Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Petra Recovers 232-Ct. Diamond at Cullinan

Petra Diamonds recovered a 232.08-carat, D, type II, white diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

The diamond (pictured) is of exceptional size and clarity, according to the company, and is yet another very large, high-quality diamond recovered at Cullinan. In February, Petra sold a 29.60-carat, blue diamond from the mine for $25.6 million or $862,780 per carat. In June, the company recovered a 122.50-carat, blue diamond, which is currently for sale  in South Africa.

The company intends to offer the recently discovered diamond for sale in the second quarter of its fiscal year and will notify the market once a date is finalized. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Diamonds not always a buyer’s best friend, dispute shows

Founded in Tel Aviv in 1974 and now with eight offices worldwide, EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) is the target in a lawsuit in US courts after claims of “over-grading” diamonds, certifying them as being worth more than they really are – a charge the service vehemently denies.

Whether the issue for EGL’s alleged over-certification of the diamonds is fraud – or the result of a decades-old difference of opinion on how to fix and rate the value of stones – will be for the courts to decide.

EGL suffered the latest blow this week when Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, which publishes an authoritative diamond price list and table that is considered the standard for diamond pricing in the US, said that his service would no longer list stones evaluated and certified by EGL for the all-important “four C’s” that determine the value of a diamond – carat, color, clarity and cut. In a statement, Rapaport said that his service “is opposed to the misrepresentation of diamond quality. The over-grading of diamonds is an unfair practice that destroys consumer confidence and the legitimacy of the diamond industry.”

The brouhaha stems from a series of lawsuits against Genesis Diamonds, a retailer in Nashville, brought by several customers who claim they were sold overpriced diamonds. In one case, a customer paid $135,000 for two stones, one weighing 3.01 carats and the second 3.04 carats, rated as “excellent” and “very good” cuts by EGL. But another appraisal placed the stones a grade lower, at “very good” and “good.” That appraisal valued them at just $22,500. The case was covered on a local Nashville television station, which highlighted the issue of the EGL report. Since then, other suits have been filed against Genesis.

But EGL CEO Guy D. Benhamou said that the reports got it all wrong — the issue is not fraud, but subjective interpretations of what constitutes a “good” diamond. In a statement, Benhamou said that “it is well known that since gemology is not an exact science, the same diamond sent to several gem labs could produce different grading results. You can receive different grades for the same diamond from several different labs. That does not mean that any of the diamond labs made a mistake, it is simply in the nature of the business. Any diamond grader and lab will tell you that.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Petra Diamonds' No. 2 shareholder dumps 70 pct stake in miner

Petra Diamonds Ltd said its second-largest shareholder sold more than two-thirds of its stake in the diamond miner through a placement at a discount of 12 percent to the stock's Monday close.
The stock was down 11 percent at 193.25 pence at 1042 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. The stock had fallen 12 percent earlier on Tuesday on rumours of the placement.
Awal Bank placed 43 million shares with UK and international institutions at 190 pence per share or about 82 million pounds ($139 million).
A further 13.2 million shares held by Awal Bank – owned by Maan al-Sanea, the Saudi billionaire head of the Saad Group – are subject to a 90 day lock-up, Petra said in a statement.
Petra's website shows that Awal Bank held 60.8 million shares or 11.9 percent in Petra through Saad Investments Co Ltd.
The miner said it was unaware if the remaining 4.6 million shares held by Awal Bank were to be sold at this time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lucapa Recovers Type IIa Diamonds at Lulo

Lucapa Diamond Company recovered six type IIa stones along wtih six  other gem-quality diamonds from preliminary surface sampling at its Lulo diamond concession in Angola.

The company noted that the diamonds were recovered from four separate kimberlite pipes. Five of the type IIa diamonds recovered weighed a total of 2.30 carats and ranged in size from 1.05 carats to 0.15 carats. Type IIa diamonds are rare and account for less than 1 percent of global production.

Miles Kennedy, the managing director of Lucapa, concluded  that since kimberlite pipes at the Lulo concession host type IIa diamonds, this was another significant milestone for Lucapa.

