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“We believe in the superior craftsmanship of our Belgian Master Cutters”
jean_claude_muller_x.jpgS. Muller & Sons founded in 1955 is now a world-renowned diamond manufacturer managed by the third generation of diamantaires led by Jean Claude Muller, the company’s CEO. S. Muller & Sons has an in-house diamond factory, one of the few that still remain in Antwerp, which is producing the now famous Hearts & Arrows Diamonds. The company’s involvement in Hearts & Arrows initiated with its relationship with Mr. Takanori Tamura, the inventor of the Eight-Star Diamond. While attending the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair last February, our correspondents – helped by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and S. Muller & Sons - took an opportunity to visit the company’s diamond factory, which resulted in the interview with Jean Claude Muller below.

Namibia-De Beers talks scheduled to end in June
isak_katali_x.jpgDe Beers and the Namibian government have been negotiating over a new diamond-sales agreement for quite some time now. The envisaged new deal would replace a 2007 agreement that allowed De Beers to sell the stones through the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), a joint venture between Windhoek and De Beers. Namibia’s mines and energy minister Isak Katali told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa on the sidelines of a mining conference in Cape Town recently that the negotiations are now envisaged to end in June this year, if not earlier.

The gemmological education is very important for the industry to build a sound and strong edifice
bakul_mehta_x.jpgThe Gemmological Institute of India (GII) plays an important role in the local diamond industry, offering a broad range of services, which include diamond grading and certification, detection of diamond treatments and identification of synthetic diamonds, as well as research and gemological education courses highly popular and widely recognized in the trade in India and abroad having trained more than 5,000 students. The GII runs the only gem and diamond-testing laboratory in Mumbai fully equipped with state-of-the-art instruments. Bakul Mehta, Chairman of the GII, answers the questions from Rough&Polished in the exclusive interview below.

Let us go back to the magic – Stéphane Fischler
stephane_fischler_x.jpgOn February 1 to 3, Antwerp hosted the sixth Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) welcoming hundreds of buyers not only from the world’s established jewelry markets, but this time also from the markets, which until recently remained largely unexplored. In his address during the opening ceremony, AWDC President Stéphane Fischler said the ADTF was an important link in Antwerp's annual promotional and marketing campaigns. On the 2 of February, having arrived to Moscow to bid last farewell to Fyodor Andreev, ex-President of ALROSA, Stéphane Fischler gave an interview to Rough & Polished, in which, speaking about the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, raised a number of other issues of current concern to the global diamond industry.



News

03.03.2015
Russian rough exports up 7.7% – Ministy of Finance
(TASS) – Exports of rough diamonds from Russia in 2014 increased by 7.7 percent to 38.1 million carats, rough imports fell by 17.7 percent to 39,670 carats year on year, according to the Ministry of Finance.

03.03.2015
Rio Tinto streamlines organisational structure to drive greater value
Rio Tinto, the global mining major, is streamlining its product groups and corporate functions into four product groups: Aluminium, Copper and Coal, Diamonds and Minerals, and Iron Ore to focus on efficiency and costs.

03.03.2015
Diamcor announces Q3 fiscal results
Diamcor Mining Inc. published the results for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2014.



India as a world diamond centre

03.09.2012

From ancient times to the present day

Since ancient times, India has been a historical center of diamonds. Several thousand years ago people there were able to mine diamonds and used them to make jewelry. Merchants from many countries exchanged goods and gold for Indian diamonds. Moreover, in the Indian treatise Arthashastra (literally “the doctrine of wealth”) by Kautilya there is a mention of duties imposed on diamonds, which indicates the importance of diamond trade among other goods.

The first diamonds were found and then mined in India more than 1,000 years BC. It is known that Alexander of Macedon brought the first diamond to Europe from India in 327 BC. Almost two thousand years, until the end of the 19th century (1896), India was the only country in the world where diamonds were mined. The diamond mines of Golconda near the modern city of Hyderabad are renowned around the world for the most famous diamonds in history found there.

Diamond cutting also originated in India, where diamonds were skillfully cut and polished by Indian craftsmen since the beginning of the 16th century. Not surprisingly, the evaluation of diamonds and gems also appeared there. Diamonds in India were evaluated similar to the division of society into castes (varnas): Brahmans - transparent colorless diamonds, Kshatriyas – diamonds with a reddish hue, Vaisyas - diamonds with a greenish or yellow hue, and finally Shudras - gray or dark color diamonds. Varna in Sanskrit means quality, color, category.

