Category Archives: NEWS ITEMS DIAMONDS

Decadent Diamonds from Sotheby’s Auction House

This spring, Sotheby’s presents the ultimate in coloured diamonds: Apollo and Artemis comprised of a blue diamond weighing 14.54 carats, internally flawless, type IIb, and a pink diamond weighing 16.00 carats, VVS2 clarity, type IIa. The stones are currently mounted as a spectacular pair of earrings, but are being offered separately, on account of their extreme rarity, power and presence. They are, says David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, “by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction.”

pink-blue teardrop dimond earrings image

The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds. Exceptional fancy vivid blue diamond. Estimate CHF38,125,000–50,160,000 ($38,000,000–50,000,000). Important fancy intense pink diamond. Estimate CHF12,545,000–18,060,000 ($12,500,000–18,000,000). To be offered in Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels on 16 May in Geneva.


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The CTF Pink Star. Sold for HK$553,037,500 ($71,200,000).


On 4 April 2017 in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s set a new auction record for any diamond or jewel when The Pink Star, a 59.60-carat oval fancy vivid pink internally flawless diamond – the largest Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the GIA has ever graded – sold to renowned jeweller Chow Tai Fook, who has renamed the stone the CTF Pink Star. Not only was the price more than double the previous record for a fancy vivid pink diamond, but it was also a new record for any work ever sold at auction in Asia.

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Rare platinum, fancy vivid green diamond and diamond ring. Estimate $1,000,000–1,500,000. To be offered in Magnificent Jewels, Including the Legendary Stotesbury Emerald on 25 April in New York.


In the elite world of fancy coloured diamonds, green and red are by far the rarest body colours. The appearance of green in a diamond is caused by millions of years of exposure to a source of natural irradiation in the earth, either among uranium compounds or percolating groundwater, which changes its specific absorption of light. Our upcoming New York sale presents a cut-cornered square mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Green diamond weighing 1.64 carats, flanked by two cut-cornered triangle-shaped diamonds weighing approximately .65 carats.

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Fancy intense purplish pink diamond ring, Piaget. Estimate CHF78,030,000-12,040,000 ($8,000,000-12,000,000). To be offered in Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels on 16 May in Geneva.

Fancy intense purplish pink diamond ring 7.04 carats image

Another exceptional colourful diamond on offer this spring in Geneva, this ring is set with a modified rectangular brilliant-cut fancy intense purplish pink diamond, weighing 7.04 carats, VS1 Clarity, type IIa, between triangular diamond shoulders.

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Extraordinary pair of platinum and diamond earrings. Estimate $4,500,000–5,500,000. To be offered in Magnificent Jewels, Including the Legendary Stotesbury Emerald on 25 April in New York.

diamond earrings feature two square emerald-cut diamonds, weighing 20.29 and 20.02 carats, topped by two smaller square emerald-cut diamonds weighing 1.01 carats each image

These earrings feature two square emerald-cut diamonds, weighing 20.29 and 20.02 carats, topped by two smaller square emerald-cut diamonds weighing 1.01 carats each.

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The Unique Pink. Sold for CHF30,826,000 ($31,561,200).

unique-pink-diamond-Weighing 15.38 carats, the “Unique Pink image

Weighing 15.38 carats, the “Unique Pink” is a Type IIa brilliant cut diamond with unparallelled saturation. Until this April, when Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold the CTF Pink Star, the largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever offered at auction for a record-setting price, the Unique Pink held the world auction record for any fancy vivid pink diamond. It also contributed to the May 2016 Geneva sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale becoming the new world record for any jewellery auction.

De Beers Millennium Jewel 4. Sold for HK$248,280,000 ($32,013,223).

De Beers Millennium 10.10 carat blue diamond image

To celebrate the Millennium in 2000, De Beers, together with The Steinmetz Group, showcased an exceptional collection of eleven important blue diamonds, the De Beers Millennium Jewels, in a specially designed exhibit at London’s Millennium Dome. Offered for sale from an Asian private collection, this rare and internally flawless 10.10-carat blue diamond is the largest oval-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction and was the most expensive diamond ever sold in Hong Kong before the CTF Pink Star in April 2017.

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The Graff Pink. Sold for CHF45,442,500 ($46,158,674).

