Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bodyguard 'stole £12million diamonds from the Sultan of Brunei's ex-wife before swapping them for worthless replicas'

A female bodyguard stole rare diamonds worth £12million from the ex-wife of one of the world's richest men, replacing them for near-worthless replicas, a court was told. Fatimah Lim, 35, is accused of stealing two large diamonds from the safe at the London home of Mariam Aziz, a former wife of the Sultan of Brunei. Lim, a former bodyguard to Mariam Aziz, right, the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei, left, is said to have duped the couple's daughter into letting her 'borrow' the diamonds, before selling them and replacing them with near-worthless replicas 
 Fatimah Lim is accused of stealing diamonds worth £12million from the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei
She is accused of replacing the pear-shaped 12.71 carat blue diamond - valued at £7.6million - and a rectangular 27.1 carat yellow diamond - worth £600,000 - with replicas worth £150 each, to clear a gambling debt. The Singapore national is said to have stole the gems from her employer’s £1.7 million home in Kensington, West London, after duping her daughter into letting her borrow them for a few hours. She is also accused of stealing a £3.3 million diamond bracelet after Mariam Aziz gave it to her for safe-keeping while out gambling.
When Miss Aziz wanted it back, Lim denied ever being given it and suspicion fell on a housemaid.
Later she stole and sold the diamonds given to Miss Aziz by the Sultan of Brunei during their marriage, with the blue diamond being bought from the Hilton Park Lane jewellers in 1986, the court heard. The Sultan, one of the world’s richest men, and Miss Aziz, a former airline stewardess who is of Bruneian, Japanese and Scottish ancestry had four children during their 21 years of marriage. Gareth Patterson, prosecuting, said: 'The prosecution case is that this defendant breached the trust that was placed in her by her employer, Miss Aziz.
'These three items were a diamond bracelet, a large yellow coloured diamond and a large blue coloured diamond.
'It appears that the defendant may have decided to sell these diamonds, because she - the defendant - had been gambling and needed to clear her debts.'
Isleworth Crown Court heard that after stealing the gems, Lim took them to a jeweller in Hatton Garden to sell, claiming they been a gift from Miss Aziz to her mother, who she claimed had been a PA to the sultan’s former wife.
Fatimah Lim is accused of stealing diamonds worth £12million from the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei To cover her tracks she had fakes worth just £300 made and put these back into the safe at Miss Aziz’s home, it is claimed. The alleged theft was only discovered in December 2009 when Miss Aziz asked her adopted daughter, Afifa Abduallah, to take the diamonds, which had now been set in rings, back to the Hilton for resizing. Jurors heard Lim started working for Miss Aziz in 2003 firstly as a badminton coach, but that her role eventually evolved to that of a personal assistant and bodyguard to the mother-of-four. In her capacity she travelling between her boss’ houses in Singapore, or Brunei, or in London. Mr Patterson added: 'The background, sadly, to this case is that Miss Aziz came to consider the defendant to be one of her most trusted employees and considered her essentially as a friend.'
 Lim, a former bodyguard to Mariam Aziz, right, the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei, left, is said to have duped the couple's daughter into letting her 'borrow' the diamonds, before selling them and replacing them with near-worthless replicas
The pair would visit casinos across the world, including the Clermont Club in Berkeley Square and Les Ambassadeurs, near Park Lane and such was the trust placed in her Lim 'was allowed to become a signatory on Miss Aziz’s accounts'. If Lim reached her credit limit on any of her own accounts, she would be able to use Miss Aziz's. It was at the Les Ambassadeurs casino in May 2008 that Miss Aziz gave her an eight-diamond bracelet worth around $5.5million dollars bought from Graff jewellers in Bond Street for safe keeping. Two or three weeks later the sultan’s former wife wanted to wear the bracelet, but that it could not be found, the court heard. Miss Aziz’s staff were questioned and Lim denied having ever been given the item. Instead suspicions were raised against another housemaid, jurors heard. However, Mr Patterson said that this housemaid claims that Lim had later come to her and said she knew someone who could make replica jewellery. Lim eventually took the bracelet, as well as another one, to a jeweller in London’s famous Hatton Garden. Giving her name as Sue, but later identifying herself, she claimed she had authorisation from her mother to sell the items. But Mr Patterson told the court that Lim’s mother had never worked for Miss Aziz and that this was just a story she had made up to 'cover her tracks'. It is alleged that she then played on her close relationship with Miss Aziz’s adopted daughter, Afifa Abduallah, who saw the two as 'best friends'.
Twice she asked Miss Abdullah to borrow the diamonds as collateral on a property deal on the promise to return them in a short time. Mr Patterson said: 'In order to do that, what she did is she abused her friendship with the young and naove adopted daughter.' The second time when she asked for the same favour toward the end of the year she switched the diamonds with £300 replicas made out of cubic zirconia. She later sent Miss Abdullah Facebook messages asking her to keep it secret from her mother. When the thefts were discovered Miss Abdullah eventually told her mother what had happened and Lim was confronted by Miss Aziz’s nephew Idris Ja’afar in Brunei, the court heard. She initially denied being in London in December 2009, but 'came clean' when Miss Abdullah arrived at the meeting and asked 'if Miss Aziz might forgive her and pardon her'.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Belgium's Dec. Polished Diamond Exports +6%