“The fact we have now identified several diamond bearing kimberlite pipes proximal to where we have found large alluvial diamonds is of great significance as we are really only scratching the surface of these pipes at this time,” he said.

Kennedy explained that the independent confirmation that 50 percent of the diamonds recovered are type IIa diamonds also adds early credence that these pipes could be the source of the alluvial diamonds at Lulo.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

WFDB Instructs Bourses To Adopt Diamond Declaration

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses is directing all of its affiliated diamond exchanges, thirty in total, to append a specifically worded declaration to all of its invoices and memos from now on, the Israel Diamond Exchange reports. The sentence of text is a proclamation that as far as the author of the document is aware, all diamonds referred to therein are natural diamonds, not synthetic diamonds, and that they have not been treated.

The appended text to be added to invoices is as follows: "The diamonds herein invoiced are exclusively of natural origin and untreated based on personal knowledge and/or written assurances provided to us by the suppliers of these diamonds." The appended text for memos is identical to the text above, with only the word memo substituted for the word invoice.

The move comes at a time when diamantaires are increasingly worried about reported cases in which lab-made diamonds were passed off as natural diamonds, which are significantly more expensive to produce.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Where to for GOLD and SILVER

Watch how uncomfortable the host gets when the conversation turns to gold manipulation. Move along, move along! nothing to see here!!! Click : Video

New Device Grades Fancy Colored Diamonds

A new device can color-grade both fancy colored diamonds as well as diamonds with secondary hues, says a release from manufacturer ImaGem. 

The device uses data from thousands of samples to derive its grades for fancy colored stones, says Dr. Lalit K. Aggarwal, chairman of ImaGem, which manufactures the device.
The device, called the GL3200, can “identify which stones have brown or gray or other hues and then map those on a D through Z scale using scientific measurement technologies,” says Aggarwal, who says he worked on the secondary-hue issue for 20 years. “We now have a scientific method of determining the secondary hue. A lot of different opinions are getting resolved with this technology.” 
The machine can grade 2,400 diamonds a month, the company said, and also rates fluorescence, light behavior, proportion analysis, symmetry, and alignment for round as well as fancy shapes. Diamonds are loaded into the machine by a robotic arm.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

De Beers forecasts 2014 polished diamonds growth at 4.5%

Global giant De Beers says polished diamond sales are set to rise 4.5% this year, according to an Agence France-Presse report circulated by media on June 11 and 12. In an interview CEO Philippe Mellier attributed growing demand to a U.S. economic recovery and expanding markets in China and India.
“The largest global market for diamond jewellery is the United States and everyone knows they are taking off again,” AFP quoted him.
De Beers forecasts 2014 polished diamonds growth at 4.5%
De Beers Group CEO Philippe Mellier

Together China, Hong Kong and Macau make up 13% of the global market, the news agency stated. “More and more Chinese are achieving the buying power to acquire jewellery and diamonds, especially when they get married,” said Mellier.
As for India, it’s “a potentially large source of diamond demand.” Mellier called new prime minister Narendra Modi a “fervent defender of an industry which he knows well, the diamond industry, having been governor of Gujarat state, which is known for its diamond polishers.”
The forecast echoes a May 27 report by Dundee Capital Markets, which attributed the last two years of rising diamond prices to new demand in China and India, as well as an American recovery.
Dundee credited De Beers, which controls about 40% of global trade, with one of the “longest-running and most successful marketing campaigns in history, built around the slogan A Diamond is Forever,” which began in the U.S. during the 1940s. “The story was repeated in Japan in the 1950s, supplanting pearls as the romantic gift of choice, and is repeating itself again in the emerging markets of China and India. Their combined population of 2.6 billion people is expected to drive significant growth off a well-established base in the West.”
The Global Diamond Report 2013 from Bain & Company forecast a 10-year period in which 2% supply growth would be overtaken by demand growth of 5.1%. 

Source: resourceclips.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pink Diamonds Earn Lots of Green at Christie’s

Fancy colored diamonds continue their hot streak at auction, as two 5 ct.-plus pinks blew away their estimates to garner more than $12 million at the Christie’s June 10 Important Jewels auction in New York.
The sale’s headline stone, a 5.5 ct. fancy-vivid pink oval, fetched $9.6 million, or $1.7 million a carat—$2 million more than its $6.5 million–to–$7.5 million estimate. The buyer was described as “New York trade.” 

