Author Archives: Henry

Diamond Services reports a lowering threshold for synthetic diamonds, as man-made stones as small as 0.0025 cts. discovered in New York

Barely visible on the electronic scale, these tiny single-cut diamonds were discovered by Diamond Services to be laboratory grown.

HONG KONG: JULY 11, 2017 – Multiple single-cut diamonds, sized from a quarter point to half a point (0.0025-0.005 carats), which were contained in jewellery recently submitted for testing to a Diamond Services laboratory, have been found to be synthetic, greatly expanding the range of goods that can be considered at risk of improper and deceptive disclosure.

The jewellery in question was originally submitted to Diamond Services’ laboratory in New York, and after several stones were detected as being potentially laboratory grown. Due to their size, the owner agreed that 11 of them set in eight rings, ranging in size from 0.0025 carats to 0.005 carats, could be removed and sent for full analysis at Diamond Services’ facility in Hong Kong. There they were examined once again with Diamond Services’ award-winning DiamaTest system, which ratified that the diamonds were synthetic, and these findings were confirmed by examination with the DiamondView system of De Beers’ International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) and Diamond Services Mini Raman Spectrometer.

Usually restricted to smaller-sized stones, single-cut diamonds typically have 17 or 18 facets, and some as few as 16, compared to the standard brilliant round cuts, which are made up of the 57 or 58 facets. Most round stones are first polished as single cuts, and then the additional facets are added. But when small stones are concerned, they are left as single cuts.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that a synthetic single-cut stone has been detected mounted in jewelry, and it is a credit to our Diamond Services procedures and set of equipment,” said Jospeh Kuzi, Diamond Services founder and managing director. “What this means is that almost no diamond can be taken at face value.”

The source of the single-cut synthetics is not immediately apparent, but Kuzi noted that the growing availability of CVD man-made diamond may prove to be a factor. “CVD is being widely in areas outside the diamond industry, and now includes diamond wafers being gown in laboratories for use in the electronics industry. It could be that waste from these labs and factories end up being processed as very small single-cut diamonds for jewellery,” he said.

Diamonds submitted for synthetic screening at Diamond Services facilities are tested using several systems, including the DiamaTest and Mini Raman Spectrometer, both of which was developed by the company. The latter is the only system currently available that can definitely test rough and polished diamonds, both mounted and un-mounted, without the need to refer them for further testing, accurately detecting whether they are HPHT or CVD lab-grown synthetics within seconds.

Diamond Services, which was established in 2012 in Hong Kong, specializes in development of synthetic diamond detection devices. In 2013 it first introduced the DiamaPen®, a hand-held laser device that is able to detect fancy colour synthetic diamonds. In 2014 it introduced DiamaTest®, an innovative system that screens both loose and colourless diamonds for synthetics, for which it won the prestigious JNA 2014 Award. The Mini Raman Spectrometer was introduced to the market in 2015.

Diamond Services synthetic screening services are currently available at the company’s headquarters in Hong Kong (19F Shing Lee Comm. Bldg., 8 Wing Kut St., Central, Hong Kong, tel: +1-852-2536-4555); and in the United States (15W, 47th St., Suite #1404, New York City, tel: +1-844-842-8122).

www.scamsfakes.com

Henry Sapiecha

Worlds biggest diamond mine Alrosa has sold $2.5 billion in diamonds so far this year 2017

World’s largest diamond producer by output said market has refound its balance.

Russia’s Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), the world’s top diamond producer by output, said Monday it sold $2.5 billion worth of rough and polished precious rocks from January to June this year.2017

From that total, rough diamonds sales totalled $2.442 billion, and polished ones fetched $54.9 million, the company said.

Last month alone, the miner brought in $365 million in diamond sales — $354 million in rough rocks and $10.6 m. in polished ones.

Alrosa Vice President Yury Okoemov said the company considers the seasonal slowdown of June officially at an end, adding the rough diamond market is back to being balanced.

The company, which is planning to increase production by 6% to 39.2 million carats this year, appointed in March Sergei Ivanov, the son of a close advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin, as its new president.

Henry Sapiecha

Yet Another huge diamond unearthed in Lesotho mine

Gem Diamonds discovered this high quality 126-carat, D colour Type IIa rock at Letšeng

Africa-focused Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) unveiled Thursday a 126-carat rock unearthed at its flagship Letšeng mine in Lesotho, the latest in a string of major discoveries at the operation this year.