Belgium’s polished diamond exports grew 6 percent year on year to $1.059 billion in December, ‎according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). By volume, exports ‎rose 5 percent to 559,488 carats as the average price increased 1 ‎percent to $1,893 per carat. ‎

Belgium’s polished exports to the U.S. rose 7 percent year on year to $295.1 million during the month; however,  exports to Israel declined 14 percent to $128.3 million. Exports to India grew 10 percent to $50.3 million, while exports to Hong Kong rose 26 percent to $281.6 million and exports to Switzerland increased by 21 percent to $55.5 million. Exports to the United Arab Emirates rose by 27 percent to $117.2 million.

Belgium's polished imports rose by 13 percent to $877 million, leaving net  ‎exports, representing the excess of exports over imports, of $181.8 million, a decline of 19 percent compared with one year ago.

Belgium’s rough imports increased 17 percent to $1.084 billion during the month, while rough ‎exports dropped 4 percent to $1.334 billion. Net rough imports, representing the excess ‎of imports over exports, fell to a deficit of $250.4 million compared with a deficit of $464 million one year ago. ‎

Belgium’s December net diamond account, representing total imports of polished and rough ‎diamonds less total exports, declined by 37 percent to $432.2 million. ‎

AWDC noted that 2013 was the second best year ever for the Antwerp diamond industry. During 2013, Belgium’s polished exports increased 5 percent to $13.882 ‎billion, while its polished imports rose 3 percent to $13.299 billion.

The U.S. remains Antwerp’s first destination for polished diamonds, closely followed by China. The AWDC observed a significant increase  in the trade with both Dubai and South Africa, while the European market remained relatively stable.

Rough imports grew by 8 ‎percent in 2013 to $13.228 billion, while rough exports rose 8 percent to $14.626 billion. By volume, 90.6 million carats of rough diamonds were imported and 106.5 million carats of rough diamonds were exported equaling a combined value of more than $27.8 billion or an increase of 8 percent compared to 2012.

The increase in rough trading was the result of Antwerp’s drive to expand its importance as the leading hub, according to AWDC, which touted the success of its in-house tender facility that allows fast and efficient buying.  AWDC also reinforced its ties with ALROSA through a new cooperation agreement, noting that 65 percent of the mining giant's production is traded in Antwerp. AWDC intends to intensify trade relationships with Zimbabwe for Marange goods in addition to future cooperation with Canada-based Stornoway Diamonds for its Renard production.

Belgium’s net diamond account for the 12 month period increased 26 percent to ‎‎$1.98 billion.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fifth Antwerp Diamond Fair Opens to Praise from Visitors

The fifth edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) opened on January 26 with buyers from all over the world streaming into the trading halls of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Antwerp Diamond Kring exchanges. The diamond trading floors, which have been converted into three elegantly designed exhibition spaces, host close to 90 of Antwerp's leading diamond manufacturing and trading firms, displaying the widest possible variety of polished diamonds.

Pilar Bonson Lopez of Tiramisu from Barcelona, Spain, said she was impressed with the choice within the narrow niche of goods she was sourcing for her company. "I am looking for diamonds up to a carat, but mostly for smaller goods, in commercial clarities and colors," she said. "These goods are usually in high demand and therefore difficult to find. At this unique fair, I have a good selection of goods to choose from."

Fei Liu, a Chinese-born jeweler based in Birmingham, U.K. and with retail jewelry operations in China, said he was looking for larger goods, in round, fancy shapes and also in fancy colors. "This is a fantastic experience, to find not only a lot of goods on the floor, but also so many goods that can be compared to each other," he said. "I have bought lots of diamonds in my career, and Antwerp definitely is demonstrating its competitive edge with this fair and its exclusive format."

