De Beers rough sales slide again

Anglo American said the value of rough diamonds sold by De Beers dropped to $475 million during the eighth cycle of 2018 compared to $503 million recorded in the seventh cycle.

Today

Rio Tinto’s diamond production dips in Q3 2018

Rio Tinto has announced that production in its Argyle Mines (100%) and Diavik Mine (60%) have dipped during the third quarter of 2018. Argyle witnessed a 19% dip in carat production y-o-y.

Today

GJEPC Jaipur hosts exporter interaction with bank and customs officials

The Jaipur regional office of The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) hosted an "Industry Interaction with Banks" on Friday, October 12 as part of its event series ‘The Dialogue - A New Beginning’, says a report in gjepc.org...

Yesterday

Angola denies abusing illegal foreign diamond miners

Angola has refuted reports that its security forces failed to observe human rights when they conducted an operation to drive out foreign illegal artisanal diamond miners in the Lunda Norte province bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Yesterday

Gem Diamonds recovers 357 ct light brown stone from Letšeng

Gem Diamonds said it has recovered a 357 carat light brown ‘high quality’ diamond from its 75 percent-owned Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

Yesterday

Color diamonds are more valuable and desirable and a better investment

17 september 2018

eyal_cohen_xx.jpgIn 1993, Eyal Cohen started his career as a diamond cutter, sitting by his father’s side as an apprentice. 4 years later, he was recruited by a jewelry firm, where he learned to appreciate natural colored diamonds.

In 2003, Eyal opened his own company, Luxury Diamonds Inc, which services wholesale jewelers, investors, private individuals and retail jewelry stores.

Eyal specialises in a vibrant collection of loose diamonds and mounted jewelry pieces. The handcrafted pieces feature colorless and well as rare and unique natural fancy color diamonds.

Here, Eyal Cohen speaks eloquently about his early days in the industry, as well as mentions his diamonds and jewelry designs that are breathtakingly beautiful.

Some excerpts:

As a high-end jeweler do you operate only from NY or have stores in other parts of US as well? How did this business come about? Family business or is it your own initiative? For the benefit of our readers, please elaborate.

excl_17092018_1.jpgI operate out of the capital of the world - New York City! I travel the world often, going to trading centers as well as to attend trade exhibitions - that’s where I source my merchandise and learn about current trends and requests. I began my career as a diamond cutter, sitting as an apprentice by my father’s side. He has been a cutter since he is 13 years old, and he’s turning 80 this year so there was a lot to learn from him! I knew, however, that I did not want to remain a diamond cutter, so I decided to approach the top 3 companies and seek their advice as a young man starting in the diamond business. The first guy told me to continue cutting diamonds, but when I told him, respectfully, that I will NOT continue cutting diamonds and that I wanted to be a salesman, he offered me a job. After a few years, I was his right-hand man and to this day I earn my living because of the knowledge and connections he gave me.  

From where do you source your diamonds, given that they are mostly large high-end stones? And with colored diamonds being rarer and high-premium stones, where do you source them from? How important is legitimate sourcing for your company? Which lab/s services do you use to certify your stones?

Legitimacy is everything! The diamonds I source have to be Kimberly processed and GIA certified so that I know the vendors have been fair and act according to UN standards. Most of the time I am contacted by manufacturers or the mines directly so that I am first in line to either cut or sell the color diamond. I often look for poorly cut or undervalued color diamonds when I attend trade shows. Since I know how to cut them properly, I can extrapolate the proper color and maximize the value of the gem.

excl_17092018_5.jpg 

What is your company’s signature style? Can a jewelry connoisseur recognize a ‘Luxury Diamonds’ piece by its unique characteristics? Do you also customize for your exclusive clients? Tell us more about the ‘designs’ that have made a mark.

I learned early on that my taste is my taste, so I generally let the diamonds speak for themselves and keep them loose. I have vast experience in manufacturing jewelry and have made many pieces in the past, but my focus today is to maximize the brilliance of the diamond and advise my clients on the making of the jewelry.

Do your clients perceive your rare color diamonds and jewelry collections as an investment vehicle or as pieces of art to be enjoyed and cherished? Your marketing focus would naturally be on High Net Worth Individual (HNWI). Your marketing strategies?

excl_17092018_2.jpgMy clients understand that the gems they buy from me are rare and unique, and they should be worn and enjoyed, as opposed to sitting in a safe somewhere. Since I trade rare pinks, blues, greens and sometimes purple diamonds, they are already like a piece of art, so I help my clients' design jewelry using the gems, and advise them to show them off!

What’s your view on lab-grown diamonds? With the sector promoting their produce as non-intrusive on the earth, pro-environmental etc (which may match the millennial way of thinking) do you think the future of natural/mined diamonds is at stake? Your thoughts?

Unlike my peers, I think there is a growing need for lab-grown diamonds and De Beers’ new initiative is the perfect promoter for them. However, one cannot fairly compare a $200 piece of jewelry with a $20,000 engagement ring. They are for 2 distinct buyers. It will not affect my business since my HNWI are looking for rare and exceptional pieces, not ones that were created in a laboratory. There are buyers for Kias and there are buyers for Ferraris.

excl_17092018_6.jpg 

What is the demand situation for colour diamonds right now in the US, given that prices come with a premium? What's your opinion of diamonds (white/colored) in general as an investment vehicle per se? Analysts are indicating that color is winning over white as an investment. Or, are flawless whites still the favorites, followed by colour diamonds. Your take?

If you study the auction house results and follow the trends of color diamonds vs white diamonds, color diamonds are more valuable and desirable and a better investment. The biggest issue I have is sourcing since there are so few new diamonds coming from the mines. It is my opinion that there are about 6 new blue diamonds, over 1 carat, coming into the market each year. 6 for the whole world to enjoy! The demand for them is spectacular when there are so few notable gems coming into the market. As such, they are automatically candidates to be a good investment. If Picasso were alive today, he would still be painting and creating amazing pieces of art, but they would not be as valuable. When the Argyle Diamond Mine of Australia produces only 50 notable gems each year, and announced that they are closing production in a matter of a few years, each one of those stones is going to go up in value. Luckily, I have been attending those annual tender sales for over 20 years and have bought some amazing pink diamonds.

What’s the demand for entry-level diamond jewellery in the US currently? Over the last few years, what transformations have you seen in customers’ choice in terms of diamond content, gold content, design, etc? Will DeBeers’ Light Box collections, have a negative effect on entry-level diamond jewelry business? Your views?

excl_17092018_3.jpgWhat I cannot understand is why entry-level diamond buyers purchase a white diamond instead of a yellow diamond. Yellow diamonds are infinitely rarer than a white diamond, and one can purchase a sizable yellow diamond for a fraction of the cost of a white diamond! They are also much nicer, in my opinion, and can be paired with white diamonds as accent stones.

Diamond per se as an investment vehicle is not completely understood by a potential investor, especially due to the many qualities, price aspect, etc. What are the crucial factors one should be concerned about while investing in diamonds, color or otherwise?

Color is supreme in a color diamonds and they must be accompanied by a GIA certificate. They are almost always going to have more flaws than their white counterparts, but the saturation of the color is the magic ingredient. I look for diamonds that represent their colors well, that is… if I show it to a child and ask his opinion of the color, he should tell me that it’s pink or blue, orange or yellow. Most color diamonds have additional complementary colors, for example, pinkish-orange or brownish pink, but the pure colors are the rarest and therefore most expensive.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished