“Only do business with clients who have impeccable integrity,” suggests Davy Blommaert, banker

Davy Blommaert heads the Diamond Business at National Bank of Fujairah, which falls under the bank’s corporate and institutional banking division. With nearly 10 years of experience in the diamond industry, he was tasked to establish a unit within NBF...

18 march 2019

Russia’s export legislation is like a log on the road making it difficult to drive through

Eduard Utkin, General Manager of the Russian Jewellers Guild Association, which is a member of the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry, answers the questions from Rough & Polished regarding the activities of the country’s professional...

11 march 2019

Botswana mum on new demands as negotiations with De Beers draw closer

Botswana said it will begin new diamond marketing and sales negotiations with De Beers in June or July this year. Mineral resources minister Eric Molale told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa on the sidelines of a mining conference in Cape Town, South...

04 march 2019

DLX-jewellery will focus more on colour stone designed pieces as well as diamond jewellery sets going forward - Jack Chen, General Manager, DLX-Jewellery

Graduating in International Business from an Institute in Sydney, Australia, in 2015, Jack Chen returned to China to start managing his family-owned jewellery business. Besides holding a certificate in a practical diamond course at Gemological Institute...

25 february 2019

Ali Pastorini: “We have to change a little the way to sell the idea that buying jewelry is just for glamour”

Ali Pastorini is the co-owner of DEL LIMA JEWERLY and President of Mujeres Brillantes, an association which brings together approximately 1000 women working in the gold and diamond trading sector, mainly from Latin America, as well as from Turkey, Spain...

18 february 2019

ALROSA 2019 - Airports and Sales

18 march 2019

At the end of last year, I was immersed in an exceptionally curious activity — the study of the updated strategy of the ALROSA Group. Let me remind you that the key issue I raised was the lack of recovery prospects for the Mir mine, along with a very strange desire to accomplish a hard-to-do engineering task - to build a new underground mine on the Jubilee diamond pipe. In turn, the Group’s CEO said that it was all nonsense and when the project of restoring Mir would come to existence, it would be included in ALROSA’s new strategy. Sounds good, and any approach has the right to exist. We can judge about the intentions of the company’s management only by their public statements. Nevertheless, being obviously informed better than anyone else about the long-term projections of ALROSA, its CEO got rid of a significant part of his stake in the company - and did the right thing. At that time, I found amusing the term coined in the bowels of ALROSA about the planned loss-making economics inherent to a number of the company’s projects. We then made a cautious assumption that an increase in the number of such projects could turn ALROSA itself into a planned loss-making venture. As it turned out, the reality surpassed even the wildest assumptions.

Imports from Hong Kong S.A.R. to Mainland China: Diamonds and Gems Dwarfed by Gold

11 march 2019

Guangzhou Diamond Exchange recently analysed the newly released official trade data, it shows that commodities under the HS Codes of Chapter 71 contribute more than 31% of the total imports from Hong Kong S.A.R. to Mainland China in 2018, achieving over US$2.6 billion in value. This is according to the monthly statistical data published by the General Administration of Customs, P.R. China.

A new round of ALROSA privatization

04 march 2019

The shares of the AK ALROSA (PAO) remain the last major asset in property of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) that is why it is necessary to retain the state control over the company. The practical experience of the recent years has shown that it is the government support that is able to back up the diamond industry and avoid a sharp decline in the periods of economic instability and crisis in the global economy as the main component of a diamond price and diamond processing is formed on the luxury market.

New technologies in diamond-bearing ore beneficiation

25 february 2019

The development of new technologies in diamond-bearing ore beneficiation is required to increase the stone recovery level and prevent their damage in crushing as well as to reduce the capital and operational expenses of diamond miners.

Penetration of synthetics and melee crisis

18 february 2019

News about the development of the industry producing synthetic rough diamonds and manufacturing synthetic polished diamonds has been dominating the stream of information for several years. But with every coming year, the danger of replacing natural stones with lab-grown goods is becoming increasingly substantive, and in 2018 this existential risk was already seriously discussed as one of the factors slowing down the demand for some part of the product range offered by diamond miners. There is no consensus on this score, but if the scenario implying further fragmentation of the diamond market and substitution of synthetics for small-size natural diamonds comes true, ALROSA may suffer the most due to a combination of reasons.

Don’t Give Up on the Diamond Industry Just Yet

11 february 2019

If diamond miner equities are a proxy, the sentiment surrounding the diamond industry is currently at historic low levels. Just in the last two years, a basket of diamond producer stocks was down 28.9% in 2018, following a decline of 17.3% in 2017 (see Figure 1 below). This is in part due to idiosyncratic operational challenges that most all of the miners are dealing with in one way or another, however, investor sentiment is also undeniably low by valuation standards projected by future diamond price expectations. This has led to concerns spanning the industry’s future growth prospects and overall longer-term economic viability.

Diamonds and secret services

04 february 2019

The image of an elegant spy as an integral feature of a diamond market has been hardwired in the brains of diamond jewellery mass-market customers after the “Diamonds are forever” novel by Ian Fleming was published in 1956. Since that time, a huge number of films and books have been created about the involvement of the intelligence services in the rough and polished diamond operations and they were rich in unbelievable story lines, as a rule, rather far from the reality. Even though the reality is more down to earth, still there are interesting details allowing make several important points on the historiography of the diamond business.

Will Zimbabwe enable ALROSA help local diamond industry sparkle?

28 january 2019

I argued in July 2013 that Zimbabwe should work with Russia’s ALROSA to find more diamond deposits not only in Marange, but across the country. This was after reports that the Russians were planning to set up ventures in Botswana and Zimbabwe. ALROSA moved with speed and established a joint venture company with Botswana Diamonds called Sunland Minerals, which operated an exploration programme on PL117 in Orapa. The JV, which sadly collapsed last year following the exit of ALROSA, carried out detailed ground geophysics programme in the area of anomaly AN117-1 to target drill sites. The Sunland JV had no instant success, but made progress toward the target of a commercial discovery.

Divination for 2019

21 january 2019

In Russia, there is a remarkable tradition, an amazing symbiosis of Orthodoxy and pagan rites. Everyone knows that Orthodox Christmas comes after the celebration of New Year’s Day, since the Orthodox Church, unlike other Christian churches, lives according to the Julian calendar. The Russian Empire lived in line with this calendar until 1917. Correspondingly, New Year’s Day itself was then celebrated starting on the night from January 13 to January 14 (according to the Gregorian calendar). Therefore, nowadays Russia has an unofficial and popular holiday with a completely unthinkable name - Old New Year. After the celebration of Orthodox Christmas and on the eve of this Old New Year in Russia, it was customary to try and guess the future. This was done in any exotic ways – everyone was doing whatever he or she could. I decided to follow this tradition on Old New Year's Eve on Monday, January 14th and see what the coming year has in store for us.

On gathering precious and semi-precious stones for mineral collections in Russia

14 january 2019

During the USSR period, trading and dealing in precious stones - both in their rough (natural) and processed (cut and polished) forms – was forbidden for the country’s citizens. They were only allowed to possess cut and polished precious stones inserted in jewellery items. In modern Russia, private market players dealing with precious stones were yet non-existent when the country started to establish gems-and-jewelry industry legislation (having adopted the Federal Law on Precious Metals and Precious Stones on March 12, 1998), except for those that used to mine and cut diamonds in the Soviet period (mined by ALROSA, cut and polished by the Smolensk Kristall factory, and some others).

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