Another Monday morning, another new month, and here we are with a little news from our industry. Take a few minutes, sit and relax before you let yourself being dragged away in the weekly routine of the job.
ALROSA, the Russian mining company noted an increase of 23% in sales of their rough and polished diamonds in the month of February, compared to the previous month. They sold $345.6 million in rough diamonds and $5 million worth of polished diamonds in February. The mining company is moderately optimistic for the expectations for a further growth in the industry. The increase is mainly noticable in the small and medium sized rough diamonds. But if we compare these numbers to last year we see a drop of about 43% in total sales... It is easy to play with numbers, let's try to see the increase of 23% to last month. We can only cheer to that! Let's hope this optimistic sentiment will come all the way down to the diamond dealers, shops and finally to the consumers.
Some other news from a mining company. This time we fly to Canada. The Canadian diamond mining company named Star Diamond shared results of a survey done on two of their mines: the Star and the Orion South kimberlites. It seems that up to 26,5% (Star Mine) and 12,5% (Orion South mine) of stones mined are of Type IIa, which are the purest of the purest diamonds to be found. Normally only about 3% of a diamond mine production consists of diamonds of Type IIa. Wow! This means that the potential of mining a 100-carat diamond of Type IIa increases significantely. I think the members of the board of that company will have some bubbles instead of coffee this morning!
Some news from Antwerp now. The HRD has launched its newest version of certification for Laboratory Grown Diamonds. As demand increases and consumers demand a clearer description of the goods, they updated the certification, first time since 2013. It will use the same 4 C's as for the mined diamonds. The color scheme will consist of 13 colors, ranging from D being the whitest down to S-Z color. It will also include the 10 purity grades, from Loupe Clean (LC) down to P3 (pique). As from September they intend to launch a jewellery report as well. One can hand in a piece of jewellery, and get a report with a general description of the piece, the metal it is made of and the details of the laboratory grown diamonds. Is this another step into full acceptation of those man-made stones into our industry?
During last United Nations General Assembly, the World Diamond Council (WDC) called for a reform of the Kimberley Process. It is highly time the Kimberley Process must change from a defensive to a pro-active role, in particularly the definition of conflict diamonds must be expanded, said the WDC-president. This positive call has been well adopted and backed by all members of the Assembly, as well by members of the industry. Including diamond mining countries. Let's hope this call will be a shift towards eliminating conflict diamonds from our trade.
Lets fly to Zimbabwe now. It seems that the government of Zimbabwe has an agreement with the government of Botswana to start exporting a part of its diamond production to be cut and polished in Botswana. Botswana is willing to help their neighbour in developing their know-how of the diamond industry. Another good initiative of keeping the resources and profits locally. Our industry is not all but bad as we look more closely to it.
Hopefully you have enjoyed this read, got your spirits elevated, and your body caffeinated, so to start this week with full power. We wish you all a nice month, and hope to see you back next month for yet another newsletter.