased to have auctions in Israel because we believe the potential here is very good. This year, we will hold three auctions of large diamonds of 10.8 carats and larger. It is safe to assume that in light of this strong potential, the number of auctions that ALROSA will hold in Israel will rise, though this is a decision that will be taken at head office in Moscow," Lakeev added. 
Wrapping up the third day of the Diamond Week was Tom Moses, the senior vice president of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), who spoke on new developments in gemology. Moses spoke on the subject of synthetic diamonds, describing the two main methods of producing them - HPHT and CVD - and said the technology in creating them was continuously improving. There was a danger to the industry if undisclosed stones make their way through to jewelry and are discovered to be synthetic by consumers.
However, he said the GIA was able to identify synthetic diamonds by employing thorough screening techniques, state-of-the-art instruments, well-trained staff and technicians, ongoing research and experimentation, and a large and well-characterized database.
The final day of the Diamond Week on March 20 will feature a speech by diamond industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar on the rough diamond market. That will be followed by an auction of spectacular white and colored diamonds and gemstone jewelry by Tzoffey's 1818.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Lucara Recovers 239-Ct. Diamond at Botswana Mine

Lucara Diamond Corporation recovered a 239.2 carat diamond from its Karowe mine in ‎Botswana, the company reported. Two more exceptional stones were recently found at ‎the mine, including a stone weighing 124 carats and another weighing 71.1 carats.‎

‎"The recovery of these large stones is hugely significant to both Lucara and Botswana,'' ‎said William Lamb, the president and CEO of Lucara. “To the best of my knowledge, the 239 ‎carat stone is one of the largest diamonds ever to have been recovered from the highly ‎prolific Orapa kimberlite field in over 40 years of production.”‎

Lucara explained that the diamonds were recovered from the central kimberlite domain, ‎which only recently became ore feed to the plant. The diamonds will be sent to Antwerp ‎to be studied prior to being sold later this year.‎

Diamonds are forever in Dubai

The trading floor of the Dubai Diamond Exchange is designed to appear like the prow of an enormous transparent yacht sailing across the crystal clear waters of Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
 Video: Dubai Diamond Conference 2013
At the centre of this modernist cathedral to the most precious of gemstones sits a huge hunk of plastic sculpted to the shape of a round brilliant cut diamond.
The floor towards the foredeck of this artificial ship is also transparent and hangs in the air over the lake.
The futuristic and sparse surrounds are enough to give any diamond trader the uneasy feeling that he is in some sort of Bond villain's lair and could fall to his death in shark-infested waters at any moment.
But there are no trap doors in Almas Tower, the tallest commercial building in the Middle East that is named after the Arabic word for Diamonds. Neither are their any sharks in the lake beneath the trading floor.
That floor, and the primary coloured chairs and sofas surrounding it, will be bowed under far more weight than usual today and tomorrow, as 500 of the world's leading diamond experts attend the Dubai Diamond Conference, the first of what is hoped to be a biennial event.
"The Dubai Diamond Conference is extremely significant, especially given the context of the current economic climate and global shift of businesses from West to East, North to South," said Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), host of the conference.
"The New Silk Route" is the theme of this year's event. "It is about the new trade routes from Africa to the new consumer nations in South Asia and the Far East," he said.
"We chose that title because with Africa rising, we will see this new route - where Dubai will be at the centre as facilitator and logistical hub - becoming a reality very soon."
The DMCC was established in 2002 as the gateway to commodities trade in the region. Less than US$5 million (Dh18.3m) worth of diamonds were traded through the emirate in the DMCC's first year but by the end of 2011 the trade in stones had swelled to more than $39bn, making Dubai number three in the world.
Today there are 600 companies involved in the diamond trade at DMCC.
"We have polishing and boiling facilities at Almas Tower; we have security services via Brinks; we have diamond financing via international financiers such as ABN Amro and Antwerp Diamond Bank and we have state-of-the-art vaulting services for both diamonds and gold," Mr bin Sulayem said.
"The majority of our diamond companies, however, are traders - a mix of wholesalers and retailers, rough and polished traders, from Damas and Dhamani Jewels to Rosy Blue, Dimxeon and Diarough."
Dubai has quickly climbed the global diamond trade ladder.
"The global shift in the diamond trade is a generational one and has been caused by a variety of reasons," Mr bin Sulayem said. "Most important is the rise of India and the Far East as consumer nations but also the proximity of Dubai to these two regions and Africa, with which it has historic trade ties."
To underscore this historic shift, De Beers, the world leader in the diamond industry, has moved the headquarters of The Diamond Trading Company, its rough diamond distribution arm, from London to Gaborone in Botswana.
"Dubai is naturally and conveniently located at the centre of trade - between producing and consuming nations. It has excellent air and sea links which makes doing business here easy," Mr bin Sulayem said.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gem Diamonds See Revenues Drop In 2012