The 5.5 ct. fancy-vivid pink oval
In addition, another pink diamond—a 5.91 ct. fancy light VS1 rectangular cut—sold for $1.8 million, more than double its $575,000-to-$675,000 estimate.

The 5.91 ct. fancy light VS1 rectangular cut
In a statement, international head of Christie’s jewelry Rahul Kadakia said the fancy-vivid stone saw “enthusiastic bidding,” and noted that this year, three colored diamonds—this pink, the Winston Blue, and the Ocean Dream, which both sold last month—have brought in $42 million total.
Other notable sales include a Taffin diamond ring featuring a 20.08 ct., D VVS1 (potentially internally flawless) rectangle cut, which went for $3.1 million, or $153,240 per carat.

The Taffin diamond ring.
The auction sold 85 percent by value and 83 percent by lot and made $27.5 million total.

Source: JCK

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


EGL International in Israel has reported the discovery of four synthetic diamonds in a package containing 20 diamonds submitted for grading by an established customer. Managing Partner and CEO Guy D. Benhamou said that the stones were Type IIa diamonds, which, while rare, are the most suited to being treated.
Benhamou said EGL International's widespread investment in the latest technology "had proven itself" by uncovering the lab-created stones. The first stage in the examination process, using FTIR infrared spectroscopy, showed the stones to be suspicious, added Benhamou. The stones were then tested using the DiamaTest machine, produced by Hong Kong company Diamond Services Ltd., which rapidly showed that the diamonds were not natural. Finally, a Raman spectroscopy examination confirmed that the diamonds were, indeed, lab-grown.
"This incident is rather exceptional," Benhamou noted. "Media reports over the past two years, approximately, of synthetic diamonds being mixed with natural diamonds usually related to parcels of melee diamonds. Because such goods are so small, they were not usually being checked and so they could potentially pass into the supply chain.
"In this case, however, the lab-grown diamonds that were mixed in with natural goods were relatively large. We are talking about diamonds of the following sizes: 0.90, 0.91, 0.96, and 1.71 carats. They were also VS-VVS clarity, and J-K color. The conclusion is that these are quite big diamonds and of reasonably high quality. This is worrying for many reasons, but particularly because someone has raised the stakes and thinks it is now possible to introduce higher-quality, larger synthetic diamonds into the diamond jewelry pipeline," said Benhamou.
"As a top-quality laboratory, EGL International sees itself as a filter and the diamond trade's backstop working to identify and document synthetics that are trying to be introduced into the supply chain. In this way, we are also playing a critical role in ensuring that consumer confidence in diamond jewelry is not affected.
"This case shows how leading labs, such as EGL International, are fulfilling a vital mission in ensuring that such stones do not get through to the jewelry-manufacturing part of the supply chain. It also shows that the diamond business can be confident that our state-of-the-art equipment can detect such stones," Benhamou commented.
He said that the four synthetic diamonds were submitted to EGL International as part of a parcel of 20 diamonds by a long-time customer. He added that the lab's clients sign a document when handing over diamonds for inspection and grading that to the best of the customer's information they are natural diamonds. "We must assume that the client did not know," added Benhamou.
According to Benhamou, four synthetic stones were graded by EGL International and all four received the lab's "Laboratory Grown Diamond" certificates. He added that, following the standing instructions of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the words ‘Laboratory Grown Diamond' were inscribed on the girdle of the stones.

Can you believe there are still " Laboratories and valuers" providing certificates in Australia without the equipment necessary to identify natural diamonds. Yes its true ! and the jewellers use and respect them ?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Christie's HK Magnificent Jewels Sale Achieves $92M

Christie's Hong Kong sale of magnificent jewels achieved $91.9 million and was  81 percent sold by lot.  Nonetheless, the sale fell short of its presale estimate of $100 million. One of the top lots, a rare Golconda diamond necklace named the "Eye of Golconda," remained unsold during the evening.