The Graff Pink diamond 24.78 carats image

Type IIa pink diamonds are very rare in nature, but this fancy intense pink round-cornered rectangular step-cut diamond weighing 24.78 carats, set between shield-shaped diamond shoulders, is a perfect, pure pink colour, which has been graded “fancy intense pink” by the GIA with no secondary colour modifier. Adding to this diamond’s exquisite nature is its classic emerald cut – a style most associated with white diamonds – that is immensely sought-after in rare colours. According to the consignor, the stone had not appeared on the open market since it was first purchased some 65 years ago from Harry Winston himself. In 2010, Laurence Graff bought the diamond and renamed it The Graff Pink.

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Magnificent oval diamond 118.28 carat, D colour, flawless, type IIA. Sold for HK$238,680,000 ($30,782,560).

Magnificent oval diamond 118.28 carat, D colour, flawless, type IIA image

Unearthed in 2011 from the deep mines in Southern Africa, the 299-carat rough of this oval diamond is one of the largest and most beautiful diamond roughs found in recent years. Carefully and meticulously worked over months, the unrefined stone was transformed into a mesmerising 118.28-carat unmounted, brilliant-cut diamond. When sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013, it became the world record for any white diamond at auction, as well as the biggest diamond ever sold at auction.

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The Lady Dalal. Sold for CHF11,282,500 ($12,361,558).

The Lady Dalal 110.03 carat yellow diamond image

Polished diamonds over 100 carats of any colour, weak or strong, are rare, which makes this 110.03-carat yellow diamond all the more impressive. The Sun-Drop, the largest known fancy vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond, was unveiled to the world at London’s Natural History Museum where it was exhibited in the famous Vault Gallery in 2011. After being sold at Sotheby’s Geneva the same year, it was renamed The Lady Dalal.

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The Blue Moon of Josephine. Sold for CHF48,634,000 ($48,468,158).

The Blue Moon of Josephine 12.03 carats vivid blue diamond image

Smashing all records, the Blue Moon Diamond, renamed The Blue Moon of Josephine, sold in November 2015 at Sotheby’s Geneva for over $4 million per carat – the world auction price-per-carat record for a diamond or gemstone. “After seeing the stone’s colour and understanding its significance, it was fitting to name it the Blue Moon Diamond,” noted Suzette Gomes, CEO of Cora International. “Not only its shape is reminiscent of a full moon,” she said of the cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue 12.03-carat diamond, “but the metaphor for the expression is exactly what one could say about the occurrence and existence of such a gemstone.”

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A spectacular emerald-cut diamond. Sold for $22,090,000.

emerald-cut diamond 110.20 carat white diamond image

Only six perfect diamonds weighing over 100 carats have sold at auction in the last 25 years. Sotheby’s sold five of those spectacular stones at sales in Geneva, Hong Kong, and New York, where in April 2015, this jaw-dropping 100.20-carat, type IIa diamond was offered. The classic, emerald-cut diamond’s D colour and internally flawless clarity are exceptionally rare at this scale.

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Superb and highly important fancy vivid purple-pink diamond and diamond ring, mounted by Sotheby’s Diamonds. Sold for HK$137,880,000 ($17,778,247).

fancy vivid purple-pink diamond and diamond ring 8.41 carats pear shaped image

This ring centres an 8.41-carat, pear-shaped, type IIa pink diamond, shown here, which is prized not only for its sweet, intensely saturated hue, but also for its internally flawless clarity. With a stylised mount pavé-set throughout with circular-cut diamonds, this jewel sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2014.

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The Beau Sancy. Sold for CHF9,042,500 ($9,678,188).

The Beau Sancy 34.98 carat double rose cut diamond image

Before this 34.98-carat modified pear double rose-cut diamond sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2012, its first royal owner was Marie de Medici, the wealthiest heiress in Europe, who in 1600 married Henri IV, considered the greatest king ever to rule France. Descending from the Medici through her father, Francesco, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who gave her this gem, she was not only rich but very grand. Cut and polished towards the end of the 16th century, the Beau Sancy also exhibits the first attempts to liberate the “fire” inherent in the stone – a property of diamond so admired today

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The Zoe Diamond. Sold for $32,645,000.

zoe diamond magnificent and rare 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond pendant image

In the November 2014 sale of the Collection of Mrs Paul Mellon, collectors eagerly vied for jewellery and objects of vertu that evoked her celebrated style. After 20 minutes of competitive bidding, Mrs Mellon’s magnificent and rare 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond pendant sold for more than double its high estimate, driving the 98%-sold auction total to $218 million. It was renamed The Zoe Diamond.