Gem Diamonds Ltd said full-year underlying core earnings fell 61%, hurt by weak diamond prices in 2012, Reuters reported. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization on an underlying basis were $65.5 million in 2012, down from $166.5 million a year earlier, the report said. Revenue fell 34% to $202.1 million.
The miner sold 107,617 carats at an average price of $1,932 per carat from its Lesotho-based Letseng mine, known for its large high-value diamonds. This compares with sales of 107,700 carats at an average price of $2,776 per carat in 2011, according to the Reuters report.
The diamond company, which sold its Ellendale mine in Australia in December, said Ellendale's commercial diamond production achieved an average price of $181 per carat in 2012, a decrease of 4% from the prior year.
In January, Gem Diamonds forecast higher sales for 2013 and said it has seen an improvement in overall rough diamond prices so far this year, said the report.
The company's shares on the London Stock Exchange have lost roughly a third of their value in the past 12 months, according the Reuters report.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

$1 Billion of Diamonds for Sale at Trade Show in Ramat Gan

A first-ever collaboration between the US and Israel is adding the sparkle of diamonds to the floor of the Israel Stock Exchange next week.
A first-ever cooperative effort between the United States and Israel is adding the sparkle of diamonds next week to the floor of the Bourse, the Israel Stock Exchange building.
Polished diamonds worth more than $1 billion will be offered for sale at a trade show to be held on the trading floor of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) in Ramat Gan.
More than 150 Israeli firms have signed up for the first-ever U.S. / International Diamond Week trade show, where a wide range of the polished stones will be on display and for sale.
“This would be an impossible achievement to pull off anywhere else, but the diamond week is taking place within the bourse complex, on the trading floor, where the security is second to none,” said IDE vice president Moti Fluk, who heads the event’s organizing committee.
Scheduled for March 17-20, the last day of the event also falls on the same day that U.S. President Barack Obama will step onto the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport for a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The seven-day Jewish holiday of Passover, a national holiday in Israel (eight days in the rest of the world), follows right after, on the evening of March 25, and begins a period in which traditionally no weddings are held. As a result, there is a massive rush into jewelry stores in the days just before the holiday.
It is expected the show will help Israeli diamond merchants further recover from the worldwide drop in diamond prices that affected the industry around the world.
Five Israeli companies opened 2013 at the UBM Mumbai Jewelry & Gem Fair in Mumbai, and trading of the polished gemstones in Ramat Gan seems to be lively, with steady demand from the United States.
Still, Israel’s net polished diamond exports stood at $5.6 billion in 2012, a 23 percent drop over the same period a year earlier. The net rough diamond export total was $2.8 billion in 2012, compared to $3.5 billion in 2011, a 20 percent decrease.
Last June the Rapaport Diamond Trade Index, derived from the average asking price for the top 25 best-quality 1-carat diamonds, dropped to $9,391. The RDTI is seen as a global benchmark for the gemstones.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gem Diamonds to establish Lesotho manufacturing facility

London-listed Gem Diamonds was in the process of establishing an in-country manufacturing facility for its flagship Lesotho-based Letšeng mine to further develop downstream activities.
The facility, which was expected to process certain categories of the mine’s rough diamond production, using proprietary diamond processing technology, would be completed during the second half of 2013.
The mine would, as part of the development of Letšeng's downstream activities and capabilities, ramp up to full production by 2014.
This followed the scaling back of the company’s Project Kholo – an expansion programme initiated at Letšeng in 2011 to double production capacity.
Gem Diamonds wrote off $1.4-million after the group re-evaluated the project in 2012.
“The project management team is actively investigating the optimal allocation of capital to fund an optimised Project Kholo with a lower capital requirement,” the company said in a statement.
However, the elements of Project Kholo deemed more capital efficient and offering near-term returns would continue implementation.
Letšeng had achieved production of 114 350 ct during the year ended December 2012 – up 2% from its record production of 112 367 ct in 2011.
The average recovered grade at the mine was 1.75 carats per hundred ton (cpht), up from 1.65 cpht in 2011. Over 645 rough diamonds greater than 10.8 ct were recovered in 2012.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Russian arrested with 26,000 diamonds had ‘nothing to declare’

Some 26,000 diamonds, worth at least $ 162,000 and contained in transparent plastic bags in hand luggage, proved too much for the “nothing to declare” lane at a Moscow airport.