The finding of the high quality D colour Type IIa diamond comes barely a month after the company discovered two massive diamonds at the same mine —  a 151.52-carat Type I yellow rock and a high quality 104.73-carat, D-colour Type IIa stone.

It also follows the recovery of a 114-carat diamond in April and an 80-carat, D-colour Type-II diamond found in May — one of the highest-quality diamonds to come out of the Letšeng mine.

Type IIa diamonds contain very little or no nitrogen atoms, which places them among the most expensive stones.

Since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, Gem Diamonds has found four of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recovered, which makes of the mine the world’s highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond operation.

At an average elevation of 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, Letšeng is also one of the world’s highest diamond mines.

Henry Sapiecha

 

Gem Diamonds finds two large rough diamonds at flagship mine in Lesotho Africa

Africa-focused Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) has discovered two diamonds bigger than 100 carats at its Letšeng mine in Lesotho, which should help the company boost revenue and investors confidence.

The two massive diamonds are a 151.52-carat Type I yellow rock and a high quality 104.73-carat, D-colour Type IIa stone, the London-based miner said in a statement.

The last time Gem Diamonds had made a significant discovery at its Letšeng mine before April this year was in 2015.The findings come on the heels of other key discoveries at the mine. In April, the company announced the recovery of a 114-carat diamond and last month it found one of the highest-quality diamonds to come out of the Letšeng mine — an 80-carat, D-colour Type-II diamond.

The last time Gem Diamonds had found a significant diamond in Lesotho was in 2015, when it unearthed an “exceptional” 357-carat rock, later sold for $19.3 million.

Investors reacted positively to the news, with the stock was trading at 1.64% higher at 93 pence around 2:00PM GMT.

Since acquiring Letšeng in 2006, the company has found four of the 20 largest white gem quality diamonds ever recovered, which makes of the Lesotho mine the world’s highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond operation.

At an average elevation of 3,100 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, Letšeng is also one of the world’s highest diamond mines.

www.www-gems.com

Henry Sapiecha

Alrosa finds 62.75-carat diamond at prolific Jubilee pipe mine in Russia

Russia’s Alrosa (MCX:ALRS), the world’s top diamond producer by output, said Tuesday it found a 65.75-carat precious rock at the Jubilee kimberlite pipe of its Aikhalsky Mining unit in Yakutia, northeast Russia.

The transparent crystal, the miner said, has an octahedron-shape, light-yellowish tint and its measures 23 x 16 x 17 mm.

Alrosa’s Jubilee pipe is famous for its large finds. Several diamonds from 50 to 138 carats were recovered from the deposit in the past two years, including a 76.07-carat diamond, which was named in honour of 70 Years of the Soviet Union’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 against Nazi Germany.

The company’s business unit Aikhal Mining accounted for over 30% of Alrosa’s total raw diamonds in 2016. It generated 12.2 million carats, worth $1.2 billion, according to the firm.

Henry Sapiecha

Pink Star diamond sets new world auction price record in Hong Kong

 

A rare diamond known as the Pink Star has been sold in Hong Kong for more than $71m (£57m), setting a new world record for any gemstone at auction.

The oval-shaped 59.6 carat stone was bought after just five minutes’ bidding at Sotheby’s, reports said.

It is the largest polished diamond in its class to go under the hammer.

It sold for $83m in Geneva in 2013 but the buyer later defaulted. The record until now was held by the Oppenheimer Blue, which sold for $50m last May.

Bidding for the gem, which was found by De Beers at a mine in Africa in 1999 and cut over a period of two years, began at $56m.

Sotheby’s said the buyer was Hong Kong jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery.

Alexander Breckner, head of diamonds at jewellers “77 Diamonds”, told the BBC that the stone was exceptional.

“It’s the largest pink diamond ever found in the history of humankind. It’s an incredible colour to it.

“And the sheer size of the stone already makes it so rare and so beautiful.”

Previous records set in stone

May 2016: A large diamond known as the Oppenheimer Blue set a new auction record, reaching a price of $50.6m (£34.7m at the exchange rate then current). The 14.62-carat gem was sold after 20 minutes of phone bidding at Christie’s auction house in Geneva. The buyer’s identity is unknown.

