Yakut diamonds, the symphony of permafrost

The Yakutia-based Kierge company, one of the Top 100 of the leading jewellery brands in Russia, opened its showroom in Moscow this autumn, which is gaining popularity in the capital of Russia. “Kierge” is the Yakut for a “finery, decoration” in a broad...

22 november 2021

Vladislav Zhdanov - “The use of diamonds in high technologies is the main and key target of the diamond synthesis technologies”

Vladislav Zhdanov, Professor at the Higher School of Economics, Advisor to Director General - Chairman of the Management Board of the Russian Railways company, and former Vice President of ALROSA (2015-2018). He is a physicist by background...

15 november 2021

Ali Pastorini: The white diamond is the equivalent of a white shirt for a woman

Ali Pastorini is the co-owner of Del Lima Jewelry and President of Mujeres Brillantes, an association that brings together more than 1,000 women working in the gold and diamond trading sector, mainly from Latin America, as well as from Turkey, Spain...

08 november 2021

“As a purist and old school diamantaire, I don't believe in LGD,” says Vin Lee, CEO Grand Metropolitan

Vin Lee, the King of Luxury, doesn’t need any introduction. He is a self-made billionaire CEO of Grand Metropolitan. The Beverly Hills' family office Grand Metropolitan is $7 billion AUM privately-held luxury goods holding company with a 60-brand...

01 november 2021

Part 2: KPCSC wants Russia to help end impasse on new definition of conflict diamonds

In the first installment of this two-part exclusive interview with Shamiso Mtisi, the coordinator of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC), we focused on illegal diamond mining in the continent and where the contraband ends up...

25 october 2021

PGI: Platinum jewellery sales indicate increase in Q2 2021

20 september 2021

Platinum Guild International (PGI), in its annual report The Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR), analysed the retail sales of platinum jewellery, trade performance and consumer sentiments in its four key International markets - China, India, Japan and the USA - concluding that China’s economy maintained its recovery momentum into Q2 2021. In India, the economy bounced back, despite the disruptions caused by the second wave of COVID-19, and business started to reopen in the first week of June. Japan’s GDP for Q2 rebounded and delivered better than expected growth. In the US, GDP recovered to pre-pandemic levels despite potential headwinds from a new COVID variant. Platinum jewellery sales of PGI’s strategic partners saw a notable increase in Q2.

Is the trend of ‘engagement watches’ here to stay?

13 september 2021

The engagement ring has a long history, and the concept dates back to the ancient Egyptians. They believed circles to be the symbol of eternity and would exchange handmade rings made from braided reeds. However, in the past 5,000 years, new trends have come up in the world of engagements and proposals globally. Weddings have evolved greatly and while some maintain certain traditions, others venture way out of the box and add personal touches. The engagement trend we are seeing now is more of the ‘engagement watch’.

Polished diamonds and inflation

06 september 2021

It should be noted that in previous years, there was little or no correlation between the movement of the IDEX Diamond Index and the S&P 500 Index. The current situation most likely suggests that the two indicators under consideration are influenced by identical factors, which is understandable as the United States is still the world’s largest consumer of polished diamonds and, apparently, will maintain this status for a long time to come.

“Bling” lovers: Hip-hop culture to be a new driver in the promotion of diamonds

30 august 2021

Whom do you imagine when thinking of expensive diamond jewelry? A bride wearing an engagement ring? A wealthy lady at a social event, a vastly fashionable passtime? A movie star on the red carpet in Cannes? If you think in these categories only, you are doomed to miss out on something interesting. Hip-hop superstars wear jewelry worth thousands and millions of dollars, and thousands and millions of their fans would like to look like them. It remains only to pay attention to this vacant niche and be among the first to occupy it.

“Sun stone” - Russia’s treasure

23 august 2021

Amber has attracted people's attention for many centuries. They made amulets, jewelry from it, decorated the interior with it and used it for medicinal purposes. Now this “sun stone” is gaining momentum and the amber industry is booming. Let's take a closer look at the prospects of this area in Russia in comparison with other “amber” countries. The Kaliningrad region contains 90% of the world's amber reserves, and the main developer of amber deposits is the Kaliningrad Amber Combine. The media are full of news that the plant continues to extract large pieces of amber. Recently the workers of the plant found a 2.5 kg amber stone following the extraction of a stone weighing 12 kg. In honor of the Day of Russia this “sun stone” was named the “Soul of Russia”, as reported by the press service of the enterprise. The rounded stone found by the workers of the Primorsky quarry has a light honey color. Amber stones weighing more than 2 kg are very rare, therefore they are highly valued on the amber market.