Bidders still offered top prices for colorless and colored diamonds as well as colored gemstones, jadeite and natural pearls. The auction house set a world record for an intense green diamond when a 6.13-carat, VS2, fancy intense green cushion-shaped diamond ring achieved $3.6 million or $594,510 per carat.

The top lot of the sale (pictured) was a pair of 25.49 and 25.31 carat, D, type IIa diamond ear pendants, which sold for $9.7 million or $191,746 per carat to an Asian private buyer.

The second top lot was a 9.38-carat, pear-shaped, fancy intense pink diamond ring which achieved $5.96 million or $636,117 per carat.

A jadeite bangle achieved $5.2 million, while a 26.20-carat, D, flawless, type IIa, brilliant-cut diamond fetched $4.95 million or $189,828 per carat.

Other colorless diamonds that sold included a 26.20-carat, D, flawless, brilliant-cut diamond for $4.9 million or $188,958 per carat and a 23.76-carat, D, flawless, brilliant-cut diamond that fetched $4.7 million or $199,200 per carat.

Top colored gemstone lots included a suite of Burmese "pigeon's blood" ruby and diamond jewelry weighting a total of 65.07 carats by James W. Currens for Faidee garnered $4.8 million, while a 28.88 carat cushion-shaped Colombian emerald sold for $4.2 million or $143,780 per carat.

A 12.93 carat, VS2, rectangular, fancy orangy-pink diamond by Harry Winston achieved $3.6 million or $281,852 per carat.

Source: Diamonds.net

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Botswana Diamonds Awarded New Licenses in Orapa

Botswana Diamonds has received five new prospecting licenses in the Orapa region of Botswana, the company reported. The licenses cover a total area of 1,357 square kilometers and will be explored as part of the ongoing joint venture between the company and ALROSA.

ALROSA identified the area as a high priority, but the company did not previously have rights to explore some of the targets identified.

"We now have some of the top targets on our licenses. In particular ground to the north and west of the main Orapa area which has problems with swampy conditions and deep sand. Little exploration has been done on these areas with no known kimberlites to date. ALROSA believes the ground has kimberlites and that their technology and expertise will find them," said John Teeling, the chairman of Botswana Diamonds.

Teeling noted that the company has a joint budget of $1 million for the year to fund exploration.

Fieldwork on the new ground will be carried out at the same time as work at the company's PL 117 license, where a drill program with two targets is set to be implemented.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rockwell's FY Revenue +39%, Loss Narrows to $10M

Rockwell Diamonds reported that revenue rose 39 percent year on year to $41.6 million (CAD 45.2 million) in the fiscal year that ended on February 28. The average per carat value of rough diamonds sold rose 13 percent to $1,484 while the volume of carats sold rose 27 percent to 26,272 carats.

Rockwell narrowed its fiscal loss to $9.6 million (CAD 10.4 million) compared to a loss of $12.7 million (CAD 13.8 million) one year ago.

Diamond production during 2013 grew 27 percent to 27,776 carats. Rockwell carried over inventory of 2,752 carats, which included 1,181 carats of royalty mining contracts. The company's beneficiation joint venture with Diacore also held over 6,000 carats, which will provide additional future revenue potential.

Rockwell held a cash balance of $1.2 million (CAD 1.3 million) at the close of the year after capital investments of $8 million (CAD 8.7 million) in new processing capacity. Gross diamond sales jumped 52 percent to $37.8 million (CAD 41.1 million), while beneficiation income reached $3.8 million (CAD 4.1 million).

Rockwell's CEO, James Campbell, noted that the company's fiscal performance reflected its operational turnaround and its core focus on the Middle Orange River  region of South Africa.

During 2013, the company delivered two new mines, namely the Saxendrift Hill Complex and Niewejaarskraal. Both mines were funded internally from cash reserves which more than doubled the company's Middle Orange River production capacity to 340,000 cubic meters per month.

"Having met our short-term target to have three producing mines in the Middle Orange River, our production profile is now more flexible and sustainable. We are pleased too, that diamond quality and the frequency of larger stones has improved as anticipated. This included the recovery of 12 stones between 50 carats and 100 carats and five plus 100 carat rough diamonds in fiscal 2014, the largest of which was a 287 carat stone, the biggest stone recovered in recorded history in the region," Campbell added.