Rafif Tarabishi, the general manager of Al Masaood Jewellery in Abu Dhabi who often visits Antwerp, said, "But this my first time at the ADTF and the format is brilliant, as it enables me not only to meet my trusted suppliers, but also make many more new contacts. This show will certainly serve both exhibitors and buyers well, as I get to see, find and source more goods than during a regular business trip here. Keep up the good work." he concluded.

The Antwerp Diamond Bourse, Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Antwerp Diamond Kring are happy that the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair is powered by the AWDC.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ongoing abuses revealed at Chiadzwa diamond fields

Just weeks before a second international auction of Zimbabwe’s diamonds is planned to take place, a report detailing ongoing abuses at the Chiadzwa alluvial fields has been released.
The auction, which is set to take place in Belgium in February, follows the sale of almost 300,000 carats of Zimbabwe’s diamonds last year. That auction was the first since Europe removed its restrictive measures from the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) shortly after the disputed elections in July 2013.
The European Union (EU), and in particular Belgium, has faced intense criticism for allowing Zimbabwe’s diamonds back onto the international market, despite human rights and other concerns at the Chiadzwa diamond fields.
These concerns have again been highlighted in a report by the Centre for Research and Development (CRD) which has detailed ongoing abuses of diamond panners and local villagers. The report also raises serious questions about transparency and accountability at the diamond mines.
The report details incidents of assaults, dog attacks and prolonged detentions by security officials working for the mining firms, against people accused of illegal diamond panning. 13 pages of the report details these attacks, which all happened over the last year, with accompanying pictures showing the extent of the injuries people have sustained.
James Mupfumi, the acting Director of the CRD, said Wednesday that the government, as a joint venture partner of the firms implicated in the abuses, has a direct responsibility to intervene and ensure the situation is controlled.
“We are worried about these continuing incidents of human rights abuses and the failure by government to address the issue, especially the issue of illegal panners which we believe is a direct result of the desperate socio economic problems in the country,” Mupfumi told SW Radio Africa.
“The panners are acting out of desperation. There is no support for the local communities,” Mupfumi added.
The CRD report also calls for better transparency measures to be enforced at the diamond mines, to ensure that diamond profits help the communities, as promised by the government.
“The biggest challenge though is that the arrangement of the mining companies and the people involved, involve government and influential people in government. So the police won’t investigate. We need political will and proper transparency measures to combat this,” Mupfumi said.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Pointing to De Beers' relationships with Botswana, its Sightholders and consumers, De Beers Group CEO Philippe Mellier called on the industry to "build on the firm foundations we have established, continue to invest in the outstanding relationships that have brought us so far and ensure we keep on working together for our mutual benefit," during a speech he gave at a dinner in Gaborone last night in the presence of senior representatives from the Botswana government, De Beers' Sightholders and leading figures of the Gaborone business community. The dinner took place during this week's De Beers Sight, its first of 2014.
De Beers and Botswana
During his address, Mellier paid tribute to the company's 40-year relationship with the government of Botswana and said that the relocation of De Beers' international Sightholder sales activity last year has stimulated economic activity, which has elevated Botswana "from being a primary producer with a maturing manufacturing sector into one of the world's key rough diamond trading destinations."
Listening to Sightholders
Turning to the company's relationship with its Sightholders, Mellier stated that it has been central to key developments in the history of diamonds, whether it is catalyzing growth in beneficiation or growing demand in new consumer markets. "Southern Africa has become the new center of gravity for the diamond trade and the relationship between Sightholders and De Beers has been fundamental to this shift," he said.
Citing the importance of relationships evolving and adapting, Mellier revealed that De Beers has been looking at a number of new ways to strengthen its future relationship with Sightholders. "We have listened to Sightholders' views on how best to do this and will focus on simplifying the process where possible, giving Sightholders greater flexibility and making Sightholder status even more meaningful."
Recognizing Varda
Mellier also praised Varda Shine, outgoing Executive Vice President of De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, as someone "who has been central to every Sightholder relationship." Taking the opportunity to raise a toast to Varda, Mellier said "a huge thank you for thirty years of outstanding service - not just to De Beers; not just to the Sightholder community; and not just to the people of Botswana and De Beers' other producing country partners; but to the entire diamond world."
Continued Mellier in his speech: "Varda, you have left an indelible mark on the industry and it is undoubtedly a much better place because of your influence. Thank you for all that you have done for us, and our very best wishes go with you for whatever the future holds..."
De Beers and Consumers
In his address, Mellier noted that perhaps the most important relationship is that between the diamond industry and consumers. "Ultimately, a consumer's desire for diamonds is the only true source of value in the industry," he said.
Turning finally to the outlook for diamond jewelry, he noted that there are good signs coming from the U.S. economy, with improved demand in evidence over the holiday period. Looking east to China, he said there are also healthy signs with a positive outlook for sales around the Chinese New Year and expectations for a continuation of strong economic growth, at around the same level seen in 2013. However, he also warned that, despite solid prospects for India in 2014, there remain some concerns about inflation and currency volatility in the short term.
In closing, Mellier said that "if we continue to nurture the relationships on which our success is based, then we will also make sure that diamonds remain the symbol at the center of a consumer's desire."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