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Magnificent diamond. Sold for CHF12,597,000 ($14,201,354).

70.33-carat cushion brilliant white diamond image

Introduced at the beginning of the 20th century, the modern cushion-cut derives from ancient cushion-cut diamonds, sometimes referred to as “old mine” cuts. This magnificent 70.33-carat cushion brilliant diamond has not only received the highest colour and clarity grade from the GIA for white diamonds – D colour and flawless clarity – but it also is a type IIa diamond.

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The Graff Vivid Yellow. Sold for CHF14,501,000 ($16,347,847).

The Graff Vivid Yellow 100.09 carat diamond image

Of exceptional beauty and extraordinary fire, this brilliant gem is one of the largest fancy vivid yellow diamonds in the world. It is listed in Ian Balfour’s book Famous Diamonds as one of the few rare yellow diamonds greater than 100 carats. The 100.09-carat brilliant fancy vivid yellow diamond, which can also be detached and worn as a pendant, was sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2014.

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‘The Historic Pink’ magnificent fancy vivid pink diamond ring. Sold for CHF14,810,000 ($15,903,422).

'The Historic Pink' magnificent fancy vivid pink diamond ring. 8.72 carats image

This exceptional vivid pink Type IIa diamond, formerly in the collection of American heiress Huguette Clark, was mounted as a ring by Dreicer. Set with a cushion brilliant-cut fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 8.72 carats, this ring sold most recently in 2014 at Sotheby’s Geneva.

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Exceptional pear-shaped diamond. Sold for $14,165,000.

Exceptional pear-shaped white diamond 74.79 carats image

At 74.79 carats, this unmounted type IIa diamond has it all: D colour, VVS1 clarity, and it is potentially internally flawless.

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Henry Sapiecha

World’s largest flawless heart-shaped diamond & this is it here

largest D Flawless heart shape diamond in the world image

Yes, they are a girl’s best friend. But, not every girl can get them and this particular gemstone is definitely a hard-to-get brilliant beautiful bountiful bling.

Graff Diamonds has just revealed in London its Graff Venus, the largest D Flawless heart shape diamond in the world, which weighs 118.78 carats and is the size of a walnut.

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(Photo: Graff Diamonds).

This diamond has been described as a flawless type IIA with superb polish, excellent symmetry and nil fluorescence. These features are only accorded the top diamonds in the world.

The Venus heart shaped white diamond was cut from a 357-carat rough discovered at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho in 2015.

It took 1.5 years for the stone to take shape, starting from the initial discovery, going through the analysis process and developing new technology to cut and polish the main diamond and the 22 other satellite stones yielded from the same piece of rough.

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Will you be the lucky lady to receive this record-breaking superb white flawless heart-shaped gem? For now, Graff plans to showcase it around a number of countries before setting it as a jewel.


Henry Sapiecha

Pear-shaped 15.38ct pink diamond sells for $42.8 million at Sotheby’s Auction house

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“The Unique Pink”, the largest Fancy Vivid Pink pear shaped diamond ever offered at an auction.

Geneva:  A rare pear-shaped vivid pink diamond fetched 30.8 million Swiss francs ($42.8 million) at auction on Tuesday, Sotheby’s said, but several other large stones failed to reach the reserve prices set by the sellers.

The “Unique Pink”, weighing 15.38 carats and mounted on a ring, sold to an Asian private collector bidding by telephone, the auction house said.

It was the star lot at the saleroom’s semi-annual auction in Geneva, with a pre-sale estimate of $38 million to $51 million.

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The diamond weighed in at 15.38 carats.

“The Unique Pink set a new world record for a fancy vivid pink diamond … It’s the highest price ever paid for a fancy vivid pink diamond,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, told reporters.