The company remains focused on increasing production from and extending the life of mine of its Middle Orange River properties while managing its operating costs.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lucara Recovers Eight Gem-Quality Diamonds Larger Than 100-Cts.

Lucara Diamond Corporation has recovered 13 diamonds since April 1 that were larger than 100 carats, while two even exceeded 200 carats in size. Eight rough diamonds were classified as gem-quality, with the largest at  259 carats, two at 153 carats and one at 133 carats.
Since the beginning of the second quarter, Lucara's  Karowe diamond mine in Botswana has produced 239 diamonds larger than 10.80 carats, including 27 diamonds within the 50-carat and 100-carat range.

The company is planning to host an exceptional stone tender on July 18, with client viewing being scheduled both in Antwerp and in Gaborone. The company is in the process of selecting stones for this tender and it expects to publish details of the offering shortly.

William Lamb, the president of Lucara, said, “The ongoing recovery of these large and exceptional white diamonds continues to drive increased value for Lucara and its shareholders and has established the Karowe mine as a rare source of truly exceptional diamonds.   The ongoing recovery of such stones is encouraging for a potential third exceptional stone tender during the fourth quarter of 2014."

Sunday, May 4, 2014

DCLA Australia's leading diamond grading laboratory


DCLA Australia's leading diamond grading laboratory has turned 13.
The Sydney based DCLA laboratory is a one of a kind, as the only laboratory in Australia grading to international IDC standards and regulations. 

Technologically advanced and accurate the DCLA has been long considered the industry standard, Respect by the discerning trade and consumers.

Thank you for your support and , We look forward to celebrating the milestone with you.

Source: DCLA 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kimberley Diamonds 3Q Revenue -50%

Kimberley Diamonds reported that revenue declined 50 percent year on year to $15.5 million during the company's third quarter that ended on March 31. The company sold 21,431 carats for an average $725 per carat during the period, 39 percent less than one year ago.  Management explained that the company sold fewer carats as it processed lower-grade stock piles from the Ellendale 9 (E9) pit as a result of a rock slippage underneath the main haul ramp in June 2013.  
Group production dropped 39 percent to 22,280 carats as the company treated only surface ore stockpiles and lower-grade stockpiles during the quarter. In-pit mining at E9 recommenced in April 2014 following the wet season and was one month later than anticipated. Kimberley Diamonds noted that ore treated in the fourth quarter will be primarily higher grade fresh pit ore.

The company saw strong prices from its auction of run-of-mine commercial goods held in March 2014. The overall average price achieved of $207.33 per carat was 17 percent higher than prices achieved in the second quarter and set a new highest average price per carat since the previous high achieved in 2011.

In February 2014, Kimberley Diamonds acquired the Lerala mine in Botswana as part of the takeover of U.K.-based Mantle Diamonds. The current projected life of mine for Lerala is six years, with the mine anticipated to produce 400,000 carats per year at full production.

The company also finalized its acquisition of the Argyle Smoke Creek alluvial diamond project from Venus Metals Corporation Limited for $928,500 (AUD 1 million). The project consists of 22 prospecting licenses and one mining lease application with 12 of the prospecting licenses containing an estimated resource of 6 million carats.

Kimberley Diamonds said it will recommission the Ellendale 4 (E4) mine and plant during the year. The operation was placed on care and maintenance in February 2009 by its previous owners due to the global financial crisis when rough diamond prices slumped. E4 is estimated to contain a resource of 2.4 million carats. During the quarter, limited scoping work began toward refurbishing the plant and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals.

