688 posts categorized "Diamond Industry News"

Diamonds.net - Letšeng Yields 126ct. Rough Diamond

Gem Diamonds Letseng 126ct rough diamondRAPAPORT... Gem Diamonds has recovered a “high-quality” rough diamond weighing 126 carats at its Letšeng mine, following a switch to a more lucrative section of the project in Lesotho, the company reported Thursday.

The D-color, type-IIa stone is the latest in a string of large discoveries at the mine, which is known for its high-value rough production. Last month, the company found a 104.73-carat, D-color, type IIa diamond and a 151.52-carat yellow diamond. In April and May, Gem Diamonds found three D-color, type IIa rough diamonds weighing 80.58 carats, 98.42 carats and 114 carats respectively.

Gem Diamonds shifted focus to the higher-grade K6 portion of Letšeng’s main pipe in the second quarter, enabling a higher rate of large-diamond discoveries, the company explained in May. This followed a slowdown in 2016, when it unearthed only five stones of 100 carats or more, dragging revenues down by 22%. 
via www.diamonds.net

What is a whopping 709-carat diamond worth? It's a mystery in Sierra Leone

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The recent find of a mammoth diamond the size of a hockey puck has everyone in this small West African nation wondering how big a fortune it will fetch.

Giddy talk about the gem's worth is providing a needed uplift in a country long plagued by misfortunes that include a deadly Ebola epidemic in 2013-16 and a decade-long civil war that broke out in 1991.

Even diamonds have a bad connotation here. Smugglers took advantage of the country's abundance of precious stones to sell them illegally and help finance that brutal conflict. The gems gained the name "blood diamonds" and inspired the 2006 movie Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

“This diamond makes me happy even though I am not the owner,” said Mohamed Bangura, 28, a bartender on popular Lumley beach. “When I saw it being displayed on national TV by the president, I felt good that after all these years, our country is making headlines again for a good reason.”

Sierra leone mapA few years ago, this beach was deserted because of a nationwide ban on public gatherings to prevent the spread of Ebola, which killed nearly 4,000 people in Sierra Leone.

Now on a recent sunny day, people on the beach enjoy picnics and discuss how local Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found the huge diamond in May in his small mining plot in Kono, in the east. Mining is a common alternative to subsistence farming in this impoverished country.

Following a law passed to curb diamond smuggling, the pastor handed the diamond, dubbed the "Transparent Gem," to the government, which is supposed to sell it and give the proceeds to him after collecting a 3% tax.

“My fear is, how will the money be shared and spent?” Bangura asked. “Diamonds worth millions of U.S. dollars have been smuggled before and nothing happened.”

The-sierra-leone-diamondDiamond experts say the gem could be the 10th-largest ever discovered and initially pegged its value at $50 million.

A few days before the new gem was put on auction, the diamond-mining firm Lucara sold an 813-carat diamond for $63 million in London. But the top offer for the Transparent Gem was only $7.8 million at a May auction. The government rejected the bid.

“The next step is to call for an international bidding to be held either in Tel Aviv or Antwerp to ensure the right price is paid,” government spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay said, referring to major diamond centers in Israel and Belgium.

Since then, the government has refused to answer questions about the diamond. That has led to much speculation about the sale and what happens next.

Cecilia Mattia, national coordinator for a mining watchdog group, said the country's diamond wealth often has led to tragedy: Thousands have died because of illegal trade, and rebels started the civil war by seizing mining regions.

“Diamonds and other minerals have not been very helpful to Sierra Leone for some obvious reasons,” Mattia said.

Now some hope diamonds can benefit the country.

“Our district lacks good roads, no electricity and no water,” said Fanday Musa, 25, a taxi-motorcycle driver in Kono, where the pastor found the stone.

The civil war destroyed Kono and left 50,000 dead nationwide. Musa hoped Momoh, the pastor, would spend his fortune from the diamond in his community. The churchman's mines employ a handful of men, providing crucial jobs for Kono.

“It’s a shame,” Musa said. “The name Kono is known worldwide, but on reaching here you will see the deplorable ruins left behind by the war. I hope the blessing of this gem will give a face lift to my town.”

Momoh believes he and his fellow citizens will receive their windfall soon.

“I am very satisfied," he said about giving the diamond to the authorities. "I am looking forward to the government working on how to sell the diamond in the interest of Sierra Leone.”