November 2015: The Blue Moon, a 12.03-carat ring-mounted blue diamond, caught the eye of Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau, who paid a record $48.4m (£31.7m) for the cushion-shaped stone. He bought it for his seven-year-old daughter, renaming it the “Blue Moon of Josephine” after her.

May 2015: An unnamed buyer made history after purchasing the Sunrise Ruby, a 25.59-carat “pigeon blood” coloured gemstone, for $30m (£19.1m). At that price, it became the world’s most expensive precious stone other than a diamond.

November 2013: The “largest vivid orange diamond in the world”, according to Christie’s, attracted the highest price paid per carat for any diamond at auction, selling for $35m (£22m), or $2.4m (£1.5m) per carat.

November 2010: The Graff Pink, a 24.78-carat “fancy intense pink” stone described as “one of the greatest diamonds ever discovered”, auctioned for $46.2m (£29m). At the time it was believed to be the most expensive gemstone bought at auction and was sold to the well-known British dealer Laurence Graff.

Related Topics

www.www-gems.com

www.gem-creations.com

Henry Sapiecha

 

Diamcor just found this rare green diamond at S. Africa project

Canada’s Diamcor Mining (TSX-V:DMI) said Tuesday it has found a 5.36-carat green gem quality octahedron rough diamond from its Krone-Endora project in South Africa, located next to De Beers’ Venetia mine, the world’s third largest.

While the significance of this rough green diamond is currently uncertain, the company said that given the rarity and potential high value of green diamonds, an analysis of the recently-found rock will be performed over the coming weeks.

The stone has been shipped to Antwerp along with other rough diamonds recovered from the ongoing efforts and processing underway at the project, Diamcor said.

Krone-Endora previously belonged to diamond giant De Beers, but Diamcor officially acquired the project in February 2011.

Diamcor and De Beers mines in Limpopo, South Africa. (Image courtesy of Diamcor Mining )

The project is located directly adjacent to De Beers’ Venetia mine, which is South Africa’s largest diamond mine, accounting for over 50% of the country’s annual output.

Prices for coloured diamonds have increased in the past two years. In June 2016, a massive intense blue diamond, known as The Cullinan Dream, fetched $25.4 million at a Christie’s auction in New York, breaking all records and becoming the most expensive gem of its kind ever sold at auction.

And last month in Hong Kong, the 59.60-carat “Pink Star” sold for a record $71.2 million, a price that highlighted the galloping market for coloured gems.

Henry Sapiecha

 

De Beers taps into polished diamonds market with first-time auction

Anglo American’s De Beers, the world’s largest rough diamond producer by value, has decided to begin selling its own polished diamonds in auctions for the first time in its history.

The pilot auction, scheduled for June, will include a wide range of polished stones manufactured directly from the company’s own rough diamonds.

The pilot auction, scheduled for June 29, will include a wide range of polished stones manufactured directly from De Beer’s own rough diamonds.All the polished rocks will carry grading reports from both the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) — De Beers’ in-house grading unit — and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

“We are interested in testing the level of demand from polished buyers for diamonds that have a clear and attractive source of origin, and that offer the assurance of product integrity that dual certification provides,” Neil Ventura, the miner’s executive vice president of auction sales, said in the statement.

If successful, the process would provide De Beers with more insight into the polished market, while also helping consumers fill gaps in supply or inventory if they were unable to find goods at the company’s rough auctions, he added.

All registered De Beers auction buyers will be eligible to bid in the first sale, which takes place on June 29.

www.www-gems.com

www.gem-creations.com

Henry Sapiecha

Lucara gets almost $18M for fragment of its massive ‘Lesedi La Rona’ diamond

Canada’s Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC), the company that hit the jackpot in 2015 after finding the world’s second-largest diamond, just got $17.5 million for a piece that broke from that rock, the now historic 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona.”

To date, Lucara has sold 145 diamonds for more than $1 million each.The 373.7-carat diamond, sold during the Vancouver-based miner’s $54.8 million recent tender to luxury jeweller Graff Diamonds, was one of 15 large and high value rocks offered by the company.

Just like the 1,109-carat diamond it found in 2015, all the stones sold this week were mined at Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana, which has been yielding massive rocks as of late.

Last year, the miner sold one of those mammoths — the 813-carat “The Constellation” — for $63 million, setting a new record for a rough gem.

