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More people are now opting for diamonds rather than plain gold jewellery, because they offer a greater investment opportunity and are trendier
rajiv_popley_preview.jpgRajiv Popley, Director of Popley Group, is well-known in the jewellery and watch sector in Mumbai. In the year 2006, Rajiv launched the first Indian boutiques for Tag Heuer and Omega. His passion for watches and luxury led him to build trade relations with Switzerland by fostering the Indo-Swiss society. Rajiv was also one of the first few to launch platinum jewellery India in association with Platinum Guild International. He has been promoting this rare metal for over a decade. In an interview with Rough&Polished, Rajiv sees the Indian jewellery market becoming more demand-driven with the younger generation playing a major part in the future.

De Beers opens door for non-sightholder diamond businesses
lynette_gould_substitute_preview.jpgDe Beers said the proposed amendments to the group’s allocations model will involve a new method for determining Global Sightholder Sales’ rough diamond customer-base, with a simplified, compliance and demand-based customer qualification process being introduced. The group’s head of media relations Lynette Gould told Rough&Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview that non-Sightholder diamond businesses that meet the compliance requirements, but have not demonstrated sufficient demand for primary source De Beers rough diamonds over a reference period, would be eligible to purchase the so-called Ex plan rough diamonds.

Silver Promotion Service can and should become the "Amazon" for silver jewelry – Michael Barlerin
michael_barlerin_preview.jpgSilver jewelry sales in the U.S. saw a significant increase over the last year, according to a survey recently conducted for the Silver Institute’s Silver Promotion Service (SPS) in the United States. The average increase in 2013 for silver jewelry sales was 17%, findings from the survey showed. The Silver Promotion Service is the jewelry industry’s organization for silver, with a potential to become the "Amazon" for silver jewelry. SPS Director Michael Barlerin discusses the latest trends and shares his vision for silver jewelry in an exclusive interview with Rough&Polished.

Botswana Diamonds salutes JV partner Alrosa as ‘top’ targets drilling commences Sept
Botswana Diamonds said its Sunland joint venture with the Russian diamond giant, Alrosa is proving to be fruitful. Company chairperson John Teeling told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview that their strategy in Orapa, Botswana would have been different had they not partnered with the Russians. He also said that apart from its partnership with Alrosa, Botswana Diamonds believed that it was operating in the right area. Teeling noted that they had “excellent” indications that there are undiscovered kimberlites in Orapa.



News

18.09.2014
Russia, Zim ink $3bln platinum mining deal, annual output of 800 000 oz targeted
Russia and Zimbabwe on September 16 signed Agreement of cooperation to develop platinum project in Darwendale near capital Harare. Russia’s investments amount to  $3 billion.

18.09.2014
Petra sells 122.52 ct diamond for $27.6 mln with provision to get 15% of sale proceed
Petra Diamonds said it sold the 122.52 carat blue diamond recovered from its Cullinan mine in South Africa last June for $27.6 million or $225,269 per carat.

18.09.2014
Russia to supply Zim with state-of-art mining equipment
Russia’s OMZ-Special Steels and the state- owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the parastatal company modernize its operations through the supply of state- of-the-art equipment.



Cautious prognosis for diamond market after ‘good’ holiday season

30.01.2012

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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