Others were impatient. “I want this diamond to be sold now,” said taxi driver Mohamed Sall, 34, of Bo South, an inland city. “Our country needs the money badly.”

Government officials counsel patience. “In the 1990s, our country was known for blood diamonds,” said Bayraytay, the government spokesman. “This is now a golden opportunity to let the world know that Sierra Leone is back on track. This diamond will help us achieve that.”

Some also hope the diamond heals the nation after Ebola.

“This is the first time since my adult life a diamond has been given this kind of attention,” said Ramatu Turay, 35, a street vendor in Port Loko, a northern district. “I lost relatives to Ebola in 2014. But this diamond is a way of wiping tears from Sierra Leone."

Alpha Kamara, Special for USA TODAY


$13 Diamond Ring Sells for $850,000

26.29 ct costume-diamond-1London--The owner of a diamond ring long believed to be an essentially worthless piece of costume jewelry saw the ring sell for more than $800,000 on Wednesday at Sotheby’s London.

The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, paid 10 British pounds (about $13) for the ring in the 1980s, buying it at a car-boot sale, a sale where people look to offload unwanted items out of the trunks of their cars.  

She wore it for decades to do chores and run errands, unaware that what she was wearing wasn’t a piece of cheap glass but a big, high-quality diamond. The stone’s old-fashioned cut and dark setting (it was set in a silver mounting that had tarnished) were likely why the ring’s owner didn’t know what she had, Sotheby’s said prior to the sale.

Then, one day, a local jeweler spotted the ring on the woman’s finger and, thinking it could be a real diamond, suggested she get it appraised.

She did and it turned out the jeweler was right--it was a real diamond, a 26.29-carat cushion-shaped stone graded as I color and VVS2 clarity by the Gemological Institute of America.

26.29 ct costume-diamond-2The diamond dates to the 19th century, though nothing is known of its history prior to its purchase in the 1980s.

At Sotheby’s Fine Jewels sale held Wednesday in London, a buyer paid 656,750 British pounds (including buyer’s premium), or about $851,000, for the ring.  

It was the top item in the sale, topping its highest pre-sale estimate by $400,000.

The buyer of the ring, which Sotheby’s referred to as the “Tenner” diamond because of the original price paid (10 British pounds), was identified by the auction house only as a member of the international trade. 

Sotheby’s Fine Jewels sale totaled 5.2 million British pounds ($6.7 million) and was 80 percent sold by lot.

The second highest-grossing lot of the sale was a Cartier diamond brooch that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wore on a number of high-profile public occasions, including the day she offered her resignation to the queen.

The brooch sold for 81,250 British pounds ($105,308), more than three times its highest pre-sale estimate. Proceeds from its sale will go to the Endeavour fund, a charity that supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

via www.nationaljeweler.com


Christie’s Sells 92ct. Heart Pendant for $15M

Christies heart diamondThe largest heart-shaped, D-flawless diamond ever offered at auction fetched $15 million at Christie’s in Geneva on Wednesday, the company reported.

The 92.15-carat diamond, which was mounted in a necklace, achieved $162,611 per carat, falling within its pre-sale estimate of $14.1 million to $20.2 million. The piece, dubbed “La Légende,” was a creation of Boehmer et Bassenge, a high-end maison launched last year and named after 18th-century Parisian jewelers Charles Boehmer and Paul Bassenge.

Other sales at the auction included a ring set with diamonds and an oval-cut, 15.03-carat ruby, which garnered $12.9 million. Separately, a cushion-shaped, 7.97-carat, fancy intense blue, VS1-clarity diamond went for $12.7 million, or $1.6 million per carat.

The Magnificent Jewels auction recorded total proceeds of $95 million (CHF 93.1 million) including buyer’s premiums. It came a day after rival Sotheby’s sold $151.5 million of jewelry at its Geneva event, headlined by a pair of earrings that fetched a record $57.4 million, or $2.9 million per carat.

via www.diamonds.net


Chunk That Broke Off 1,109-Carat Diamond Sells for $17M

 Vancouver, British Columbia--A 373.72-carat rough diamond that once was part of the second largest piece of rough ever found sold for $17.5 million last week, Lucara Diamond Corp. reported.

373.72 rough diamondThe diamond was one of 15 single-stone lots offered at the diamond mining company’s first “exceptional” stone tender of the year.