Production of and trade in diamonds in India

In India, the Madhya Pradesh state has a primary diamond deposit (Majhgawan) and a few placers, the total reserves of which are estimated at 2.6 million carats. Their diamond output is insignificant (Table 1, Fig. 1).

India is the largest consumer of rough diamonds in the world. At the same time, as it was mentioned above, its diamond output is negligible (Table 2).

Table 1

Diamond mining in India, 2006-2011

















According to the Kimberley Process

Table 2

Import and export of diamonds in India, 2006-2011














According to the Kimberley Process

India - the world's largest diamond cutting center

India is the undisputed global leader in the polished diamond market: it holds a 60% market share by value, 80% by volume and 92% by the number of stones. India’s diamond and jewelry business involves about 1.3 million workers engaged in 25,000 enterprises.

Today the country produces 8 out of every 10 polished diamonds in the world. If earlier it was mainly the so-called "Indian goods" - small diamonds, now there is a trend to increase the range of processed diamonds including stones of two carats and above.

India is engaged in intensive construction of new factories with modern equipment, where laser diamond processing and computer diamond marking are being brought to perfection.

India’s diamond cutting industry is concentrated in the west of the country in Mumbai, Surat and Ahmedabad. The entire diamond business is concentrated and controlled by 2,500 families who practice Jainism and are closely linked by ties of kinship. This community, adding up to 0.5% of India’s population, plays an important role in trade and finance.



































 










Fig. 1. Diamond industry of India

India is confidently in the first place as the world's largest producer of polished diamonds. The number of employees in Indian diamond cutting companies is about one million people.

The diamond cutting industry in India is a highly organized sector with a hierarchical structure. At the top of the "management pyramid" is the Indian Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council. The aim of the Council is to coordinate the interests of the state and industry, as well as to assist in promoting Indian jewelry industry goods on the world market.

The second tier is occupied by major private import-export companies. All of them are engaged in cutting, except for two. MMTS – the state-owned export-import company trading in minerals. The second one, Hindustan Diamond Company Private Limited (HDCPL), is a joint venture of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of India and De Beers Group, which hold equal stakes in the company. HDCPL was established in 1978 and is one of the leading agents in rough diamond trade in India. HDCPL is a DTC sightholder and supplier of diamonds to the Indian diamond industry, mainly to small and medium factories.

The third tier consists of small and medium-size enterprises in the formal sector of the industry. They are working under contracts with major importers of rough. Their main distinction is that they are highly specialized depending on the nature of processed products.

The fourth tier may include small-scale enterprises of the informal sector operating within a system of subcontracts and specialized in processing very small diamonds. Actually, they source their rough in the secondary market.

Jewelry production in India

India's jewelry industry is export oriented. Jewelry companies in India are highly organized operations using all the modern technologies of management with due account for local conditions. Even small factories (25-50 persons) in this sector have modern equipment.

India’s jewelry industry is mainly producing jewelry pieces of Western design. Still they leave a place for exclusive and expensive products made in the traditional Indian manner.

Jewelry manufacturers use the most up-to-date equipment, casting techniques and elements of computer design.

The Government of India and Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council contribute their efforts to win leading positions not only in diamond cutting, but also in manufacturing and exporting jewelry. It was the government’s policy which facilitated high production and export performance being aimed at liberalizing the jewelry sector and domestic market of precious metals and stones.

India’s prospects to preserve leadership in the global diamond business

The high competitiveness of the diamond industry in India is defined by the following factors:

1. Historical traditions and a large number of people employed in the diamond business with a relatively low wages, as well as introduction of modern techniques and equipment making it possible to develop the diamond and jewelry industries in a dynamic way.

2. State protectionism practiced to maintain import and export of goods and virtual absence of state control over the circulation of diamonds and jewelry.

3. High rates of GDP growth in India, as well as high rates of growth in certain branches of India’s industry contributing to higher living standards and thus to an increase in domestic demand and consumption of jewelry and diamonds, which is a huge potential for further development in a country with a population of over one billion people.

Yuri Danilov, Ph. D., Director of the Department of Regional Subsoil Management Economics, Institute for Regional Economics of the North at Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University

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