The “Sweet Josephine”, a fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 16.08 carats, held the previous record since selling for $38.9 million at rival Christie’s in November, and still retains the price per carat record in the category.

Overall, the Sotheby’s sale netted $238 million, “setting a new world record for any jewellery auction”, Sotheby’s said in a statement. It eclipsed $218 million set a year ago.

pink-diamond weighed in at 15.38 carats image

The rare diamond set a new world record. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth

In all, 83.2 per cent of the 488 lots on offer found new owners, but “The Emperor Ruby” was among those stranded, with a bid of 3.6 million francs ($5 million).

“There were a few stones that were disappointing but overall the sale was a huge success,” Bennett said.

A British collection of 29 jewels by French jeweller Cartier sold for $4.6 million, doubling its low estimate, he said.

A “new world record” was set for a jewel by the late Paris-based jeweller Alexandre Reza – a fancy intense blue diamond brooch surrounded with diamonds sold for $18.3 million, he said.

“We’ve made a great effort to put together a sale that we thought was suitable for this particular market which is strong for the right things,” Bennett said. “It seems to have paid off.”

Ehud Arye Laniado, chairman of New York-based Cora International LLC, which cut, polished and sold the pink diamond, told Reuters in the showroom: “It was the time to sell. It is quite a strong price.

“We think slowly the market is grouping together with people who do believe in strong prices for fancy coloured diamonds. It is a good sign because we see people who do believe in the resale value of those stones, like art,” he added. “The trend will move to white diamonds.”



Henry Sapiecha

This is the 68-carat diamond Lucapa just found at its Lulo mine in Angola Africa

this-is-the-68-carat-diamond-lucapa-just-found-at-its-lulo-mine-in-angola image

Australia-based Lucapa Diamond (ASX:LOM) has recovered another major rock from trial mining at E46 alluvial terraces — a new area at its Lulo mine, in Angola.

The 68.1-carat gem-quality diamond is one of eight “significant” rocks found at the site, located about 10 km upstream from the alluvial Mining Block 8 and 6, from which Lucapa has been mining diamonds since the firm began commercial operations in January last year.

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(Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond)

According to the miner, the finding highlights the potential for widespread recovery of large gems from its Lulo mine, considering the largest individual diamond recovered from the initial exploration bulk sampling phase conducted in the area weighed just 6.9 carat.

Lulo, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of Angola’s capital Luanda, is a joint venture between the company and the Angolan government. Lulo is located 150km from Alrosa’s Catoca mine, the world’s fourth largest diamond mine.

The mine hosts type-2a diamonds which account for less than 1% of global supply and, according to Lucapa, the world’s most famous large, white, flawless diamonds belong to this category.

lucapa-exploration-at-lulo-map image

(Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond)

Angola is the world’s No.4 diamond producer by value and No.6 by volume. Its industry, which began a century ago under Portuguese colonial rule, is successfully emerging from a long period of difficulty as a result of a civil war that ended in 2002.

The government has recently reduced taxes and cut state ownership requirements as it seeks to rekindle the industry after the global financial crisis forced mines to close.

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Henry Sapiecha

A small Australian diamond miner just found this huge gemstone in Angola


The 404.2 carat Type IIa D-colour Lulo gem

An Australian mining company has just announced the discovery of an enormous 400-carat diamond, and its shares are going wild.

The find – the biggest diamond ever unearthed in Angola – was announced by the Perth-based Lucapa Diamond Company. A short time ago, the company’s shares were up 32% to $0.425.

The gem is 404.2 carats, or about 80 grams, in weight and is the fourth 100+ carat diamond recovered from the Lulo diamond project in Angola’s Lunda Norte province.

The diamond is the 27th biggest recorded in the world and the biggest discovered by an Australian company.

The previous record for Angola’s largest diamond belonged to the Angolan Star, a 217.4 carat gem recovered in 2007.

Based on recent average prices, the latest diamond is worth more than $800,000 just on its weight alone. Cut and mounted into a piece of jewellery, the price would run into many millions.

The alluvial Mining Block 8 at Lulo, which has already produced more than 60 large special diamonds since mining started there in August 2015. The previous largest diamond recovered at Lulo weighed 133.4 carats.