29.6 carat blue diamond found in South African mine
A 29.6 carat blue diamond, one of the rarest and most coveted in the world with a possible price tag of tens of millions of dollars, has been discovered at a South African mine by Petra Diamonds.
The miner said the "exceptional" acorn-sized diamond, small enough to fit into the palm of a hand, was unearthed at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria. The mine, owned by the firm since 2008, was also where the Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905 - described as the largest rough gem diamond ever recovered and weighing 3,106 carats.
Other notable diamonds found in the mine include a 25.5 carat Cullinan blue diamond, found in 2013 and sold for $16.9 million, and a diamond found in 2008, known as the Star of Josephine, which was sold for $9.49 million.
Chief Executive Johan Dippenaar told Reuters the latest blue diamond discovery could outstrip recent finds. "By some margin ... this is probably the most significant stone we've ever, in terms of blue stones, recovered," he said.
"The stones in the last year or so are selling well above $2 million per carat. That's not my quote, that's updates in the market," he said ahead of the company's first-half trading statement. Petra Diamonds is due to release figures on production and sales for the six months to Dec. 31 on Thursday, but these will not take into account the find which occurred in January. Analyst Cailey Barker at brokers Numis thought the diamond could fetch between $15 million and $20 million at auction.
Diamonds from both the Cullinan mine in South Africa and the Williamson facilities in Tanzania, both owned by Petra, have been displayed at London's Buckingham Palace and are regarded as among the rarest and most valuable in the world.

Monday, January 20, 2014

IDE Organizes International Rough Diamond Week

The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) plans to hold its first International Rough Diamond Week (IRDW) from March 9 to 13, 2014. A diverse series of rough diamond tenders will be held during the five-day event. Among the companies that will stage rough diamond tenders are ALROSA, De Beers, Rio Tinto Diamonds, I Hennig/ Fusion Alternatives and Tzoffey's.
Israel's Diamond Exchange
IDE's deputy president, Arnon Juwal, who heads the IRDW organizing committee, said that for the Israeli diamond center to go forward, more rough diamond trading and sourcing is needed. "If we are to boost the manufacturing of polished goods in Israel, we need to increase the flow of rough to our industry. By creating recurring anchor events for rough diamond tenders, as well as auctions, we are placing these efforts high and visibly on our industry's agenda."

Juwal said he was encouraged by the response from rough diamond producers, traders and diamond manufacturers in participating in the event.  "The rough diamond supply channels are going through significant changes, with rough being produced and traded by a significantly larger number of players than ever before. Spearheaded by the IDE's efforts, Israel's diamond industry strategy is to build long-term, value adding alliances with these players."

IDE's president, Shmuel Schnitzer, said the IDE intends to hold an International Rough Diamond Week several times throughout the calendar year. "This is a long-term initiative that will strengthen and boost Israel's position as the world's most versatile and dynamic diamond trading hub. Rough diamond trading is an essential component of our industry's vitality. We have the resources, infrastructure and a highly motivated, closely knit diamond business community. Therefore, I am confident of this venture's success."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

India's Polished Diamond Exports +16% in December

India’s polished diamond exports grew 16 percent year on year to $1.1 billion in December ‎‎2013, according to preliminary data from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). By ‎volume, exports dropped 8 percent to 1.874 million carats. ‎

Polished imports fell 11 percent to $380.40 million during the month. India’s net ‎polished exports, representing the excess of exports over imports, rose 37 percent to $720.43 ‎million.‎

India’s rough diamond imports declined 7 percent to $1.652 billion in December, while rough ‎exports increased 32 percent to $104.32 million. Net rough imports, or the excess of ‎imports over exports, fell 8 percent to $1.548 billion.‎

India’s December net diamond account, which is calculated as the total of polished and ‎rough exports less total imports, improved to a deficit of $827.8 million from a deficit of $1.162 billion one year ago.‎

In December, India's imports of rough synthetic stones, including synthetic diamonds and gemstones,  more than doubled to $6.8 million, while synthetic stone imports declined 50 percent to $6.54 million. Total synthetic stone exports more than doubled to $7.4 million.