On the cusp of a diamond supercycle

16 august 2021

Unlike many commodities, such as non-ferrous metals and steel that accelerated at the end of last year but slowed down in the spring and summer of 2021, the diamond market maintains the achieved high levels and is aiming at new ones. While for public and liquid commodities, the problem of limited supply is quickly resolved within the framework of normal market balancing, in the case with rough diamonds, the deficit becomes systemic. In July, ALROSA predicted the onset of a prolonged period of structural shortage, during which the supply would not match the demand. The inventories of rough and polished diamonds in the pipeline are at their lowest amid the continuing recovery in the jewellery sales markets, while the miners’ ability to ramp up the production is limited. The buyers are eager to fill the inventory gap, which has already driven a 16% rise in the rough diamond price index since the beginning of the year. Despite the fact that this growth significantly outstrips the dynamics of polished diamonds, and the stability of the market raises concerns among a number of its players, there are no obstacles on the way. Even the outbreak of the COVID-19 delta strain in India - although it made it difficult to sell diamonds in April-May - did not cause a full-fledged correction, thus, strengthening the conviction about the possible forming of a supercycle in the diamond market.

Rough diamonds, apartheid and a little bit of conspiracy

09 august 2021

The reason for writing this article was an interesting discussion between the famous Russian Africanists Yu. S. Skubko and V. G. Shubin. The controversy was initiated by Yu. S. Skubko’s article “Rough Diamonds for Apartheid. Cooperation between the USSR and De Beers: A New Pragmatism or the Development of an Old Partnership?”. Yu. S. Skubko developed some provisions of this work in his report “National Interests above Ideology: Soviet Rough Diamond Deals with the South African De Beers Cartel during the Cold War” presented at the scientific conference in Leipzig “Areas of Cooperation between the Socialist Countries and the Global South in the Cold War Era”. These works were very sharply criticized by V. G. Shubin in his article “More About Rough Diamonds”, some of its theses had something in common with his work “Moscow and Armed Struggle in South Africa” that was extremely valuable and rich in facts. In our opinion, the most important topics of this interesting dispute can be summarized as follows: Why the USSR, being the main De Beers’ counterparty in the global rough diamond market, simultaneously financed and organizationally supported the African National Congress (ANC), the main goal of which was destroying the “white” Republic of South Africa where De Beers and Anglo-American played a critical role in its economic system and Were the trade of the USSR with De Beers and the financing of the ANC by the Soviet Union separate processes or were they interrelated ones? The difference between the opponents was that Yu. S. Skubko assessed the agreements with De Beers, the “then monopolist” and, accordingly, “disregard for ideological dogmas” as a pragmatic and customary move made by the Soviet regime, and V. G. Shubin said that was a forced step, and the West should be blamed (sic!) for this! But both authors seemed to agree that the rough diamond business was not connected with the Soviet programmes aimed at supporting the ANC. We have a different opinion and will try to substantiate it.

“Après Moi, le déluge”

02 august 2021

In 1902, Queen Victoria’s oldest son and the future King Edward VII, commissioned Jacques Cartier to make 27 diamond tiaras for his coronation. It was with reason that he named Cartier “jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers”. Now if Jacques had turned to his Majesty and enquired if “His Majesty prefers some cheaper lab-grown diamonds because he could have had much bigger ones for the same price”, there would probably have been more than just a royal eyebrow that rocketed skywards. An instant command to the Grenadier Guards to “fix bayonets” and Cartier might well have become part of history.

Sustainable development of diamond mining companies as an indicator of the harmonious development of the industry

26 july 2021

Nowadays, every company - except the laziest one - reasons about the sustainable development (SD). The issues related to responsible business, commitment to the ESG criteria, the publication of non-financial statements are becoming more relevant every day, and in the near future, those “lazy” companies risk being far behind those ones that set a course for the development by taking into account high environmental, social and governance standards in due time. The issue of climate change and, in particular, the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, is of particular importance now. Most companies give much attention to this issue despite the fact that for the diamond mining industry, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is not very urgent (the total greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) made by the global diamond mining companies in 2019 amounted to about 3.2 mn tonnes of CO2-eqv., while the emissions (Scope 1) made, for example, by gold mining company Barric Gold alone in 2019 amounted to 5.9 mn tonnes of CO2-eqv.). Without trying to compile any ratings and rankings, let us consider how the Russian and foreign4 companies disclose the information about this and other environmental and social issues, what measures they take for sustainable development, and what ambitious goals they set for the future.

PGI Report: Platinum jewellery sales continues to grow in Q1

19 july 2021

The recent report ‘Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR) Q1 2021’ released by Platinum Guild International (PGI) indicates that platinum jewellery retailers and manufacturers reported a sustained recovery across three of four key markets, despite the ongoing pandemic’s challenges in the jewellery industry. Huw Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of PGI said: “The jewellery industry has seen precious jewellery demand return in the first quarter of 2021, but the recovery could slow in some markets as subsequent waves of COVID cloud the outlook. Other than accelerated trends within the industry, what we’ve seen in the last year is a renewed enthusiasm for platinum. Jewellers are increasingly engaging with this precious metal, which has been effectively marketed as a metal of meaning and become important as consumers look for ways to symbolise and mark occasions in restricted and unprecedented times.” The report also said that a recent consumer survey highlights a continued positive consumer sentiment and a strong appetite for precious jewellery during these difficult times in different consuming markets.