Kimberley Diamonds closed the quarter with $12.1 million (AUD 13 million) cash on hand and no debt.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

U.N. Security Council lifts ban on Ivory Coast diamond exports

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday partially eased a decade-long arms embargo on Ivory Coast and removed a ban on its diamond exports, a measure that U.N. experts said had failed to stop illicit trafficking.
 FILE- The United Nations Security Counci in New York City.
The West African country, emerging from a decade-long crisis that culminated in a brief war in 2011, has been pressing the Security Council to end the diamond embargo that was put in place in 2005.
U.N. experts have valued the annual illicit trade in Ivory Coast diamonds at between $12 million and $23 million. Before the embargo, Ivory Coast - the world's top cocoa producer - produced around $25 million worth of diamonds, according to industry experts.
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member council eased a 2004 arms embargo to allow government forces to buy light weapons without the approval of a U.N. committee. The government will still have to notify the committee of purchases.
U.S. Deputy U.N. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis told the council after the vote that the United States had advocated for a more gradual approach to adjusting the arms embargo due to the security reform challenges still faced by the country.
"We recognize the government of Cote d'Ivoire's need to build capable and professional security forces," he said.
"We were concerned however by the findings in the Group of Experts report regarding inconsistent compliance with existing arms embargo procedures," DeLaurentis said. "We therefore urge Cote d'Ivoire to tighten its control over arms and ammunition and to continue the important work of security sector reform."
The Group of Experts monitor compliance with the U.N. Security Council's sanctions regime.
The Security Council made a similar change last year to an arms embargo on Somalia to allow the government in Mogadishu to strengthen its security forces. Earlier this year, council delegations urged the Somali government to exercise greater care in ensuring that arms are not diverted to Islamist insurgents.
"The government of Cote d'Ivoire remains committed to fully cooperate with the United Nations and the international community in order to carry out all of the expected reforms in this regard," Ivory Coast U.N. Ambassador Youssoufou Bamba said.
"We hope that during the next review of this issue the security council will be able to bring a definitive end to the sanctions regime for Cote d'Ivoire," he told the council.
Ivory Coast received a clean bill of health in November from the Kimberley Process, the body tasked with preventing the sale of so-called "blood diamonds" from fueling armed conflict.
But the U.N. reported to the Security Council this month "that the measures and restrictions imposed by the Security Council ... still do not prevent the trafficking of Ivorian rough diamonds.
"The group furthermore notes that, in spite of having identified violations of the diamond embargo in its public reports since 2006, the Ivorian authorities have made no progress in combating the smuggling of diamonds nor taken any concrete initiatives to date," according to the report.
Ivorian authorities have said they would like to relaunch the sector to fund post-war reconstruction.
Blood diamonds were thrust into the global spotlight in the 1990s during a succession of African conflicts where their trade financed arms purchases and resulted in human rights abuses.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Former Ivory Coast rebel said to be profiting from banned diamond trade

A senior Ivory Coast army officer is breaking a diamond embargo and may be using profits to buy arms UN experts have found, dealing a potentially embarrassing blow to government efforts to have the ban lifted.
 Ivory Coast is the only country in the world still subject to a UN imposed ban on diamond exports but it received a clean bill of health in November from the Kimberley Process - the body tasked with preventing the sale of so called “blood diamonds” from fuelling armed conflicts.
The West African country, emerging from a decade-long crisis that culminated in a brief 2011 war, is pressing the UN Security Council to end the embargo, which was put in place nine years ago in the wake of an initial 2002-2003 civil war.

But UN experts, charged with monitoring compliance with a sanctions regime including an arms embargo, said diamonds are being exported from Ivory Coast in breach of the ban.

“The measures and restrictions imposed by the (Security) Council ... still do not prevent the illicit trafficking of Ivorian rough diamonds,” read the report released on Tuesday.

An Ivorian government spokesman declined to comment saying he was unaware of the content of the report.

The group identified the principal diamond buyer in Seguela - one of the country's two main diamond mining areas - as a Malian national named Sekou Niangadou.

Niangadou described to UN experts how he circumvented the Kimberley Process -- an international certification scheme created by governments, civil society groups and the diamond industry -- by sending rough diamonds to offices in Guinea and Liberia to obtain certificates of origin there.

A previous report by the experts published in October estimated the annual value of the country's illicit diamond trade to be between $12 million and $23 million.

Money for arms?

In order to operate in diamond areas, the experts said, Niangadou’s network made cash payments to two army officers loyal to Colonel Issiaka Ouattara, better known as Wattao - the deputy commander of Ivory Coast's elite Republican Guard.

Wattao was a senior commander in the New Forces, which launched a rebellion in 2002 and backed President Alassane Ouattara during the 2011 war sparked by incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to accept defeat in a run-off election.