Over the 12 months since the company started operations at Lulo, 10,372 carats have been recovered, not including the latest find. In the December quarter, the company recorded diamond revenues of $8.1 million at record quarterly average selling prices of $2141 per carat.

CEO Stephen Wetherall says Lucapa and its partners Endiama and Rosas & Pétalas are extremely proud to have recovered such an exceptional world-class diamond.

“We have always emphasised the very special nature of the Lulo diamond field and this recovery — together with the other 100 carat-plus diamonds recovered this year alone — is further evidence of that,” he says.

“And while we continue mining these exceptional alluvial gems from Mining Blocks 6 and 8 at Lulo, we are also continuing to advance our systematic exploration program to find the kimberlite source of these diamonds.”

Kimberlite is a type of rock desposit where diamonds form.

The company is essentially finding diamonds as it digs trenches in search of the core of the diamond source, the kimberlite pipe.


Henry Sapiecha

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

Synthetic diamonds can be used in MRI scan to detect early stage cancers

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Synthetic diamonds can be used in MRI scan

Diamonds are considered as one of nature’s most beautiful inventions, but a new study published in the journal Nature Communications reveals these precious gems they are much more valuable than that, able to help detect early stage cancer.

An Australian research team led by Ewa Rej from University of Sydney discovered a method to use synthetic diamonds in MRI scans to identify cancerous tumours before they become life-threatening. “By attaching hyperpolarized diamonds to molecules targeting cancers the technique can allow tracking of the molecules’ movement in the body,” explained Rej.

Researchers already knew nano-diamonds hold non-toxic properties allowing them to deliver drugs during chemotherapy treatments, and decided to focus on hyperpolarizing the small stones so their signal is detectable by an MRI scanner.

“We thought we could build on these non-toxic properties realising that diamonds have magnetic characteristics enabling them to act as beacons in MRIs,” commented David Reilly from the university in an interview to the Business Standard.



Henry Sapiecha

Coronet Gets Guinness World Record for $2 Million Diamond Guitar


Hong Kong-based Jewelry brand Coronet celebrated its first appearance in Baselworld with a bang: the company partnered with Chow Tai Fook and designer Mark Lui to create a $2 million Diamond Gibson Guitar, and entered the Guinness Book of Records as the maker of the most valuable guitar ever made.

Named “Eden of Coronet”, the guitar is adorned with over 400 carat diamonds set in approximately 1.6kg of 18k gold.

According to Coronet, the guitar took a team of 68 people to produce, adding up to 700 work days to complete.


Henry Sapiecha

Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa Q3 output drops

Rough diamonds at the Mirny Sorting Center, Republic of Sakha, Russia. ALROSA. image

Russian Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer by carat, said Monday its third-quarter production dropped 2% as a consequence of a shift to underground production at one of its mine in the country’s Far East.

The company’s total diamond production for the quarter reached 9.7 million carats, slightly down from 9.9 million carats in the same period a year ago, Alrosa said in the statement.

“The production decrease was mainly driven by the reduction in ore processing at the Udachnaya pipe in line with the company’s plan for the transition to underground mining at the deposit,” the miner said.

Alrosa’s rough diamond sales were up 8% for the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same period last year at 28.8 million carats or $3.7 billion.

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Henry Sapiecha

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Saskatchewan diamonds are looking forward to the future

De Beers shaped today’s diamond market. They started in the U.S. back in the late 1930s.


De Beers wanted to expand its market (at the time De Beers controlled 90% of the global diamond market). Diamonds, the larger diamonds, had always symbolized wealth and status but how could De Beers market the smaller diamonds to the masses?

In 1938, De Beers hired Philadelphia ad agency N.W. Ayer. The agency set an ambitious goal, they set out to: “create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring.”

A U.S. promotional campaign was planned and it focused on telling every guy (and maybe even more important every girl) that he absolutely needed to give his special her a diamond ring (and diamond jewelry) to express his true love and lasting commitment, because, just like his love and commitment, ‘a diamond is forever.’

“The agency wanted to make it look like diamonds were everywhere, and they started by using celebrities in the media. “The big ones sell the little ones,” said Dorthy Digham, a publicist for De Beers at N.W. Ayer.” 