Graff Diamonds purchased the stone, posting a photo of the rough on its Instagram account over the weekend.

Lucara found the 374-carat diamond in November 2015at its Karowe mine in Botswana at the same time it discovered the record-setting, 1,111-carat diamond (now 1,109 carats) that would come to be known as Lesedi la Rona. 

CEO William Lamb said that had the smaller, 374-carat piece of rough not broken off the main stone, the diamond would have weighed almost 1,500 carats. But the huge rough diamond likely would have been crushed in the company’s recovery plant, which isn’t designed to handle stones of that size.

“If the 374-carat stone was still attached to the Lesedi, the stone would have been larger in two dimensions than the largest screen (sieve) used in the plant to separate material into different sizes,” he explained. “The original stone would have been too large to pass through the screen and the whole stone would have ended up in the crusher, where it would have been broken into a lot more pieces.”

He added that Lucara is currently in the process of upgrading its plant, an upgrade called mega diamond recovery or MDR, which will address this by recovering diamonds up to 5,000 carats right at the front of the process facility.

Also recovered from that fortuitous haul was an 812.77-carat diamond that sold for $63.1 million--more than $77,000 per carat--in May 2016, setting a new world record for a rough diamond.
 
The 374-carat diamond was the top lot in the Lucara’s tender, which was 100 percent sold by lot.

The sale, which contained rough diamond ranging from 374 to 29.9 carats in size, totaled $54.8 million, or $31,010 per carat.

Lucara said there were seven diamonds that sold for more than $2 million each. Of those, three diamonds topped $4 million.

182 carat rough diamondThis includes the 374-carat diamond and the auction’s second highest-grossing lot, a 182.47-carat diamond that sold for $6.3 million.

Since it started mining at Karowe in 2012, Lucara has gotten more than $1 million for each of 145 rough diamonds.

Its biggest find remains unsold, however.

Lesedi-la-Rona rough diamondThe 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona went up for public auction at Sotheby’s but nobody met the $70 million reserve price.

At the end of 2016, Lamb told National Jeweler that the rough diamond likely would be put up for sale again in 2017 but through a sealed bid tender, perhaps, and not a public auction.

When asked about the diamond on Monday, Lamb said: “We continue to speak to a number of people within the sector regarding the sale of the stone, as well as looking at options to partner to polish the stone or even polish it without a partner … We are looking at all options and hope to make a decision soon.”
 
 
By Michelle Graff

Countries That Produce the Most Diamonds

Despite a market that accounts for more than a third of global demand for the gemstone, the U.S. does not have any significant natural diamond resources within its geographical borders. Instead, Russia supplied about a third of the total carats mined in 2015.

Diamond production levels have remained steady in recent years, but industry analysts have predicted a dip in demand due in part to shifting preferences among millennials. The generation is getting married later, if at all, and has unique preferences.

In October, the Diamond Producers Association – a group of seven major diamond retailers, including De Beers and Canada's Lucara – launched an advertising campaign targeting millennial consumers called "Real Is Rare." The industry organization, founded in 2015, even got celebrity Nick Cannon involved.

Diamond-mines-map

But diamonds may not be as rare as the trade organization makes them out to be. After a drop in production between 2008 and 2009, more than 120 million carats of diamond have been produced each year by a handful of countries, largely concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, there are also "substantial" reserves of the gemstone around the world.

 

Here are the countries that produced the most diamonds in 2015, according to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a collaboration among government and industry organizations.

Country Diamond Production in 2015 (in carats) Average Value Per Carat
Russia 41.9 million $101
Botswana 20.8 million $144
Dem. Rep. of Congo 16.0 million $8
Australia 13.6 million $23
Canada 11.7 million $144
Angola 9.0 million $131
South Africa 7.2 million $193
Zimbabwe 3.5 million $50
Namibia 2.1 million $591
Sierra Leone 500,000 $309
 

The Hidden Meaning Behind Your Favorite Gemstones - Vogue

Gemstones-and-their-meaningsWhile fine jewelry is usually high in monetary value, what often makes it exceptional is that it’s steeped in significance. A piece of jewelry frequently has a particular aura that does not fade; it is with it that we mark the milestones of our lives—engagement, marriage, friendships, parenthood, birthdays, travels, traditions, and love.

