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IDE's Yoram Dvash: 2017 shaping up to be more positive

After a tough 2015, last year provided the diamond industry with more stability and 2017 could be even better, says Yoram Dvash, President of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) and Vice-President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). In this...

Today

Education is the most important part of generic diamond promotion effort

The activity of World Diamond Mark® (WDM) established by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) to enhance consumers’ desire to buy natural diamonds is currently focused on the downstream segment of the diamond pipeline in the belief that the...

20 february 2017

There is more growth to come as global market turns to online purchasing

After living in UK and US for a considerable part of his life, Ashraf Ahmed returned to UAE where he lived as a child, only to set up shop in a sector he is passionate about... gem stones and jewellery. A graduate in Business & Finance, Ashraf is adequately...

13 february 2017

Global diamond jewelry sales are expected to decline slightly in 2016 - Bain & Company

Bain & Company, a leading global business consulting firm, offering solutions on issues of strategy and operations, works with over 2,700 major multinational corporations across every economic sector, including the diamond mining industry. Antwerp...

06 february 2017

Kristall is worried about the external environment, which is sometimes changing "categorically"

Kristall Production Corporation is the leader of Russia’s diamond-cutting industry. The company produces almost half of the total amount of diamonds, which are cut and polished in the country. Having over 50 years of diamond manufacturing experience...

30 january 2017

Is Branding a Smart Strategy or Expensive Exercise?

Today

Which items sell better – branded goods or generic items? For many years after the 2008 financial crash, the answer appeared to be overwhelmingly generic. The vast decline in wealth among huge numbers of people across the United States meant there was little money left for luxuries. The same was true across Europe. Indeed, so deep did the recession bite that consumers searched for generic for most items – from breakfast cereals and washing powder all the way up to jewelry and other so-called luxury items. And although the U.S. economy is in much better shape today, the tendency to look for generic items remains strong. Although unemployment has declined significantly, many workers still do not have the bargaining power to secure salary rises – meaning disposable income is pretty much static. Against that sort of background, companies are asking themselves if there is a point to launching new brands – and that applies to the diamond jewelry business as much as any other.

Non-governmental Trojan ponies

22 february 2017

In February, the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) has lived to be exactly one year old. However, there is no much fanfare audible - this modest jubilee has been slipped over by the industry media, regrettably. Because the birth of the IGDA has undoubtedly opened a new chapter in the history of the traditional diamond market. Maybe - the last chapter.

India stirred but not shaken by demonetisation

20 february 2017

It is more than two months since demonetisation of high-value currency notes in India took effect, but the resilient gems & jewellery industry, though stirred, stands strong and stoic in the face of adversity. Obviously, the luxury sector of which the gem & jewellery industry is part of would be the first sector to get hit due to discretionary consumer spending acutely affecting the retail market. Industry-wise, it is of course the SMEs (small & medium size enterprises) that have been negatively impacted as they trade with majorly small jewellery players in the unorganised players who deal in hard cash. It is reported that local demand for rough as well as polished diamonds declined in December indicating a 4.96% dip in rough imports. Even diamonds miners reported a slowdown in demand for lower-value rough (mostly imported by India) during the past 2 months, due to liquidity issues among SMEs.

From Siberia with love

13 february 2017

Hello, dear Keanu Reeves, writing to you is a simple Russian girl, Elena from a small town in Siberia. I'm a big fan of your creative work and always take delight every time I see your new film. And when I learned that you are going to play the leading part in the film named "Siberia" about illegal diamond trade in Russia, there was just no limit to my happiness. What a mercy it is that a great actor is to play in a film about my country! I am so overwhelmed that I decided to write this letter to you.

Self-harm

06 february 2017

All last year, the entire diamond industry was riveted to the scandal in the Kimberley Process (KP) - someone feeling indignation, some being puzzled, and some openly sympathizing. It was the first time in the history of KP that it was declared a boycott by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within the Civil Society Coalition (CSC). Disagreed with the chairmanship of Dubai in KP, they put forward demands and did not stint on accusations. Against this background, various reflections on the activities and future of the Kimberley Process, which usually do not interest the average man in the street, once again hit the pages of international press. I hope no one of the industry stakeholders will get hurt if I will voice the well-known truth: When the chairmanship of Dubai in KP ceased and moved to Australia, the majority in the industry was relieved. It is not because the activities of the United Arab Emirates as Chairman of KP was not appreciated (on the contrary, many considered this period of KP existence to be one of the most effective), but simply because any conflict situation is exhausting and hampers constructive work in one way or another. However, these hopes for a peaceful life were premature. At the end of last week, CSC met for a regular closed meeting to discuss (according to the agenda, which is available at Rough&Polished) KP’s complete inefficiency and raise the question of delivering new ultimatums or completely withdrawing from this organization. We do not yet know what was the outcome of this meeting. But the fact is that this story seems less and less like an attempt to improve the activities of KP or the situation in the diamond trade in the UAE, while it looks more and more like a banal massive PR-campaign organized to achieve quite other goals.