An unemployed, 37-year-old Russian man carrying the precious package from Dubai was detained on Sunday at the international Sheremetyevo airport, Russia’s federal customs service said.
“One customs officer noticed he was very nervous during regular luggage checks and was pressing a bag under his arm, so she asked him to let her see what was inside,” spokeswoman Natalia Karaseva said.
The man, from the restive Dagestan region in Russia’s North Caucasus, said he was carrying the diamonds as a favour for a friend. It was not clear whether he would face criminal charges.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Move to create awareness about synthetic diamonds

Penetration of synthetic diamonds in world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat has become a major cause of concern for the Indian diamond industry leaders.

Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council plans to create awareness among the diamond manufacturers and traders about the threat that the synthetic diamonds could pose to the diamond industry in India and the importance of the 3Ds, that is, disclosure, differentiation and detection.

GJEPC in association with Indian Diamond Institute (IDI) and Gemological Institute of India (GII) will organize a seminar on 'identification tips and techniques related to synthetic diamonds' at IDI's City Centre campus in Vesu on March 16.

The objective is to create awareness among the diamond manufacturers, especially the diamond traders about the lab grown diamonds, and provide them with tips and techniques which would enable them to effectively differentiate between lab grown and natural diamonds.

Executive director, GJEPC, Sabhyasachi Ray told TOI, "The lab grown diamonds have really become a potential threat to the industry. We are targeting the diamond traders, both rough and polished diamond dealers, so that they can accurately differentiate between the synthetic and natural diamonds."

In May 2012, International Gemological Institute (IGI), world's leading gemological laboratory, had issued a trade alert in India about the huge volume of synthetic colourless diamonds in the market after it received more than 600 synthetic colourless diamonds for grading at its lab facilities in Antwerp and Mumbai last week.

It was followed by an alert by De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC), which noted that undisclosed stones had also appeared at National Gems & Jewellery Technology Administrative Centre (NGTC) lab in China, some few days ago.

Synthetic diamonds have become increasingly popular throughout the past years, as they give off a beautiful luster and an authentic look similar to natural diamonds. There are two basic methods that are used when it comes to the production of synthetic diamonds. The most common technique is called the High Pressure High Temperature process. Scientists take pure carbon and place it in a controlled environment with an equal amount of very high pressure and very high heat. This process produces a stone that is very similar to the natural diamonds.

Another technique is called Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD. The CVD process includes a specially created environment that is just right for carbon atoms to be used as a gas to go on to a wafer of a diamond in a crystalline formation by a form of layers. The process was first introduced in 1980's and it does not require a huge amount of pressure to make the synthetic diamonds, like in HPHT.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Paragon Done Scoping, Moving to Mining Diamonds

Diamond company Paragon has completed the scoping phase at its concession in the southern African nation of Lesotho and is looking to start up the trial mining phase there, Mining Weekly reports. The results of Paragon's studies thus far indicate that the Lemphane plot can produce rough diamonds for a decade as an open-pit mine.
 Star of Lesotho
Paragon believes that they will find 27 million tons of kimberlite when they plumb depths of 280 meters below ground level. After a half-year-long trial mining period in which they expect to extract 100,000 tons of material, they intend to spend between a year to a year and a half constructing the open-pit mine. After that, the first two years of production should produce 1.5 million tons annually, and the rest of the decade of projected decade of production will yield 3 million tons annually. Paragon anticipates spending approximately $15 on every ton, according to Mining Weekly.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Two diamond exploration licenses in Guinea have been renewed, said diamond exploration company Stellar Diamonds plc which is focused on West Africa.
The two exploration licenses are adjacent to its Droujba project and cover 118 sq km and are considered prospective for discovery of diamondiferous kimberlites.·Droujba currently hosts a three-million carat diamond resource

Chief Executive Karl Smithson comments: "We are pleased that these exploration licences, held by our subsidiary company Friendship Diamonds, have been renewed for a further two years. This follows from the announcement in January that our Droujba licence was also successfully renewed for a further two years.

