GOLDNET.MARKET - “We want and are working to provide business with the opportunity to develop a lot of activity areas”

Today, almost all jewellery companies have their own wholesale websites, online stores, and social media pages. But a year ago, GOLDNET.MARKET, the first jewellery wholesale marketplace appeared in Russia, a new effective tool for the jewellery market...

20 september 2021

Platinum’s rare nature gives it additional value and appeal

Huw Daniel is the CEO of Platinum Guild International, overseeing market development activities in China, Japan, India and the USA, on behalf of the platinum producers of South Africa. Before taking up this role in 2015, Huw ran PGI USA for 12 years...

13 september 2021

Marco Carniello: We want to continue to be the engine boosting the jewellery industry

Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) is a leader in Italy in the organisation of trade fairs and one of the main operators in the trade fair and conference sector at European level, with structures in Rimini and Vicenza, as well as further sites in...

06 september 2021

There is a significant need for smart and technological financial solutions in the diamond industry

MDPS, the Israeli start-up Fintech company from the Mazalit Group is gearing up to enter the diamond industry soon. Zeev Maimon, the CEO of MDPS is also the Founder / CEO of MAZALIT, a B2B payment platform designed and dedicated to the global diamond...

30 august 2021

The future for synthetics lies in that it has become possible to grow a stone you want and make what you want out of it

Alex Popov, President of the Moscow Diamond Exchange and head of the Âme jewelry brand, which uses lab-grown diamonds to produce jewelry, sat for an interview with Rough&Polished sharing his views on the coexistence of natural and man-made diamonds in...

23 august 2021

Not every stone that sparkles is a diamond, South Africans learn the hard way

24 june 2021
South Africa experienced its first diamond rush following the discovery of the 83½-ct Star of South Africa diamond close to the banks of the Vaal river in 1869.
The sale of the diamond for £30 000, coupled with the discovery of other diamonds triggered interest from local white farmers as well as foreign diggers and diamond dealers. 
This marked the genesis of a multi-million dollar industry.
Fast forward to 2021, there was a recent ‘diamond rush’ in the village of KwaHlathi in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province recently after a herd man initially dug up a shiny stone on an open field.
Thousands of fortune seekers from across the country then travelled to the area to join villagers who had been digging since the discovery of the stones.
"This (alleged diamond recovery) means our lives will change because no one had a proper job, I do odd jobs,” one digger Mendo Sabelo was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The discovery was a life changer, as he held a handful of tiny stones.
“When I returned home with them, (the family was) overjoyed." 
However, South Africa’s mines department sent a team comprising of geological and mining experts to the site to collect samples and conduct an analysis.
With these high hopes, one is reminded of an aphorism that says “all that glitters is not gold”, meaning that not everything that looks precious turns out to be so.
Given what happened in South Africa, perhaps one can say that ‘not every stone that sparkles is a diamond’.
This axiom made sense last Sunday when the local government announced that the stones that sparked the diamond rush were just quartz.
“The tests conducted conclusively revealed that the stones discovered in the area are not diamonds as some had hoped, said provincial executive council member for economic development and tourism, Ravi Pillay.
“What has been discovered are quartz crystals.”
He said the value, if any, of the quartz crystals is yet to be established.
“It must be mentioned that the value of quartz crystals is very low compared to that of diamonds," said Pillay.
The local government officials said the site where the quartz crystals were found was near a sill of volcanic rock named dolerite “which is not in a zone where diamond occurrences are present”.
The ‘diamond rush’ was said to have left extensive damage as an area of around 50 hectares was now covered in holes of up to one metre.
The quartz crystals were common across a sedimentary basin known as the Karoo Supergroup, which stretches over the site.
The last time there was a diamond rush in southern Africa it was in Zimbabwe’s Marange where most people earned a fortune while others reportedly lost their lives at the hands of state security, an allegation denied by Harare.
It was unfortunate that the quartz crystals did not turn out to be the 1869 diamonds in the Vaal river or Marange diamonds in 2006.
“I wished they were real diamonds, people have suffered a lot,” said one South African identified as William Williams.
However, some South Africans were sceptical about the findings.
“[Will] the government say if these were diamonds? KwaHlathi people must get their experts to profile those stones,” said one South African in a tweet.
Another South African, Madire Mashabela said: “Let [the] natives keep digging those stones or soon that portion of land will be occupied by a giant foreign company.
Diamond mining in South Africa is dominated by large corporates.
The South African Diamond Producers Organisation (Sadpo) recently said it had over the past 16 years, lost about 90% of the companies involved in the sector and about 20 000 jobs. COVID-19 exacerbated the situation to a point where the industry might disappear in the next ten years if no urgent steps are taken to rectify things, said Sadpo chairperson Lyndon de Meillon.
He said overregulation was inhibiting the growth of the sector and as much as 8% of the turnover for small and junior diamond mines is spent on compliance-related costs.
The sector contracted from about 2 000 companies operating in South Africa in 2004 to the current 200.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished