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4 posts from April 2006

235 Carat Diamond Found in South Africa

Nare235ctdiamondNare Diamonds Limited recently announced the discovery of a very rare 235-carat rough diamond from its Schmidtsdrift diamond mine in South Africa.  The mine was recently reopened after being purchased from the previous owner who shut down operations three years ago due to bankruptcy.

The mining operations are located on alluvial gravel deposits about 80 kilometers northwest of Kimberley in the Northern Cape Province.

The unusually large, egg-sized diamond is octahedron in shape and reported to be cape yellow color.

Octahedron_3In addition to diamonds, minerals commonly exhibiting the simple octahedral form are magnetite, chromite, franklinite, spinel, pyrochlore, cuprite, and gold. Sometimes fluorite, pyrite, and galena also take this crystal structure.

Rough Diamond Prices Hold Steady

De Beers Group, that mines about 40% of the world’s rough diamonds and markets about 45% of the world’s diamonds, announced today that the company is not planning to raise rough diamond prices in the near future.  Rough diamonds have been steady since a small price increase in February.

While retail sales have been steady to strong in recent months, the increase in global interest rates has created a demand on rough diamond demand.  It takes large financial resources to purchase the rough diamonds, cut and polish the stones, and then wait for the retail market to purchase them.  With interest rates doubling in recent months, securing financing for these large ventures has become more expensive.  Slow paying retailers have also squeezed the cutters and wholesalers, who find higher interest rates make it more expensive to “float” the retailers with diamonds on memo.

The De Beers Group has three primary shareholders, Anglo American (45%), the Oppenheimer family (40%) and the government of Botswana (15%).

Ten Commandments Diamond

Last November I wrote about unique shapes of diamonds, including one shaped like the Ten Commandments tablets.  That article is located at

Ten_commandments_diamondTrillion Diamond Company, perhaps best known for creating the trillion-cut diamond, recently received a Registered Trademark on the expression “Ten Commandments Diamond®.” Marvin Finker, President of Trillion Diamond Co. also announced the creation of a new website to promote their fascinating diamond shape.

The words of the original Ten Commandments are permanently laser inscribed on the table facet of the new diamond shape and are easily read with a magnifying glass.

If you are looking for a special gift for someone who would cherish these historic religious words, consider this is very special keepsake.

Gold Prices Hit 25-Year High

The price of gold hit a 25-year high yesterday in London causing consumers worldwide to curb their gold jewelry purchases.  Typically, commodity prices go up due to demand being greater than supply, but the demand for gold is actually declining and is lagging production.

Gold bullion traded at $591.92 an ounce yesterday in London, the highest price since January of 1981.

Gold demand from jewelers dropped 15 percent in the fourth quarter, which was the largest single quarter decline since the first quarter of 2002.  Jewelry prices are projected  to be weak the first quarter of 2006 and the recent high prices will probably ensure that trend will continue.