Gbagbo was captured by the French and UN-backed rebels and is awaiting trial before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The group said there was “strong evidence” indicating money from diamond trafficking was being used to support elements within the army loyal to Wattao.

“The Group is concerned the funds may be used for the purchase of arms and related materiel in violation of the sanctions regime,” it said.

A communications officer for Wattao said the colonel declined to comment on the allegations.

Before the embargo, Ivory Coast produced about 300 000 carats of diamonds a year, worth around $25 million, according to industry experts. Ivorian authorities have said they would like to re-launch the sector to fund post-war reconstruction.

Blood diamonds were thrust into the global spotlight in the 1990s during a succession of African conflicts where their trade financed arms purchases and resulted in human rights abuses.

At the height of wars in Sierra Leone and Angola, about a fifth of all rough stones worldwide were believed to be conflict diamonds.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jeweler sold fake diamonds for 20 years

Amherst Police say more customers are discovering problems with jewelry from RSNP Diamond Exchange, in the Village of Williamsville.
Last month, shop owner Paul Blarr pleaded not guilty to three counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud. He allegedly sold fake diamonds to customers. Prosecutors now say they have about 50 people who claim they’re victims.
Police say customers from the past 20 years are calling other precious gemstones into question that have been purchased at or repaired by the store. Police say some gold items were found be gold-plated instead of solid gold, some gems were switched or not the quality of what they purchased, and some diamonds were enhanced.
But police say not all of the customers who have been tricked may have been found. Some customers had diamonds tested without the equipment that identifies Moissanite, a man-made substance that mimics a real diamond.
Scanlon’s Jewelers has been testing jewelry from Blarr’s store for free. The store uses several different methods to determine a real from a fake, including using a microscope and then a heat test, which can identify Moissanite.
In just the past two weeks, Scanlon’s has tested more than 300 diamonds, and they say at least 40 of them have turned out to be fakes.
“Most fine jewelers don’t have experience with it because we don’t sell it,” said Todd Scanlon of Scanlon’s Jewelers. “There have been some really horrible things done, from brides- and grooms-to-be that took loans out for stones that they haven’t even paid off to I had a terminal cancer patient buy something for his wife and instructed her to wear it after he passed away and then give it to his daughter so daddy could give her the ring when she got married and it was $7,000 and it was fake.”
Amherst Police are encouraging anyone who had any jewelry – diamonds, gold or other gemstones – bought from or repaired at RSNP Diamond Exchange to have them tested at a reputable jeweler.
Scanlon says if you’re making a big purchase, ask for certification from a reputable lab before putting your money down.
“You want to go to more than one store, all the time. I’d love you to come here only, shop the pricing. If someone is ridiculously low on something there’s probably something wrong,” he said.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Zimbabwe Diamond Tender in Dubai Achieves $29M

The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) reported that its inaugural Zimbabwe diamond tender, which was held from March 23 to 30,  achieved a sales total of $29.2 million at an average price of $76 per carat.  The highest price per carat reached $5,000, according to the DDE. The rough diamond tender was facilitated by Global Diamond Tenders in cooperation with the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) and included diamonds from Anjin, Jinan, DTZ-Ozgeo, Diamond Mining Company (DMC), Marange Resources, Mbada Diamonds and Kusena.

Zimbabwe's Mine's Minister, Walter Chidhakwa said the tender earned $4.3 million for the government through royalties.

Peter Meeus, the chairman of the DDE, said, “The DDE has and will continue to support African diamond markets by ensuring the appropriate infrastructure is available to facilitate the trade between producing and consuming nations. We are extremely pleased with the high prices that were reached and stand ready to assist the government of Zimbabwe in future initiatives.”The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe  (MMCZ), Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), Marange Resources and Mbada Diamonds are listed on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which means that U.S. residents and businesses may not trade or purchase diamonds in any form from  these firms.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Victory Diamond, Two Graff Diamonds Highlight Sotheby's Sale

