685 posts categorized "Diamond Industry News"

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


Inside Russia’s Diamond Mines

 

Mirny diamond mineIn the far north-east of Russia, a whole town of people dedicates their working lives to finding diamonds. Russia is the world's largest producer of diamonds by volume and Mirny is its ‘diamond capital'. 

Mirny is so remote that the people here refer to the rest of Russia as ‘the mainland.'

Located in Russia's far northeast, 4,000 km from Moscow, the main route in and out is via aircraft. In winter, when temperatures can drop to below -50 degrees centigrade, ice roads appear allowing supplies to be brought in overland. 

The town itself is built around a giant hole in the ground. It is probably Mirny's most distinguishing feature. Diamonds were discovered here in the 1950s and as the diamond mine grew, so did the town around it. The city has primarily been financed from the proceeds of the quarry - which grew to be 1.2km wide and 525m deep.

It is a remote, inhospitable place. Until June this year there was still snow on the ground. "In Mirny, for ten months of the year, it is winter."

The attraction here is definitely not the climate or the location, but the higher wages which attract people from other Russian regions and former Soviet states.

Click here to read the entire article with photos and video of life at Russia's diamond mines.


The Most Expensive Hole in the World

Mir mine photoWith an expected value of £13billion (over $17 billion), this could be the most expensive hole in the world.

Dubbed 'Diamond City', Mir mine in eastern Siberia is so huge it creates a vortex potentially strong enough to suck helicopters into its depths.

At 1,722-feet-deep and with a diameter of nearly one mile, the crater makes it look like the nearby town of Mirny has been struck by a meteorite.

Check out the full article with other great photos and videos showing this exceptional diamond mine.

 




De Beers' Gahcho Kue mine comes online, producing its first diamonds - North - CBC News

$1B mine on track to begin commercial production in 1st quarter of 2017

By Guy Quenneville, CBC News Posted: Aug 03, 2016 1:28 PM CTLast Updated: Aug 03, 2016 1:28 PM CT

1-of-3-open-pits-at-gahcho-kue-diamond-mine-august-2016

De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds have started producing diamonds at their Gahcho Kue mine in the Northwest Territories.

While the mine isn't expected to reach a commercial level of production until the first quarter of 2017, Gahcho Kue has made the significant move from construction and commissioning to, as De Beers spokesperson Tom Ormsby put it, "actually putting some ore in the plant."

"Everything is now working," said Ormsby, adding that the $1-billion project remains on budget and slightly ahead of its timeline.

Production had long been expected to begin in late 2016.

2nd N.W.T. project for De Beers

Gahcho Kue, located 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, is De Beers' second diamond mine in the N.W.T. after Snap Lake, and its third project in Canada. (The company also operates the Victor mine in Northern Ontario.)

The company shut down production at Snap Lake in December, laying off 434 workers. De Beers is now preparing to flood the mine's underground workings, unless it can find a buyer for that mine.

More than 100 former Snap Lake workers are now working at Gahcho Kue. At Snap Lake, around 75 workers continue to prepare the mine for flooding.

Ormsby was unsure whether more former Snap Lake workers could transition to the new mine.

He said that while Snap Lake was an underground mine, Gahcho Kue's three deposits will be mined in the more traditional (and technically less complicated) open-pit style, which requires a different (and not always transferable) set of skills.

Grand opening coming soon

Gahcho Kue is expected to have a steady workforce of around 500 people, said Ormsby.  

De Beers and Mountain Province — which owns a 49-per-cent stake in Gahcho Kue — plan to hold an official grand opening "in the next couple months," said Ormsby.

via www.cbc.ca