How Diamonds Became Forever, The New York Times

The “A Diamond is Forever” campaign was so successful the U.S. became, and still is at $9 billion a year, the world’s largest diamond jewelry market.

The same campaign was also a huge success in Japan with diamonds replacing pearls in the 1950s. Today China and India’s 2.6 billion people are targeted – because only diamonds can show her how you truly feel.

“If you look back 20 years, there was no diamond acquisition culture in China. But today in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, there is an obvious launch pad. 40% of brides in those cities are getting diamond engagement rings. It was zero 15 years ago.” Gareth Penny, CEO DeBeers

The decade to come will be the years of the diamond. According to a Bain & Company report global rough-diamond demand in value terms should increase at a compound annual rate of 5.1%, to $26 billion by 2023.

“The appetite for high-quality diamonds in China and India is growing,” notes Gerhard Prinsloo, the author of the report.” In terms of market share, India and China will represent 30% by 2020, equal to that of the United States. Supply should only increase by 2.8% per year, leading to a structural shortage.”

Diamond demand, over the next decade or so, will be particularly driven by India and China due to a doubling of the middle class in these countries (of the two China has the fastest growing demand, jumping to a share of about 15 percent of the world’s diamond market from less than three percent in 2003).

There’s no shortage of future markets – it won’t be long before one out of every four people on the planet is going to be an African. They don’t know it yet but there’s diamond jewelry in most of their futures. 

Current diamond demand is 175 million carats, by 2020 demand is expected to reach 247 million carats.

Two new diamond mines are expected to start production in Canada over the next few years – Gahcho Kué and Renard.

Dominion Diamond’s Ekati mine will increase production by starting to mine the Misery pipe.

Globally there are three large mines scheduled to start operations within the next four years: Lace, Botuobinskaya and Bunder. The last major mine discovery came a decade ago in India, at Rio Tinto’s yet to be completed Bunder project.

LUKoil’s Grib mine started production this earlier this year and Alrosa’s Karpinskogo mine started production in October.

Some of the largest and most important mines in the world are running out of diamonds to mine – Orapa and Jwaneng (Botswana) have less than 15 years of production left at current parameters. Orapa and Jwaneng are the largest diamond mines in terms of total dollar value produced.

The alluvial Marange diamond fields (Zimbabwe – 13% of global rough supply in 2013) are expected to produce eight million carats of diamonds in 2014. Mining is transitioning from easily accessible loose surface gravel to hard conglomerate rock. Most miners are not willing to make the necessary investment at current rough diamond prices. Conglomerate rock grades are 0.4-0.5 carats per tonne while surface grades were 3.75 cpt.

Marange is the largest producing project in the world in terms of total carats produced. It is third in terms of total dollar value after Botwana’s Orapa and Jwaneng mines.

Pikoo Kimberlite Field

Let’s take a look at what might well be the world’s newest emerging diamond district.

Stornoway Diamond Corp.’s (TSX – SWY) regional exploration programs were intended to test the diamond potential of the Sask craton in north-central Saskatchewan.

Exploration work included KIM sampling programs, an airborne geophysical survey (to detect magnetic differences on the ground), prospecting and geophysical anomaly checking – ground truthing of targets.

Kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM) sampling consists of digging a hole and taking up to 20 kg of glacial till – dirt – and sending it to a laboratory for the recovery and analysis of indicator minerals – if any.

Assortment of kimberlitic indicator minerals including purple pyrope, red, orange and pink pyrope garnets, chromian diopside, picroilmenite and chromite.

Indicator minerals such as pyrope garnets, chromites, and ilmenites are used as kimberlite tracers because these KIMs are found in the same place diamonds form, deep beneath the earth’s surface in the diamond stability field.

Kimberlite magma comes up from below the diamond stability field and takes indicator minerals, and hopefully diamonds, all the way to the Earth’s surface…

“Kimberlite, a variety of ultramafic volcanic and sub-volcanic rock, is the dominant source of diamonds worldwide. It is widely accepted that the majority of diamonds are not formed within the kimberlite and much evidence points towards an ancient origin for most diamond in the deep lithospheric keels of Archaean cratons. The kimberlites, therefore, are transporting agents that ‘‘sample’’ deep, occasionally diamond-bearing, mantle material and rapidly convey it to surface.” DIAMONDS AND ASSOCIATED HEAVY MINERALS IN KIMBERLITE: A REVIEW OF KEY CONCEPTS AND APPLICATIONS TOM E. NOWICKI, RORY O. MOORE, JOHN J. GURNEY AND MIKE C. BAUMGARTNER

Glaciers smear the visually distinctive, dense and resistant to weathering indicator minerals across the surface in a fan shaped pattern called the indicator train. The train narrows back to a source (>).