Jewelry, some argue, emblematizes the sublime.

When we consider some of the materials jewelry is made with—metals derived from the earth’s crust and gemstones, which, like crystals, have significant metaphysical properties—it’s hard to deny the cosmic allure.

These materials have been honored, according to Maria Leach’s Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, “back beyond recorded history.” Ancient Roman texts note that Cupid’s arrows were tipped with magical diamonds. In Eastern narratives, dragons were often depicted with flaming, wish-granting pearls under their chins or in their claws. In early written accounts, people adorned themselves with feathers, bones, shells, and colored pebbles. We now, of course, refer to these arrangements of naturally occurring materials as jewelry—and now, the colored pebbles are known as gemstones.

Here, a look at the history of some favorite gemstones and their mythological meanings.

Ruby
In Sanskrit, the word for ruby is ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones.” In ancient Hinduism, it was believed by some that those who offered fine rubies to the god Krishna could be reborn as emperors. Rubies were divided into four castes. The Brahmin, for example, granted the advantage of perfect safety. The stone is also mentioned at least four times in the Bible, usually as a representative of beauty and wisdom. Numerous early cultures believed, because of the stone’s likeness to the color of blood, that rubies held the power of life. Among European royalty and the upper classes, rubies were thought to guarantee good health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. They’ve became some of the most sought-after gems.

 

Lapis
Lapis lazuli has always been associated with royalty and deities, and it may be where the idea of royal blue came from. Egyptians believed that it came from the heavens and provided protection in the afterlife, so they used it in their statues of the gods, in totemic objects, in jewelry, and in burial masks. In the epic poem Gilgamesh, Sumerians spent years traveling from one end of Asia to the other in order to mine and obtain the stone. Lapis is included in numerous other myths but has served practical purposes as well: Ancient Egyptians used it to create blue cosmetics, and during the Renaissance, painters ground the

via www.vogue.com


Pink Star diamond sets new world record in Hong Kong - BBC News

Pink Star diamondA 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."

via www.bbc.com


The journey of one of the rarest, largest diamonds - CNN.com

Cullinan Heritage rough diamondWhat do you do with one of the world's largest rough diamonds?  You chip away at it - - for some 47,000 man hours and then turn it into one lavish neckpiece, featuring 11,551 diamonds.

Follow this link to see a photo gallery that depicts a visual journey -- from the origins of where one of the world's rarest and largest diamonds was unearthed, to how it formed the core of an absurdly lavish necklace, made of 11,551 diamonds and hundreds of pieces of jade and jadeite. The piece was designed as a collaboration between jewelry designer Wallace Chan and Hong Kong's largest jewelry retailer, Chow Tai Fook.

via www.cnn.com


Two Large Rough Diamonds Found in Lesotho

New York--Two large diamonds have been uncovered in Africa in as many weeks, putting an end to the drought of big diamond finds the industry seems to have been experiencing.
Lesotho diamonds
Gem Diamonds uncovered the 114-carat D color, Type II rough diamond on the left at Letšeng while Firestone Diamonds found the 110-carat light yellow rough diamond at right at its Liqhobong project.

Mining company Gem Diamonds Ltd. announced the recovery of a 114-carat rough diamond from its Letšeng mine in Lesotho on Friday.

The company described it as a D color, Type II diamond of “exceptional quality.”

The Letšeng mine is known for producing large, high-quality white diamonds, selling at an average price of $2,000 per carat, according to Bloomberg, which is the highest in the industry.

It is the deposit responsible for producing the 357-carat chunk of rough that was cut into the 118.78-carat “Graff Venus,” the world’s largest flawless heart-shaped diamond.

Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded, though last year it only recovered five stones bigger than 100 carats, less than half what it found the year prior.

The news of Gem’s find came on the heels of another big diamond find from a rival miner in Lesotho, a small kingdom within a country that’s located in the southeastern portion of South Africa.

On April 5, Firestone Diamonds said it had unearthed a 110-carat diamond, its biggest discovery so far, at its new mine in Lesotho.

The light yellow stone was discovered at the Liqhobong project, confirming its beliefs that the deposit has the potential for large diamonds, the company said.

Firestone has spent $185 million to build up the mine, which just began production in October.

In addition to its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho, Firestone also owns and operates the BK11 kimberlite mine in northern Botswana.

via www.nationaljeweler.com