During the full year 2013, India’s polished exports rose 21 percent to $20.484 billion, while ‎polished imports grew 29 percent to $6.864 billion, according to Rapaport News calculations. Rough imports rose 8 percent to ‎‎$16.304 billion and rough exports grew 17 percent to $1.785 billion.‎ India’s net diamond account for the 12-month period improved to a deficit of $899.8 million, from a ‎deficit of $1.949 billion one year earlier. ‎

For the first 12 months of 2013, India's rough synthetic more than doubled to $75 million, synthetic stone imports grew 62 percent to $82.8 million and total synthetic exports rose 14 percent to $56 million. 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lazare Kaplan's Revenue Rises From GIA Settlement

 Lazare Kaplan Jewelry
Lazare Kaplan International Inc. informed the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that it would again be late in filing  financial statements for the second fiscal quarter that ended on November 30. Lazare Kaplan has been unable to file its quarterly and fiscal year statements with the SEC since May 2009 due to material uncertainties that involve legal and asset collection issues.
Nonetheless, Lazare Kaplan has continued to provide anticipated financial results, for which its second quarter revenue rose nearly 86 percent year on year to $29 million. Revenue for the company's first half increased 22 percent to $42.5 million. Sales of goods and services during the second quarter, however, fell 13.5 percent to $13.5 million and they declined 23 percent in the first half to $27 million in large part due to lower sales of commercial polished diamonds.
Lazare Kaplan received a one-time payment of $15 million from a license settlement agreement with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Lazare Kaplan anticipates that future royalty payments associated with the license agreement will not exceed 10 percent of its revenue.
The company observed that current and uncertain economic conditions continue to negatively impact the diamond and jewelry industry as rough diamond prices rise more than polished diamond prices, placing significant pressures on diamond manufacturers. In addition, the company's litigation woes have impacted its ability to transact business in the ordinary course to the same extent and in the same manner as it did previously.
Once these material uncertainties are resolved, Lazare Kaplan stated that it intends and is prepared to promptly finalize and file its forms 10-K and forms 10-Q for all delinquent periods.
In the latest litigation proceedings with KBC Bank N.V. and Antwerp Diamond Bank N.V., Lazare Kaplan reiterated that it owes no amount to the Antwerp Diamond Bank under a prior $45 million credit facility, and further denies that any action under that credit may be brought in Belgium. Lazare Kaplan  filed criminal proceedings in Antwerp in March 2013 against the banks  alleging, among other things, fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. The proceedings are pending in the Antwerp Court of appeals.
In addition, the Antwerp Court of Commerce has currently scheduled the Antwerp Civil Litigation for hearings on February 13, 2014. Lazare Kaplan appealed several rulings by the Antwerp Court of Commerce to the Supreme Court of Belgium. The Supreme Court of Belgium is scheduled to rule on these appeals in the course of January and February 2014.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., Lazare Kaplan filed criminal charges against the two banks under  Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and New York state law, and as of July 2013, the District Court instructed all parties to engage in limited discovery. On November 8, 2013, after hearing from all parties, the District Court substantially endorsed Lazare Kaplan's request for discovery related to the banking arrangements among all parties and this process is now ongoing.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why we ride