"These two exploration licences are located adjacent to the company's Droujba kimberlite pipe and Katcha kimberlite dyke which have a current 3 million carat (JORC inferred) diamond resource. A number of unresolved diamond and indicator mineral anomalies are located in these licence areas, which indicates the potential for as yet undiscovered diamondiferous kimberlites.

"While our short term objective is to complete the economic scoping studies on the Droujba diamond resource we shall also look to test the significant exploration potential of these two licences," he adds.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Botswana diamond exports increase to $5 billion

Botswana exported almost $5 billion in diamonds in 2012 for a 19.5% increase over the previous year, according to figures released by its government, as reported by IDEX.
 Rough diamonds with loupe
Diamond exports — which make up 63% of the country's total principal goods shipped out —  include rough rocks, polished gemstones and goods brought in to be sorted by De Beers.
The country's gross exports of rough diamonds climbed to almost $4 billion, a 20% increase for the year, and polished grew to $692.6 million, up 11%.
Gross rough imports rose to $2 billion — almost three times as much over the last year — with net rough exports at $1.86 billion.
The increases for imports and exports are due in part to the Diamond Trading Company, De Beers distribution arm for rough gemstones, moving to a new sorting centre in Gaborone, Botswana where it is shipping all its product from around the world.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Leibish & Co. Presents The Leibish Pink Promise

Leibish & Co., the world's premier online natural colored diamond company, announced today the addition of a fantastically rare 2.02-carat, SI2, fancy vivid purplish pink cushion-shaped diamond (graded by GIA) to its collection. The company plans to present this stone, it titled ''The Leibish Pink Promise''  to the public for the first time in this year’s HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2013, at booth 3FD07.

The colors in these diamonds are the main attribute used to determine the value of these gem-stones. The purplish pink hue happens to be one of the rarest colors available with an extremely high market demand. “Given the impressive price performance of both the important diamonds sold in the auction houses as well as smaller diamonds traded among the general public, colored diamonds are becoming much sought after investment options,” said Yossi Polnauer, the CEO of Leibish & Co.

The origin of this fantastic gem was the Kao mine in South Africa. Although such a large percentage of the world’s pink diamonds emanate from the Argyle mine, it is rare to find a diamond anywhere of this size in this color. Hence, the South African origin makes it unique compared to other pinks of this caliber.

Shmulik Polnauer, Leibish & Co.’s GIA graduated gemologist and chief diamond buyer, won the rough pink in a Fusion Tender of the Kao mine, held in Antwerp between November 5 and 9, 2012.

At first he considered round and even a heart shape, but in the end felt that a cushion yielded the best result. “It requires great expertise to determine the right shape of an important stone. By cutting a heart shape, we had fair chance to finish a 1.80-carat, with VS2 clarity. We did not want to compromise on the color saturation and wanted to keep the stone over 2 carats. This diamond is of the finest bubble gum color, with some fresh reddish flashes in the face up. It compares well with a vivid purplish pink from Argyle in its body color and luster.

''We spent over four months assessing and then polishing this 4.96-carat rough pink diamond. We saw an enormous amount of potential and wanted to ensure the world appreciates the outcome,” said Polnauer. “In addition to buyers looking for truly unique pieces, we expect many investors to show interest in this diamond due to its rarity and ability to appreciate in value over time.”

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Russians To Uncover Underground Botswana Diamonds

The introduction of new technology provided by a Russian firm will lead to the discovery of subterranean sources of rough diamonds in the southern African nation of Botswana, Mining Weekly reports. John Teeling, executive chair of the Irish-owned diamond company Botswana Diamonds, revealed that the firm's new joint venture partner has the capability to identify large underground deposits of diamondiferous kimberlites.
Until now, all of the diamond mines that have been discovered in Botswana have been either on the surface or else quite close to the surface, so the import of the new technology will signal a new phase in the country's diamond industry.
If the joint venture agreement is soon sealed as expected, the new technology will be used to probe deposits 100 meters below the sand and basalt at ground level and used at the 12 concessions northeast of the Orapa region that Botswana Diamonds has applied for and is awaiting confirmation on.