Diamond de-industrialization

30 january 2017

Analysts are unanimous in asserting that public welfare in recent years has been growing across the world, saying that if this is so, demand for jewelry is growing as well. Meanwhile, diamond consumption and diamond prices are inexorably going south in the last few years. However, the market of luxury goods, including jewelry, does not show any significant fall, staying at the same level year after year. If jewelry demand is really growing, what are people buying instead of diamonds? For a long time, we have been passionately surveying the market of synthetic diamonds and its aggressive marketing. Against this background, we lost sight of another interesting market - the market of colored gemstones, which, seemingly staying in the shadows, demonstrates rapid growth. And the emergence of another strong player on the jewelry market makes the overall situation even more complicated and confusing.

Bain Report 2016: On the battle of moderate optimism against common sense

23 january 2017

Looking at the same glass, the optimist views it as half full and the pessimist as half empty. This saying always comes to my mind whenever I read Bain’s annual forecasts for the diamond market. "For the next three years, the supply of rough diamonds is expected to maintain a tight balance with demand. We expect demand for rough diamonds to recover from the recent downturn and return to a long-term growth trajectory of about 2 % to 5 % per year on average, relying on strong fundamentals in the US and the continued growth of the middle class in China and India," Bain predicts. The forecast for global rough diamond production is not questioned - it is based on production targets of mining companies, which are usually set for decades and not subject to major corrections. However, it is a much more baffling affair when it comes to predicting demand. Demand for steel, for example, is calculated proceeding from global targets for construction and machinery production. It is possible to figure out demand for gold with a certain degree of accuracy: at least half of this metal is used not for jewelry, but as an investment asset or a means of saving money. Demand for platinum group metals can be estimated even more precisely: half of these metals are used in the industry, cleaning, for example, exhaust gases in your car. But how to predict demand for diamonds, which are not suitable for anything other than jewelry? Buying a diamond always involves emotions, be it a finally matured decision to connect one’s life with another person or a sudden whim to buy a new piece of jewelry for one’s collection. How to predict emotions and measure them in money, if the coffee grounds and tarot cards are not yet officially recognized forecasting tools?

Mid-size manufacturers claiming growing role in global production

16 january 2017

As the global diamond producing club has become increasing fractured, an interesting phenomenon has emerged of a large number of small and medium-size diamond producers with the investment capacity to develop new mines. In an industry once dominated by De Beers which, until around 20 years ago, accounted for 80 percent of global supply, the change is all the more intriguing. Today, De Beers itself says it is responsible for only around 35-38% of global supply. Meanwhile, number two producer, Russia's Alrosa, accounts for more than 25%. As a result, smaller miners are playing a growing role. These include, for example, Petra Diamonds, which has emerged and developed after acquiring several of De Beers’ former mines. The grand master of the diamond industry decided around a decade ago that it needed the cash available from the sale of some of its old mines. In addition, it came to the conclusion that it did not regard the investment of tens, and perhaps hundreds, of millions of dollars in the operations as a wise investment strategy.

Positive outlook for rough diamond trade, if not India's demonetization

09 january 2017

AWDC and Bain & Company noted in their 2016 global diamond report that rough-diamond revenues declined by 24 percent in 2015 as the midstream segment sold down accumulated inventories. The report noted that manufacturers reacted to softening demand by reducing production, increasing inventories and cutting rough-diamond prices. Rough-diamond prices also fell by 15 percent in late 2015 and remained largely static in 2016’s first half. The diamond industry had suffered the “ripple effect” from the mild decline in consumer demand for diamond jewelry that started in 2014 in Greater China. The slowdown led to a notable drop in demand for polished and rough diamonds, which in turn led to price decreases for polished and rough diamonds of 12 percent and 23 percent, respectively, since May 2014 and of 8 percent and 15 percent, respectively, since the beginning of 2015.

US shopping malls: do they have a future?

04 january 2017

Undoubtedly one of the most influential American impacts on consumerism worldwide has been the shopping mall. But the US retail industry is facing serious issues, particularly in the light of growing Internet-based sales. Is the decline in the mall 'experience' yet another repercussion of the financial crisis of 2008 and the huge recession that followed and which turned many US consumers into necessity-based shoppers? That is the conclusion of many analysts who believe that the desire to spend a day or even just an afternoon impulse shopping at the mall has become a thing of the past for many consumers who, if they do continue going to malls, have cut back their willingness to spend hours wandering around.

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