See: Why we ride

Sarin Offers Galaxy Ultra in India, Israel

Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed Sarin Technologies Ltd., a worldwide leader in the development, manufacturing, marketing and sale of precision technology products for the planning, processing, evaluation and measurement of diamonds and gems, announced today that, with the successful culmination of the Galaxy Ultra testing in Surat, India, it is launching the commercial service of the Galaxy Ultra in the Surat and Tel-Aviv service centers.
Sarin Technology's Galaxy 1000
Service at additional service centers will commence subsequently, as warranted by demand, and sales and delivery of Galaxy Ultra systems to interested customers is expected later in 2014. The new Galaxy Ultra offers significant advantages to manufacturers as it provides inclusion scanning of the rough diamond at microscope-level magnification, in addition to the normal scanning executed by the standard Galaxy systems. This allows the detection of inclusions with single-micron resolution, including the detection of clouds of inclusions of single micron size. Users will thus be able to inspect seemingly clean areas of rough diamonds with extra-high accuracy and determine with a higher level of confidence whether they can achieve an internally flawless (IF) clarity grade.
The scanning, detection and inclusion mapping on the Ultra are fully automatic, even at this high level of resolution, not like alternative solutions, where one needs to manually and tediously browse the stone using a microscope, micron layer by micron layer.
“We are proud of being able to offer the market this newest member of the Galaxy family of automated inclusion scanning systems. With its introduction, manufacturers can now take advantage of the Galaxy's unique characteristics - its execution of comprehensive inclusion mapping, automatically and at unmatched speeds, and also benefit from microscope-level resolution and accuracy,” said Uzi Levami, Sarin’s executive director and CEO.
“We believe that Sarin’s customers will significantly benefit from the new capabilities offered by the Ultra, as they will be able to truly optimize the quality and value of the polished diamonds they produce from their high quality rough stones and more confidently achieve far more finished diamonds with IF and VVS Clarity grades,” he said.
About Sarin Technologies:
Established in 1988, Sarin Technologies Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacturing of advanced planning, evaluation and measurement systems for diamond and gemstone production. Sarin products include diamond cut, color and light performance grading tools, the GalaxyTM family of inclusion mapping systems, rough diamond optimization systems, laser cutting and shaping systems and laser-marking and inscription machines. Sarin systems have become an essential gemology tool in every properly equipped gem lab, diamond appraisal business and manufacturing plant, and are today considered essential items by both diamond dealers and retailers.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Best Bling at the 2014 Golden Globes: Cate Blanchett's Diamond Earrings & Many More

Best Bling at Golden Globes

If a red carpet gown is a piece of cake, then the jewellery is the icing. And who wants cake without icing?
Sunday night was a sea of sparkling bling during the Golden Globe's red carpet. And even though some celebs may be saving the really expensive stuff for the Oscars, they still brought the bling.
We're so glad Cate Blanchett wore her hair in a faux bob, because we could get a perfect view of her fabulous Chopard diamond earrings from the label's Green Carpet Collection. The earrings featured beautiful 11-carat, marquise-cut white diamonds.
Margot Robbie already had bling on her gorgeous Gucci gown, but she added an extra dose of sparkle with a pair of Van Cleef & Arpels "Snowflake" earrings and a Van Cleef & Arpels ring.
And Jessica Chastain turned heads in a gorgeous platinum and diamond Bulgari necklace. Another highlight? Jennifer Lawrence. The American Hustle star paired her white Dior gown with $2.5 million worth of gorgeous Neil Lane jewels.
And we gasped when Jen's art deco style diamond bracelet slipped off her wrist and fell to the ground while she was chatting with Ryan Seacrest, but she laughed it off and recovered in true J.Law fashion. And this is why we love her.

Best Bling at Golden Globes

Then there was Giuliana Rancic, who was dripping in about $3 million worth of sparkling Forevermark Diamonds.
Reese Witherspoon dressed up her green Calvin Klein Collection dress with a cool $3.7 million worth of Harry Winston jewels.
Jenna Dewan-Tatum complemented her black and white Roberto Cavalli dress perfectly with a pair of stunning rectangular Irene Neuwirth earrings.
And Naomi Watts added even more glitz to her shimmering Tom Ford dress by topping the look off with a Bulgari necklace in gold with diamonds and a Bulgari vintage Serpenti watch-bracelet.
Between all the diamond necklaces, giant cocktail rings and chandelier earrings there were too many carats to count!
Source: Eonline

Botswana Diamonds, ALROSA Launch Joint Orapa Exploration

Botswana Diamonds started up exploration project with ALROSA at the PL117 license in the Orapa region of Botswana. The license covers 2.9 square kilometers and is located near the Karowe diamond mine, which is operated by Lucara Diamond Corporation. Botswana Diamonds previously discovered diamonds in the AK10 kimberlite in the same license area in 2004.

The company secured enough capital to launch the joint venture with ALROSA through a successful round of fundraising in December 2013. Botswana Diamonds' geologists have since completed advance work and procured the necessary equipment for the project. ALROSA's geologists are expected to join the Botswana team in the coming weeks to carry out further soil sampling and define exact drill targets. Drilling is expected to start before the end of the first quarter.

