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De Beers recent sale the lowest this year in less than shiny display

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Diamond giant De Beers, the world’s top producer by value, saw its sales of rough gems fall in its latest offering, but said results were in line with expected seasonal demand patterns.

The Anglo American’s unit sold $470 million of diamonds in the ninth cycle, compared with $494 million fetched at its previous sale.

“Encouragingly, the ninth sales cycle of 2016 showed continued good demand for De Beers rough diamonds, with sales in line with expected seasonal demand patterns,” the firm’s chief executive Bruce Cleaver said in the statement.

It sold $470 million of diamonds in the ninth cycle, compared with $494 million fetched at its previous sale.Rough-diamond prices have rebounded about 7.4% so far this year after De Beers and rival Alrosa reduced output in an effort to improve market conditions. Miners of the precious stone have been struggling due to weak demand and falling prices after global demand for diamond jewellery hit a high of $81 billion in 2014 and production soared, causing a supply-glut by 2015.

Russia’s Alrosa, the world’s top diamond producer by output in carats, also reported Tuesday a drop in rough gems sales.

De Beers, which currently has about 30% of the rough diamond market, began operations of at its newest mine in September. Gahcho Kué, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is expected to contribute $5.2 billion (Cdn$6.7 billion) to the country’s economy and provide 1,200 new jobs.

This new operation as well as Stornoway’s (TSX:SWY) recently opened Renard mine in Quebec, are expected to add around 7 million carats annually to global production once fully operational, which is likely to affect prices, De Beers said in September.

De Beers sales for the year to date have reached $5.16 billion. The company was Anglo American’s largest profit driver in the first half of this year, accounting for about 40% of its underlying earnings during the period.

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Henry Sapiecha


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The head of a jewelers trade association is suggesting that the industry adopt a pair of proposals to give a boost to generic jewelry marketing campaigns. Speaking at CIBJO‘s International Jewelry Congress in Moscow this week, Russian Jewelers Guild Association chair Gagik Gevorkyan proposed that the industry institute a professional holiday and an annual awards show.In his remarks to the World Jewelry Confederation, Gevorkyan noted that jewelers do not have a holiday specific to their profession and suggested that the group submit an application to UNESCO, requesting that it establish one. He called upon those present to decide what date would make the most sense in this regard.Gevorkyan also proposed that the industry hold an annual awards show, akin to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscars. According to Gevorkyan’s proposal, reported in Rough and Polished, a gala event honoring the highest achievements of the jewelry trade would unite the industry.

Henry Sapiecha

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