De Beers’ GemFair delivering ‘positive impacts’ to ASM sector in Sierra Leone – David Johnson

GemFair, a pilot project developed by De Beers to create a secure and transparent route to market ethically sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds, is already delivering “important positive impacts” in Sierra Leone. Group head...

11 november 2019

Belgian-quality diamond boiling in Dubai from TRIGEM

Born in New York, David Zabinsky is CEO & Co-Founder of TRIGEM, an independent diamond service provider in Dubai. Before TRIGEM, David was Manager at Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, where he was responsible for securing North and South American investment...

05 november 2019

Pavel Shelkov: "Our project is an attempt to fit Russia into the global trend and create a new private company in the diamond industry"

At the end of September, Moscow hosted the Second Annual Conference, "Gold and Diamond Mining Companies of Russia and Europe." The audience showed great interest to the presentation made by diamond geologist Pavel Shelkov of Almazy Zapolyarya...

28 october 2019

The team that turns sleeping stones into beautiful polished diamonds

Maxim Zemlyakov is the Director General of ADMS OOO, a company cutting and polishing natural and synthetic diamonds in Oryol. He has been the Director General of Oryol-ALROSA since 2007. Before heading it, he worked as a grinder, cutter, instructor...

21 october 2019

Demand will pick up once the season starts

N Anantha Padmanaban took charge as the Chairman of the All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) in January 2019. He has immense hopes and confidence in the Indian jewellery sector. His motto is to ‘ensure that after the day’s business...

14 october 2019

Why ALROSA should not go in for synthetic diamonds

11 november 2019

Not so long ago, speaking at the Russia – Africa Summit held in Sochi, Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District suggested that ALROSA should possibly get engaged in the production of artificial diamonds and mentioned the successful experience of De Beers in this field. According to him, "this is a close competitive market, new technologies, and taking into account that today synthetic diamonds are already beginning to surpass natural ones by a number of characteristics, it is not very far-sighted to avoid taking part in this market and wait for new jolts." According to the Interfax news agency, he added, “Diamond has always been sold as a legend. Not as a physical object, but as a standard of the highest value. When there emerged an artificial stone of the same quality, the pedestal under this legend turned shaky, and we must take this into account.”

“Regulatory guillotine” for precious stones can be “nipped in the bud”?

05 november 2019

The rigidity of Russian laws is mitigated by the non-bindingness of their observance - N. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin (1826-1889). Some people believe, referring to P. A. Vyazemsky (1792-1878), that the idea in the epigraph was expressed earlier by P. I. Poletika (1778-1849), an official of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In fact, it sounded a little differently - "In Russia, from bad measures taken by the government, there is a salvation: their bad execution." It is not so important whose priority of this saying should be kept in the history. It is important that the described state of things is, one might say, a “historical national feature”, and the Russian intellectuals were always well aware of the excessive rigidity of the Russian legislation, in fact, justifying the failure to comply with its silly norms. Although it is clear that in most cases, the "stupidity" of the statutes of the law is not the stupidity of the legislators, yet. It’s just that these norms serve to create favorable conditions for gaining benefits and advantages by well-defined groups of society...

‘Roller coaster’ promotion of a bill toughening the administrative penalties in the field of the PMPS

28 october 2019

The author of this article has already written about the update of the administrative punishment for offenses in the field of precious metals and precious stones (PMPS). This issue is so important for the entire Russian market, and the way the bill was moving so vividly reflects the nature - sometimes a detective nature - of the confrontation between the regulator and industry business in the Russian PMPS market, that it makes sense to review it in detail.

One bill is a good thing and two bills are a much better thing!

21 october 2019

On March 2, 2019, the Government of the Russian Federation submitted Bill No. 657608-7 ‘On Amending the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation with regard to the responsibility for the unauthorized extraction and illegal circulation of amber, jade or other semi-precious stones’ to the State Duma of the RF ( On July 16, 2019, this bill was passed in its first reading and is now awaiting its second reading. However, on October 10, 2019, another bill regulating the same criminal law standards as Bill No. 657608-7, which had already passed its first reading in the State Duma of the RF, was posted on the website of the Federal Portal of Normative Legal Acts for public discussion. The new bill was initiated by the Ministry of Finance of Russia. The adoption of both bills at the same time is not possible, because they involve different amendments to the same articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Liquidation of ALROSA-Nyurba or saving at the expense of the reputation

14 october 2019

Over the past few years, ALROSA has done a lot to improve the reputation of a responsible diamond market player. ALROSA's corporate culture and its interaction with shareholders have also improved, not only with the Federal Property Management Agency and Yakutia, but also with the minority shareholders, whose interests are represented by two of 13 members of the company’s Supervisory Board. ALROSA adopted a predictable dividend policy and tied bonuses paid to its managers to their performance, its top managers exhaustively answer the investors' questions at quarterly conference calls. So, it looks quite strange on this background that one of ALROSA’s recent initiatives differs widely from the best corporate practices, although it is positioned as a means of “management efficiency improvement and structural optimization.”

Shareholders held hostage by the diamond market

07 october 2019

The prolonged decline in ALROSA shares, which have lost almost 30% since the beginning of the year, was a surprise for most investors. The shares of the diamond mining company, which had a reputation as a stable money earner, started to lead an unpleasant ‘hit parade’ by the end of summer among those investors, who were opening short positions, as they were no longer waiting for a recovery and were trying to make money on the correction sending the company’s equities into a steep dive. By mid-August, its shares fell to 70 rubles, which is only 8% higher than the price at which the Federal Property Management Agency held an SPO in July 2016 (65 rubles).

The Russian questions of the Mir mine

30 september 2019

The two frightening questions of Russian literature “Who is to blame” and “What to do,” unfortunately, do not allow the new world of innovative efficiency to straighten its shoulders. Browsing the expanses of the world-wide Web on the second anniversary of the miners’ death caused by the accident at Mir, I found an interview of Vyacheslav Shtyrov, a former president of ALROSA and a former president of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Among other things, the published article attracts interest because Vyacheslav Shtyrov’s comments are very emotional, which means a very personal attitude to this topic. But to what extent is the former president of ALROSA right in his criticism of the company’s current management blaming it for the tragedy? It seems to me that Vyacheslav Shtyrov’s accusations against the young head of ALROSA are unfair.

Perfect storm brewing between ALROSA, Angola

23 september 2019

A storm is brewing between ALROSA, one of the largest shareholders of Sociedade Mineira de Catoca (41%), and its Angolan partners over the rough stones purchased by the former from the company.

Modern state of Indian diamond industry

16 september 2019

In India, there is a primary diamond deposit in Madhya Pradesh (Majahgon) and several alluvial diamond deposits, the total reserves of which are estimated at 2.6 mn carats. The diamond production is small, up to 40,000 carats per year for about US$8 mn. That said, India is the largest consumer of rough diamonds in the world. As the diamond mining in India is small, the country imports significant rough diamond volumes.

Diamond history: The problem of sources

09 september 2019

A large two-volume book ’A Diamond Book of Russia’ was released by the publishing office ‘Gornaya kniga’ in 2014-2015 with the purpose to ‘Show the place of Russia in the world’s diamond market and show the history of creation of the Russian rough and polished diamond industry’. While the aim declared was achieved partly only, the book is a significant contribution to the diamond historiography, the more especially as editors and many authors of this collection could not be taxed with dilettantism – those were the people who dedicated many years of their lives to the diamond industry and knew its finer points. However, the points of view even of the direct participants involved in the key events of the diamond history could be contrary.

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