Three exceptional diamonds will highlight Sotheby's Geneva sale of magnificent jewels and noble jewels on May 13.
Sotheby's will auction the historic Victory Diamond, which was  named in honor of the allied victory in World War II. The original rough diamond weighed 770 carats and it was discovered in 1945 in the African Woyie River.  graff Thirty diamonds were cut from that stone, the largest of which was the 31.34-carat, D, potentially flawless, type IIa step-cut Victory Diamond. Sotheby's priced this lot to sell for between $5 million and $8 million.
The Graff Vivid Yellow diamond (pictured) also highlights the Geneva sale. This 100.09-carat diamond ring is described as "daffodil yellow" in color with  exceptional beauty and extraordinary fire and brilliance, and it has a presale estimate of $15 million to $25 million.
A third diamond, also by Graff, is a 103.46-carat, brilliant-cut diamond ring with a presale estimate of $3.5 million to $5 million.

Source: diamonds.net

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rockwell Diamonds 4Q Sales +69%

Rockwell Diamonds Inc. reported that diamond sales, excluding beneficiation, rose 69 percent year on year to $12.1 million in the fourth fiscal quarter that ended on February 28. Total carat sales  increased 81 percent to 9,596 carats. Rockwell’s rough diamonds received an average price of $1,264 per carat, 7 percent lower than the average price per carat in the same period one year ago.

Diamond production at the company’s three operating mines in South Africa grew 39 percent to 2,676 carats, while total production rose 74 percent to 6,717 carats in part due to royalty agreements with contract miners. The average size of recovered rough diamonds more than doubled over the year to 4.6 carats.

The mining company’s operations are focused on developing alluvial diamond deposits in South Africa’s Middle Orange River region.

Management said that it had reviewed cost-effective ways to renew its aging transportation fleet and is now looking for financing options. Rockwell said that it plans to expand both production volume and the recovery of large diamonds going forward.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

DCLA - DTC screening and synthetic testing equipment


DCLA Laboratory established in 2001 has always had the ability and equipment to identify synthetic diamonds.
The DCLA laboratory has identified many synthetic diamonds over the past several years.
DCLA is compliant and works strictly to the IDC rules.
As per the IDC rules the Synthetic diamonds Must be disclosed as “Synthetic diamond”.
Labs will have the choice whether or not to issue a grading report/certificate for synthetic diamonds. In case one is issued only a full grading report may be delivered.
If they do not issue grading reports, a short statement with weight, shape and nature of the stone must be available. The term “Synthetic Diamond Examination Report” or “Synthetic Diamond Assurance Report” is suggested for this limited document.
The terms laboratory-created/laboratory-grown/man-made/synthetic diamond may be used. The term “cultured” may not be used in any way to describe synthetic diamonds.
The DCLA will not certificate synthetic  diamonds or diamonds with reversible treatments as this could lead to confusion in the Australian market.

Source: DCLA 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jewellery group Bevilles latest to hit the rocks

Bevilles by the numbers.
Bevilles by the numbers. Source: HeraldSun
SPIRALLING costs in a tough retail climate have claimed another scalp as the 80-year-old jewellery group, Bevilles, falls into voluntary administration.
The family-owned group which is based in Melbourne warned there would be store closures, with up to 250 of its 477 employees expected to be made redundant. It has 17 of its 27 stores in Victoria, with the rest in Sydney and Adelaide.
Chief executive Michelle Beville, whose grandparents founded Bevilles in 1934, said the group had been working to trim store sizes in a move that would cut rent costs and staffing requirements.
But complications around leases and the resizing program meant the company had been unable to roll out the smaller format quickly.
Macca’s view
Macca’s view
“Bevilles is a fabulous brand, but the cost structure wasn’t sustainable,” Ms Beville told BusinessDaily.
“We have been trying very hard to restructure the business from a cost perspective, but leases are a big part of the costs.”
Ms Beville said the Beville family had proposed a restructure plan to the administrators, PPB Advisory, which would see the family buy back a number of the stores. The stores would then be converted as quickly as possible to the smaller-format model, which does not stock giftware lines.
Ms Beville said two smaller stores launched in Highpoint shopping centre and in Sydney last year had been well received.
The group’s creditors are mainly suppliers both in Australia and overseas.
Administrators are expected to make a decision by the start of May.

Source: Jane Harper
Herald Sun