"We are very hopeful that we will be able to improve on what was found previously. Indications are good and it is the top target identified by ALROSA," said John Teeling,  the chairman of Botswana Diamonds.

Monday, January 13, 2014


India's Ministry of Commerce has decided to separate the Harmonized System Codes (HS Codes) for lab-grown and natural diamonds, respectively, in response to recent incidents of undisclosed lab-grown diamonds being mixed with parcels of natural diamonds. 

The issue will reportedly be finalized during a meeting on Monday between representatives of India's Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJECP) and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which is responsible for assigning the HS Codes to different objects. Currently, the trade for natural and lab-grown diamonds is done through the same HS Code.

"Due to the same HS Codes being used for natural and lab-grown diamonds, there have been cases of lab-grown diamonds being exported overseas in the name of naturals. This is raising a big question on India's trust value. If the HS Codes are different then such incidences can be barred easily," said GJEPC Vice Chairman Pankaj Parekh, as quoted by the news source.

Orange River diamonds drag Rockwell back to profitability

results from Rockwell Diamonds show the Toronto and JSE-listed diamond junior is grinding its way towards bottom-line profitability as production from its three alluvial mines on the Orange River is steadily ratcheted up.
 Rockwell Diamonds CEO James Campbell. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
According to CEO James Campbell, the quarter ended November 30 was the sixth consecutive quarter showing growth in dollar revenues and the second consecutive quarter showing a gross profit after amortisation and depreciation.
Rockwell is still recording bottom-line losses but these are coming down fast. The company reported a total comprehensive loss for the period of $60,000 (November quarter 2012 — $7.3m loss) and a total comprehensive loss of $8.1m for the nine months to end-November compared with a loss of $19.8m for the comparable period of 2012.
The next critical target is reaching full production of 100,000m³ of diamond-bearing gravels treated by the Niewejaarskraal mine, which is "on track for completion by the end of financial 2014."
Mr Campbell says that is crucial because it will take total production from Rockwell’s three mines on the middle Orange River to 360,000m³ of gravel treated a month — at which point the company should show a bottom-line profit.
After that, the strategic objective is to push for a production level of 500,000m³ a month, equivalent to 1.5-million cubic metres a quarter.
He said: "Our production records from the middle Orange River indicate you can expect to recover one diamond larger than 100 carats from every 1.5-million cubic metres of gravel treated.
"So, if we are processing 1.5-million cubic metres every quarter then I would expect to recover these stones on a more regular basis, which is going to improve quarterly earnings."
Rockwell has had a recent run of good fortune, recovering five such stones since August with the largest weighing in at 287 carats. That helped trigger a 60% jump in the share price to as high as 450c during September, from which the stock has eased to about 330c. That is still treble the 12-month low of 110c at which Rockwell sat last May but — to put this in perspective — the shares traded as high as R40 in 2008 before the diamond market collapsed and Rockwell ran into a string of operating problems.
Turning to the state of the market, Mr Campbell said jewellery trading levels were disappointing over the festive trading season with lower sales volumes combined with some price discounting on polished diamond prices. He said that December was traditionally a period of slow rough diamond sales, which was then followed by increased demand in January and February.
In anticipation of this, Rockwell held back an inventory of 5,590 carats to be sold over the next two months and utilised $2.2m of its overdraft facilities to do so. The overdraft was repaid from sales receipts last month.
Rockwell is also due to receive an upfront capital inflow of R17.3m from its new black economic empowerment (BEE) partner to replace African Vanguard Resources. Mr Campbell has declined to name the new BEE partner until the final conditions precedent to the deal are met.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Brazil Minerals Sells First Parcel of Polished Diamonds

Brazil Minerals Inc. sold its first parcel of polished diamonds to a U.S.-based investor group for future delivery, according to a company statement that did not provide a sales total. Brazil Minerals
The junior miner produces diamonds and gold from its Duas Barras licensed area in Minas Gerais in Brazil, but had only been offering rough diamonds and gold for sale to local buyers prior to this milestone.
Marc Fogassa, the CEO of Brazil Minerals, said,  "We are a young company, essentially only one year old with the current team and focus, and now we have revenue from both polished and rough diamonds, as well as gold. And these revenues now come from both the United States and Brazil. It is a good progression."
Early in December, Fogassa said that Brazil Minerals was cutting and polishing some of its rough diamond inventory in Brazil ''for about $50 per gem'' and then sending the diamonds to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for grading. The highest color obtained for this parcel was an F and the highest clarity was VVS1, according to the mining company.
"Management's work during this holiday break has paid off as this U.S. group was interested in moving quickly. We were able to come to terms, which are favorable to both parties, and closed our initial transaction last week with the receipt of funds. This group and I hope to do additional transactions of a similar nature in the coming months," Fogassa said.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First Element to Hold Tender of South African Diamonds in Antwerp

First Element is organizing a tender of diamonds from the Jagersfontein and Rooipoort operations in South Africa in Antwerp.