The terms up ice or down ice simply refers to where you are in relation to a kimberlite source. Take a look at the next map, find Pelican Narrows and Deschambault Lake. The glaciers came in from the north east heading south west. Ice direction would be from Pelican Narrows towards Deschambault Lake. If you found a kimberlite in the middle of the two villages Pelican Lake would be up ice, Deschambauly Lake down ice.

The Pikoo claims were staked by Stornoway, in February and March of 2011, based on their regional test results.

The Pikoo claim block was optioned to North Arrow Minerals TSX.V – NAR.

North Arrow focused on much tighter spaced till sampling than what Stornoway had done with their regional sampling. Two distinct indicator trains, the North Pikoo train and the South Pikoo train were found.

Both the North and South Pikoo trains were drill-tested in July of 2013. The 2,000 meter program resulted in the discovery of a new diamondiferous kimberlite field.

In the North Pikoo area, five drill holes tested an east-west trending target over a 1.1 km strike length. The drill holes encountered between one and six individual kimberlite dykes ranging from 3 cm to 59 cm in width, interpreted to be vertical to steeply south dipping. Surface anomalies suggest the dyke system extends over a significantly greater strike length than tested by the five hole drill program.

The most significant discovery might of been in the South Pikoo area.

The PK150 kimberlite dyke is a roughly 15 meter wide almost vertical body intersected over a 75 m strike length (3 holes spaced 35 m apart) and is currently open to depth and along strike. Since the indicator mineral trains are a couple of kilometers wide a longer strike length might be established.

According to John Kaiser of The Bottom Fishing Report:

“The kimberlite is comprised of dark grey hypabyssal kimberlite containing abundant olivine as well as common ilmenite and orange to purple garnets and less common chrome diopside.

The kimberlite is also riddled with mantle nodules up to 10 cm in diameter suggesting that the kimberlite magma may have entrained a good payload from the diamond stability field… the micro diamond results are well distributed through the 3-4 sample batches processed for each of the three holes, ruling out the risk of a “nugget effect” from the lucky presence of a particularly rich mantle nodule.”

A 209.7 kg sample of drill core from the kimberlite returned 745 diamonds larger than the 0.106 mm sieve size, including 23 diamonds larger than the 0.85 mm sieve size – considered the cut-off for commercial stones.

The total weight of the +0.85 mm diamonds recovered from the sample was 0.2815 carats, for a total recovery sample grade of 1.34 carats per tonne for stones over +0.85 mm.

Recovered diamonds have similar, high quality characteristics across all size fractions. Over 95% of the diamonds are described as intact, white octahedrons and aggregates.

The large project area hosts additional kimberlite targets and numerous anomalous KIM samples outside of the initial areas of interest (North Pikoo and South Pikoo trains). These areas were more densely till sampled in June and September 2014.

Preliminary results have been received from approximately half of the program samples and have defined new kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM) trains within the property. These KIM trains are separate and discrete from the North and South Pikoo KIM trains.

A winter drill program commencing in February 2015 is being planned to test as many as nine new targets at the heads of these trains as well as some of the untested lake bound and land based targets related to the North and South Pikoo trains. An application was submitted to the Saskatchewan Environment on June 9, 2014 to drill up to 30 drill holes.


The Pikoo Diamond Project is a joint venture (JV) between North Arrow Minerals (80%) and and Stornoway Diamond Corp. (20%).

Stornoway has exercised its right to participate in the Pikoo East option agreement between North Arrow (70%) and Canadian International Minerals TSX.V – CIN (30%). The Pikoo East properties comprise 5 claims totaling 3,447 hectares.

The A group directly adjoins North Arrow/Stornoway’s Pikoo property, and the B group lies approximately 7 km northeast of Pikoo’s northern boundary.

