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MID BLOG

TRACKING THE DIAMOND FROM MINE TO MARKET

Traceability, or the ability to track a diamond from the mine all the way to the point at which it is sold at retail, set in jewelry, was a very hot topic at the 2019 JCK Show in Las Vegas in June, with both of the two world’s largest diamond companies discussing or demonstrating systems that they are developing to the do the job.

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WITH A WHIMPER RATHER THAN WITH A BANG, DE BEERS ENDS RECYCLED DIAMONDS PROJECT

Quietly, without very little fanfare, the De Beers Group has shut down the International Institute for Diamond Valuation (IIDV), which was established 2014 as a polished diamond buy-back service that would give players on the secondary market a fair price for their goods. Simultaneously, the company’s website has been taken down, and its social media accounts have gone off-line.

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THE BIG BANG VERSUS THE SLOW GRIND

Where and how do diamonds originate in nature? The answer is relatively well known, and that is millions of years ago deep below the earth’s surface, where the temperatures and pressures are high enough that carbon matter would crystalize into the form we recognize as a diamond.

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LIVING IN INTERESTING TIMES

The apocryphal Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” rings particularly true during this unusual period in our collective history. It is an age where long-time conventional wisdom and sometimes common sense is seemingly brushed aside, with no apparent set of rules or conventions to take their place. And in a business which takes for granted that a diamond is forever, even that type of sensibility can appear tenuous.

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HOW GREEN IS YOUR DIAMOND?

Let’s start by agreeing that the discussion about diamonds and the environment is a difficult one, as it is with most minerals. For, simply stated, they are all inherently unsustainable. Once removed from the earth they do not regenerate.

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BOTSWANA MINE YIELDS WORLD’S SECOND LARGEST ROUGH DIAMOND FOR THE SECOND TIME IN FOUR YEARS

Karowe, a state-of-the-art diamond mine in Botswana owned by Canada-headquartered Lucara Diamonds with a proven knack of yielding oversize stones, has done it again. According to the company, a 1,758-carat diamond has recently been discovered at the mine, taking the title of the world’s second largest stone away from the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, which was discovered at the same site in 2015.

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DIAMOND INDUSTRY WARRANTIES EXPANDING TO COVER HUMAN RIGHTS

The World Diamond Council (WDC) has presented an upgraded version of its System of Warranties, which is the statement that most diamond companies attach to invoices and memos testifying that the merchandise being sold is not associated with diamonds from conflict areas. The new statement will verify that they have conducted a self-assessment, testifying to their commitment to essential human and labor rights, anti-money laundering legislation, and anti-corruption.

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THE PROMISE AND COST OF MINING DIAMONDS IN FRIGID WEATHER CONDITIONS

There are a range of variables that factor in the economics of the diamond business, some of which are likely to be the deciding factor whether a business is profitable or not. Elements like the quality of the diamond itself, the skill and proficiency of the cutters and polishers, market demand and the general state of the economy are all accepted as standard issues that will affect the profitability of the business. But there is one that many would not think about – the weather.

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BRITISH JEWELER REVEALS THE 302.37-CARAT GRAFF LESEDI LA RONA

After 18 months of planning, cutting and polishing, Graff, the London-headquartered multinational jewelry company, has unveiled the 302.37-carat Graff Lesedi La Rona, which the firm has described the largest square emerald-cut diamond in the world, and the biggest high-color, high-clarity diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Graff has declined to reveal its asking price.

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THE TALE OF TWO VERY ARISTOCRATIC DIAMOND SLEUTHS

It is a story worthy of The Pink Panther, the 1963 movie that introduced the world to the hapless Inspector Jacques Clouseau, who bungled his way through Europe’s jet-set society, on the trail of a sophisticated diamond burglar, played by David Niven. Except this really happened.

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AMERICA’S FTC FLEXES ITS MUSCLES IN THE DIAMOND TRADE

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. government agency charged with protecting the interest of consumers and promoting competition, is evolving into one of the most influential players in the worldwide diamond trade, in part because of the size of American market, both also because of its readiness to the place itself at the center of the debate about how to describe man-made diamonds and the differentiate them from their natural counterparts.

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BRITISH MARKET FACES UNCERTAINTY AS BREXIT LOOMS

Brexit, the process by which the United Kingdom is set to withdraw from the European Union, is still up in the air, with the economic consequences on the British economy in general, and the country’s jewelry and diamond industry in particular, likely to be considerable, particularly if the so-called “hard Brexit” cannot be avoided.

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KEEPING TIME WITH DIAMONDS

There is no other major jewelry trade show as associated with the watch industry as Baselworld. Which is an event that also puts to bed the question whether men buy jewelry. The luxury watch market, catering predominantly to men, equaled about $46.4 billion in 2018, and it is forecast to climb $53.2 billion by 2023.

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