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The future of Zim diamond mining hinges on political developments
farai_maguwu_preview.jpgOne of Zimbabwe’s most vocal critics of the state of diamond mining in Marange, Farai Maguwu, who is also the executive director of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, said that while he is not armed with a “crystal ball” to foretell the future of diamond mining in Marange, he is of the view that this hinges on political developments in the country. He told Rough &Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa in an exclusive interview that it was a fact that alluvial diamond deposits had depleted on claims given to the current miners digging for stones in partnership with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), but there were some claims yet to be touched.

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.



News

24.09.2014
Indian exporters cautious as US jewellery demand focuses on low-end
Despite USA, the world’s largest consumer of gems & jewellery, is now showing signs of an economic recovery, Indian exporters remain cautious as buyers picked up low priced ornaments this year compared to high-end jewellery in the past, as reported by Business Standard.

24.09.2014
Richland says Tanzanite One H1 revenue tumbles, illegal mining rages on
Richland Resources, which now co-owns Tanzanite One Mining with the State Mining Corporation of Tanzania (Stamico), said the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation dropped from $200,000 in the first half of 2013 to a loss of $800,000 in the half-year ended June 30, 2014.

24.09.2014
India’s gold imports could double before festive season; premiums to double too
The gold premiums in India are likely to double from current levels, ahead of festive season demand starting next week. Gold imports too are expected to rise significantly during this period.



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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