Till samples (black blocks on above left map) have been collected on the Pikoo East properties under the option agreement. The samples have been submitted for kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM) processing. Results are expected in early 2015.

Stornoway has also exercised its right to participate in the Orchid property agreement between North Arrow (70%) and Eagle Plains Resources TSX.V – EPL (30%).

Staking Rush

In June of 2013, North Arrow announced they drilled kimberlite at Pikoo.

In November, NAR made headlines by announcing it had high microdiamond counts from the PK 150 kimberlite dyke. The high diamond counts demonstrated the potential for a coarse diamond size distribution (larger diamonds might be found) and established Pikoo, and the northern Sask Craton, as Canada’s new diamond district.

Of course a junior resource company staking rush ensued. Click on the map for a larger image.

We know what North Arrow and Stornoway are up to. A few other companies have been quietly working away or entering the play via land acquisitions.


Alto Ventures TSX.V – ATV collected 325 till samples on its 60% owned contiguous to Pikoo properties. Results are expected in December.

Athabasca Nuclear Corp. TSX.V – ASC has just acquired the right to earn an 80% interest in the Prongua Lake diamond project. The Project encompasses 16 mineral claims totaling in excess of 9,270 acres and is located up ice to the north, east, and northeast of North Arrow and Stornoway’s Pikoo project. A number of early-stage geophysical targets have been identified.

Copper Reef Mining TSX.V – CZC completed a small ground magnetic survey and collected an unknown number of till samples on its properties.

Gem Oil Inc., a private company, has done an enormous amount of work. A report is expected sometime in the new year.

Strike Diamond collected 118 till  samples (the majority up ice from Pikoo) on its 80% owned properties. Results from SRK’s property are expected in December/January.


Above, to the left, you can see the arrow pointing to several small subtle circular magnetic lows and highs. These are kimberlite targets. To the left of these kimberlite targets is the western border, in pink, of North Arrows Pikoo claim blocks.

On the map to the right the arrows point to black dots representing where Strike Diamonds took till samples for indicator mineral processing.


Demand for diamonds is not going to fade away, diamonds are a part of our western cultural heritage, and an established and growing eastern one as well. De Beers created value. They packaged it in an acceptable way and delivered it to customers. Diamonds – currently a $72 billion a year industry thanks largely to a De Beers marketing campaign that started in the late ‘30s – are a girl’s best friend.

They may also be a BFF to investors looking for a safe haven from market storms.

Mined diamond supply is not going to be able to keep up with increasing demand – production growth will be limited as older mines become exhausted and production is scaled back, new production is not expected to fill the gap.

There’s close to 800 till samples from Canada’s newest diamond play in the lab for indicator mineral processing.

It just might be a very Merry Christmas and extremely happy New Year for a few diamond focused resource juniors, and their shareholders, in the North Sask Craton Diamond Play.

Saskatchewan diamonds might thrill again and they should be on every investors radar screens.


Demand for diamonds is not going to fade away, diamonds are a part of our western cultural heritage, and an established and growing eastern one as well. De Beers created value. They packaged it in an acceptable way and delivered it to customers. Diamonds – currently a $72 billion a year industry thanks largely to a De Beers marketing campaign that started in the late ‘30s – are a girl’s best friend.

They may also be a BFF to investors looking for a safe haven from market storms.

Mined diamond supply is not going to be able to keep up with increasing demand – production growth will be limited as older mines become exhausted and production is scaled back, new production is not expected to fill the gap.

There’s close to 800 till samples from Canada’s newest diamond play in the lab for indicator mineral processing.

It just might be a very Merry Christmas and extremely happy New Year for a few diamond focused resource juniors, and their shareholders, in the North Sask Craton Diamond Play.

Saskatchewan diamonds might thrill again and they should be on every investors radar screens.

Richard lives with his family on a 160 acre ranch in northern British Columbia. He invests in the resource and biotechnology/pharmaceutical sectors and is the owner of His articles have been published on over 400 websites.

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This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment.

Richard Mills has based this document on information obtained from sources he believes to be reliable but which has not been independently verified.

Richard Mills makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Richard Mills only and are subject to change without notice. Richard Mills assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission.

Henry Sapiecha