It wasn’t that lucky when it came to three-billion-year-old “Lesedi La Rona,” meaning “our light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana, as the rock failed to sell at a Sotheby’s auction in June last year.

This is the 373.72-carat rock, once part of the second largest gem quality diamond ever discovered. (Image courtesy of Graff Diamonds.)

The gem, second in size only to the Cullinan diamond in the British Crown jewels, was expected to go for at least $70 million. The highest bid, however, was around $61 million, leaving it in Lucara’s hands.

To date, the company has sold 145 diamonds for more than $1 million each, bringing in revenues of more than $528 million, its President and CEO William Lamb said in the statement.

Botswana, the focus of Lucara, is the world’s largest producer of diamonds and the trade has transformed it into a middle-income nation.

Henry Sapiecha

These were the world’s top producing diamond mines in 2016

While diamond industry experts warn that demand is expected to outstrip supply as early as 2019, the largest mines keep producing the coveted rocks at full steam.

Here are last year’s top 10 diamond mines in terms of output and value, based on data compiled by expert Paul Zimnisky.

1. Jwaneng, Botswana

Produced 11,975,000 carats, worth $2,347 million

Jwaneng, the richest diamond mine in the world, is located in south-central Botswana in the Naledi river valley of the Kalahari. It’s 2 kilometres across at its widest point and patrolled by colossal 300-tonne trucks that labour up the terraced slopes.

Nicknamed “the Prince of Mines”, Jwaneng was opened in 1982, as the diamond trade helped Botswana go from being one of the world’s poorest countries to one of Africa’s wealthiest.

2. Jubilee, Russia

Produced 9,231,000 carats, worth $1,431 million

Belonging to ALROSA, the world’s top diamond miner by output in carats, the Jubilee mine (also known as Yubileinaya), has been in production since 1989. It’s among the world’s biggest diamond mines by area.

3. International, Russia

Produced 3,948,000 carats, worth $829 million

Also known as Internatsionalny, this underground mine has been in operations since 1999. ALROSA estimates the deposit will run out of diamonds by 2022.

4. Orapa, Botswana

Produced 7,931,000 carats, worth $753 million

The Orapa mine is the ninth largest diamond mine in the world by reserve and the world’s largest mine by area. It has been in production since 1971. It’s owned by Debswana, a joint venture of De Beers and the Botswana Government.

Currently Orapa is mining at a depth of 250 metres and is expected to reach 450 metres by 2026.

5. Debmarine, Namibia

Produced 1,169,000 carats, worth $585 million

De Beers’ Debmarine uses a fleet of five specialized marine mining vessels to screen material recovered from the ocean floor.

These deposits are then airlifted by helicopter for further processing on shore. It’s Namibia’s largest diamond producer, accounting for 70% of the country’s output of these stones.

6. Catoca, Angola

Produced 6,700,000 carats*, worth $570 million

This diamond mine is the world’s fourth largest. It’s owned by a consortium of international mining interests, with Endiama (the state mining company of Angola) having a majority stake.

* = Figure not officially confirmed

7. Nyurbinskaya, Russia

Produced 5,001,000 carats, worth $565 million

The Nyurba Mining and Processing Division (MPD) is one of the youngest enterprises of ALROSA. It operates at the Nakyn ore field, which includes the Nyurbinskya and Botuobinsky open-pits, and two same-name alluvial placers.

8. Diavik, Canada

Produced 6,658,000 carats, worth $539 million.

Operated by Rio Tinto, which owns 60% of the mine, Diavik began production in 2003 and has an annual output of some 6-7 million carats of predominantly large, white gem-quality diamonds. It’s Canada’s largest diamond mine in terms of carat production. Dominion Diamond owns the remaining 40%.

9. Ekati, Canada

Produced 5,200,000 carats, worth $463 million

The Ekati Diamond Mine (named after the Tlicho word meaning “fat lake”) is Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine. Located about 300km north-east of Yellowknife, near Lac de Gras in Canada’s North-West Territories, is run by Dominion Diamond Corporation (DDC)

10. Mir, Russia

Produced 3,191,000 carats $463 million

Although open pit mining at this operation ended in 2004, ALROSA built a series of underground tunnels, which have continued to yield high-quality rough diamonds. The remaining pit is so huge it creates a vortex potentially strong enough to suck helicopters into its depth

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Henry Sapiecha