The tender will include more than 400,000 carats of predominantly white goods ranging from melee to large single stones.

Booking for viewing of the goods opened today (Tuesday) and runs from January 22 to February 4 at the Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility in the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) building.

The tender will close on February 4 at 12.00.

First Element held the first tender of diamonds from Zimbabwe in Antwerp last month.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Diamond cutters, polishers close shop

NEARLY 70 of the diamond cutting and polishing firms that opened when diamond production started in the Marange area have closed due to what is seen as a prohibitively expensive licensing policy, according to a report.

The diamond cutting and polishing licensing policy includes a $100,000 fee that is renewed annually and an additional 15 percent sales tax which is levied on any company that buys diamonds from the producing companies.
Concerns have also been raised by the diamond cutting and polishing companies over failure to access the gems, The Sunday Mail reported.
Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa described the situation as a "tragedy" for the diamond sector, and hinted that the government will soon be reviewing its licensing policy.
“There are a number of companies that have brought in equipment for cutting and polishing of diamonds but are not operational and it’s a tragedy for us," Chidhakwa said. "If they were operating, they would have been creating jobs and earning income for the country.
“When we met with some of the companies, they disclosed that they had not been given access to diamonds that are cuttable by the producers in spite of the fact that we have got a Statutory Instrument that says 10 percent of our rough diamonds must be available for cutting and polishing by local companies,” he said.
The chairman of the Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre, Lovemore Kurotwi, said that a number of local businesses had invested heavily in acquiring the requisite facilities to cut and polish the diamonds but “received a raw deal from government.”
“There are several local companies that have imported technology to cut and polish diamonds but they have put this equipment in their backyards because the industry is prohibitive.
“It is sad for us to read that Zimbabwe’s diamonds have created 60,000 new jobs in India’s Surat diamond market that specializes in cutting and polishing when our companies are shutting down. If we look at the jobs that have been created in Dubai and other markets, the figures are shocking.
“We have therefore exported tens of thousands of jobs when our country is plunged in an unemployment crisis,” he said.

GIA Mourns the Loss of Bert Krashes

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced the passing of Bert Krashes, its former vice president and a member of the board. Krashes joined GIA in 1949 and eventually became the vice president and director of the gem trade laboratory in New York in 1977. He was recognized as one of the Institute’s pioneers, he helped establish its East Coast school, laboratory, gem identification and grading services, and the “traveling classrooms” that took GIA's education to jewelers across the U.S. Krashes passed away from natural causes this past weekend. gia
“Bert will be missed for his significant contributions to GIA and to the gem and jewelry industry,” said Susan Jacques, GIA’s president and CEO. “His generosity and dedication helped countless students, staff and industry members, and for that we are exceptionally grateful.”
After receiving a Purple Heart for his service during World War II, Krashes (pictured) became one of GIA’s first students in New York. Richard T. Liddicoat was so impressed with his “excellent work and keen questions,” that he offered Krashes a full-time position as an instructor and gemologist, according to GIA. Krasheswent on to become one of GIA’s most popular instructors and he helped to lead the New York laboratory to international prominence.
Tom Moses, GIA’s executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer, said, “Bert had an engaging style that raised his esteem with all of his co-workers and the many students he touched. His dedication and high standards were key for GIA diamond grading reports to gain international respect and growth.”
Krashes retired from the board of GIA in 1998, upon which time he was given a lapel pin featuring a diamond inscribed with the number 19491998, representing his 49 years of service to GIA.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Men caught at petrol station with 'illegal diamonds'

Four men have been arrested in Lichtenburg for allegedly dealing in diamonds, North West police said on Sunday.
The men, between the ages of 29 and 49, were found in possession of two uncut diamonds worth an estimated R7,000 at a petrol station on Friday, Sergeant Kelebogile Moiloa said.
They were expected to appear in the Lichtenburg Magistrates Court on Monday.