Monthly Archives: January 2016

Rio uncovers large diamond as prices set for decline tinto rough diamond image

Rio Tinto has unveiled a 187.7 carat rough diamond, as miners predict a decline in rough diamond prices ahead.

The diamond, one of the largest ever discovered in Canada, has been called the Diavik Foxfire, and was uncovered at the Diavik mine just 220 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle.

The unveiling of the rough diamond comes as prices for the stones decline.

Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, explained the reduction in demand from China coupled with a lack of available credit in the industry has wreaked havoc on the sector.

“There is a need for the rough prices to adjust to the economic value of the polished price and that trend is in motion at the moment,” Lieberherr told Bloomberg.

Prices for rough diamonds have fallen by nearly a fifth this year, and expected to continue falling for a sixth quarter.

However there is an expectation that this current situation will reverse mid-next year, as traders and cutters begin releasing supply.

“The polished pipeline is a little bit overloaded and it will probably take until about the middle of next year to come back to normal levels,” Lieberherr stated.

“The last 12 to 18 months have been tough for the industry.”

The larger producers, De Beers and Rio Tinto, have all lowered production in an effort to support prices, while Australian diamond magnates are facing financial difficulties in the low market.

Late last month the second largest single diamond ever – a 1111 carat stone – was uncovered.


Henry Sapiecha

De Beers cuts diamond prices

rough diamonds in mans hands image

De Beers has cut diamond prices in an attempt to stem the predicted slowdown in the sector.

It comes as the diamond industry is forecast to decline significantly this year.

Data from WWW International Diamond Consultants indicated diamond prices slipped 18 per cent last year, and according to IBISWorld reports, the industry is predicted to experience an annual compound decline of 4 per cent over the five years through 2015-26, to fall to $380.1 million.

“The industry’s performance has been volatile over the past five years, due to fluctuating production volumes and prices; a significant drop in revenue in 2013-14, and another expected fall in revenue in 2015-16 are expected to underpin the industry’s poor performance over the period, “ IBISWorld stated.

Prices have declined one per cent month on month.

This fall, while in line with the general decline in mining, has been precipitated by Australia oversupplying the market.

The diamond arm of Anglo American, De Beers, has dropped prices by almost seven per cent, according to Bloomberg.

It has also cut its production targets to buoy prices by removing supply, although it still accounts for approximately 40 per cent of world production.

Yet it is not all negative news, with RBC Capital Markets expecting some stabilisation in the future, stating they were ‘cautious’ on rough prices this year.


Henry Sapiecha

Diamond found at Arkansas Park expected to fetch $1 million

diamond-found-at-arkansas-park-expected-to-fetch-1M image

Bobbie Oskarso named her gem “Esperanza,” which is both her niece’s name and the Spanish word for “hope.” (Image courtesy of the Arkansas State Park)

The Esperanza Diamond, believed to be the most valuable precious rock ever discovered in the U.S., is now set into a custom-designed pendant and it is touring the country in search of an owner.

Discovered in July last year at the Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park by Bobbie Oskarson of Colorado, the rare icicle-shaped 8.52 carats gem was recently polished and finished by master diamond cutter Mike Botha of Canada’s Embee Diamonds.

diamond-found-at-arkansas-park-expected-to-fetch-1-million image

“The curves of the Esperanza dictated to a large extent what the final shape would be like,” he said in a statement, adding that following the natural icicle shape of the rough stone, one end of the polished diamond is wider than the other.

“This unique shape proved a challenge, but is celebrated in the pendant design.” Botha said.

The diamond features a 147 facet, teardrop cut triolette shape (the first of its kind) and is both internally flawless and a “D” colour.

esperanza-8.52-carat-diamond image

The sparkly, white diamond about half the size of a quarter is the fifth largest found since the park was established in 1972. (Image courtesy of the Arkansas State Park)

Arkansas Park officials said the gem is the fifth largest diamond found since the park was established in 1972.

The former mine that’s now bills itself as “the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public” has yielded quite a few finds in recent years. But the largest rock ever found at the park was a 16.37 carats gem discovered in 1975.

Black, Starr & Frost will auction the diamond through an open bidding process, which is open until Feb. 15. The diamond is estimated at $1 million.

Watch the transformation of Esperanza diamond in this mini-documentary



Henry Sapiecha

The world’s largest black diamond can now be seen in Dubai

the-worlds-largest-black-diamond-can-now-be-seen-in-dubai image

The unusual gem is named after the Korloff -Sapojnikoff family, members of the Russian nobility, who once owned it.

Billed as the world’s largest known black diamond, the 88-karat “Karloff Noir” made an appearance at a Dubai Mall last week to promote the reopening of a Karloff Paris boutique, a jewellery group with 50 boutiques worldwide and more than 450 points of sale.

The rarely publicly displayed gem was discovered in Siberia in 1917. It was cut from a 421-carat rough diamond and boasts a deep, rich black opaque colour. Daniel Paillasseur, founder and managing partner of Korloff Paris, purchased the precious stone in 1978 and named it after the royal Russian family, Korloff-Sapojnikoff, which originally owned it.

The Karloff Noir, insured for $37 million, resides in Paris, but Paillasseur told Emirates 24/7 that the reopening of the store in Dubai was more than a good reason to have flown the unusual and famous black diamond, as the country remains one of the best performing markets.

Korloff-noir-Diamond image

This black diamond is believed to bring happiness, luck and prosperity to any person who has the privilege of touching it. It has been brought outside of Paris only on select occasions, for the Sultan of Brunei and the Queen of Malaysia.

Black diamonds are different from other coloured rocks because they do not get their shade from chemical impurities, such as nitrogen, hydrogen or boron. Rather, black diamonds owe their colour to numerous dark inclusions (mostly graphite), and their opaqueness is caused by a “polycrystalline” structure that inhibits the reflection of light.

Images courtesy of Korloff France.


Henry Sapiecha