India’s First Online Gems and Jewellery Industry Portal Catering to B2B Segment
puja_bansal_x.jpgBelonging to a jewellery family and being a certified diamond grader as well, Puja Bansal has been actively involved in manufacturing, retailing, and designing; and has showcased her expertise in several events and fashion shows in India and international fashion arena. Launching herself in the year 1998 as a brand under Khandelwal Jewellers Ltd (KJL), Delhi, Puja’s keen interest in jewellery and her passion for designing led her to conceptualize MYHEERA.COM, a unique online platform, presenting itself as a virtual world of a globally connected business to business stage for the gems and jewelry industry. In this interview with Rough & Polished, Puja talks about her ‘one-of-a-kind’ online B2B portal dedicated to the gem and jewellery industry, serving all the options in a single platform.

The downturn should stop by the middle of next year - Maxim Shkadov
maxim_shkadov_x2.jpgThe Production Corporation of Kristall operating in Smolensk is the major diamond cutting enterprise in Russia established in 1963. It was here that a diamond cutting technique now known worldwide under the brand of Russian Cut was born, when this country introduced a processing standard for cutting and polishing diamonds in 1977 with extremely stringent requirements. The aim of the Russian Cut is the icy mathematical ideal setting fire and brilliance free in a diamond. This kind of experience accumulated over half a century makes Smolensk’s Kristall feel confident in the top segment of the global diamond market in spite of the difficulties currently experienced by the industry. In his interview to Rough&Polished Maxim Shkadov, CEO of Kristall tells about his company’s performance and comments on the situation in the diamond market.

Yoram Dvash: Israel's Next Big Diamond Project
yoram_dvash_x.jpgAs Chairman of the Israel Diamond Exchange's (IDE) Industry Committee for the past two years, Yoram Dvash has played a leading role in several initiatives. He was one of the major forces behind the creation of a modern manufacturing plant near the IDE complex that was officially opened earlier this year. Now, he is leading the charge for the establishment of another manufacturing center for Israeli diamantaires – this one for the production of diamonds of 10 carats and larger. He tells Rough & Polished about the importance that he, IDE President Shmuel Schnitzer and the IDE's board attach to bringing manufacturing back to Israel.

Consolidation of all Industry Associations is the Only Way for Jewelry Community to Keep the Situation under Control
eduard_utkin_x.jpgOn October 2, 2015, Moscow hosted the Third International Economic Jewelry Forum held under the slogan "New Realities, New Challenges, New Strategy in a Changing Global Marketplace". The gathering discussed the problems facing the jewelry industry, new economic challenges and opportunities of doing jewelry business, as well as the way out of the current crisis and how to ensure dynamic stability of the jewelry industry in the prevailing economic realities. The event was organized with the support of Russia’s Ministry of Finance, Gokhran, Assay Chamber, ALROSA, Russian Jewellery Trade Club and RESTEC JUNWEX media holding. Eduard Utkin, General Manager of the Russian Jewelers Guild shared his view of the results achieved at the Forum in his interview to Rough & Polished.


Russian Ministry of Finance recommends prolongation of ALROSA's Supervisory Board mandate
(Finmarket.ru) - The Russian Ministry of Finance recommended to prolong the mandate of the current Supervisory Board of ALROSA for the next fiscal year, according to the Federal Property Agency website.

De Beers shareholders to meet on Nov. 26 to discuss diamond prices
De Beers shareholders will meet November 26 to discuss diamond prices, Botswana Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Minister Onkokame Kitso Mokaila said.

Stellar Diamonds narrows FY losses to £3.05m
Stellar Diamonds said it narrowed its year to June losses to £3.05 million from £4.1million a year earlier.

Cautious prognosis for diamond market after ‘good’ holiday season


Rockwell Diamonds, which operates alluvial diamond mines in South Africa, said recently that anecdotal evidence suggests that diamond jewellery sales in the United States were better during the last Christmas season than the year before.

This, it said, is expected to assist in the liquidation of inventory with the resultant cash flow improvement rolling over into the January and February rough diamond purchasing period.

Rapaport Group also noted that confidence had improved in the diamond industry since January 1, following a period of relative price stability and a “satisfactory” United States holiday season.

Jewellery seller, Tiffany & Co said that worldwide Christmas-season sales rose 7 percent year on year to $952 million for the two months that ended on December 31.

It said retail sales rose 4 percent to $503 million across the Americas, which include the U.S., Canada and Latin America, while sales leaped 19 percent to $165 million in the Asia-Pacific.

Japan recorded a sales increase of 13 percent to $160 million, it said, adding that Europe sales improved by 1 percent to $117 million.

Rockwell expects diamond prices and demand to increase through the first half of 2012, while Rapaport cautioned that there were concerns whether current price levels were sustainable due to the adverse economic conditions.

The question, however, is whether the conditions that led to a dip in the diamond market during the second half of 2011 were still prevalent.

According to Rapaport the decline recorded during the second half of 2011 was influenced by increasing uncertainty caused by the U.S. and European economic crises, volatile financial, currency and commodity markets, as well as continued political instability in the Mideast.

It said tight liquidity, particularly in India, also impacted trading from July as manufacturers were unable to obtain replacement costs on the high rough prices they had paid earlier in the year.

Clearly, these factors are still prevalent and largely expected to continue influencing the market this year.

The World Bank recently slashed its global economic growth forecasts and warned that rich nations' debt problems may yet reap a crisis that would eclipse the tumult of 2008.

It noted that although the financial turmoil appeared contained at the moment, the risk of a much broader freezing up of capital markets and a global crisis similar in magnitude to the Lehman crisis remains.

It is such a gloomy picture that will largely affect the performance of the diamond market particularly, in the U.S and Europe.

However, this might not be the case in China and to some extend India, which saw its economic growth decelerate in part, last year, because of domestic policy tightening.

Diamonds.net said sentiment in the U.S about prospects for the coming months was mixed as it remains to be seen whether large retailers will build inventories at the same pace as last year.

It also said polished trading remains relatively slow in India due to weak domestic demand and caution by buyers about the general market.

Rough trading was slow but activity is expected to improve in the coming weeks as the January sight cycle begins.

“There is sufficient supply of goods in the market but very few transactions are taking place due to wide price differentials,” it said.

“Large manufactures have maintained their production levels while small and medium size cutters are operating at well below capacity.”

Chinese buyers on the other hand were currently focused on filling last-minute orders before the Chinese New Year begins on January 23, but a slowdown was expected in the coming weeks as the focus turns to the retail market, Diamonds.net said. 

By and large it appears the market will pick in some regions and slow in others.

However, with the economic uncertainty that characterized the better part of the second half of 2011 still hovering above the diamond market, despite good business recorded during the holiday season, it is tricky, as Rockwell Diamonds did, to conclude that all will be rosy during the first half of year.

Predicting the performance of the diamond market this year, especially at this stage is problematic; hence caution is the buzz word.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished


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