81 posts categorized "Diamond Education"

Diamonds.net - Fancy Color Diamonds Identified as Stable, High Growth Alternative Asset Class

Fancy colored diamondsA new index by The Fancy Color Research Foundation (The FCRF) shows that fancy color diamonds have delivered strong and consistent price increases, outperforming key global asset indices  since 2005.
Fancy color diamonds, predominantly  yellow, pink and blue diamonds, have always been highly prized and rare assets. They are found randomly and unpredictably in diamond mines throughout the world and are enjoyed by sophisticated jewelry buyers and gem collectors alike. Consistent recent growth in values has reflected the changing dynamics of global wealth notably the fast paced growth of emerging markets and the appeal of fancy color diamonds as an investment product. 

The Fancy Color Diamond Index (The Index) has been developed by The FCRF from proprietary access to tens of thousands of fancy color diamond transactions since 2005 and will be updated on a quarterly basis. The Index provides greater knowledge and understanding of fancy color diamond pricing trends to jewelry retail, wholesale and mining industries.

Fancy color diamonds, across pinks, yellows and blues, have increased in value by 167 percent on average since January 2005, outperforming other leading assets in a similar period, for example, the Dow Jones industrial average has increased 58 percent,  Standard & Poor’s 500 has increased 63 percent and London house prices have increased 82.1 percent. 

Looking in more detail the Index shows that pink diamonds have shown the greatest growth in value, up by 360 percent in the last nine years, with blues showing less dramatic but equally consistent growth of a 161 percent by value. Crucially, both pink and blue diamonds were unaffected by the global financial crisis with blues keeping their value and pinks still increasing through 2008 to 2010. 

The publication of the Index marks the launch of The FCRF, which is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote fair-trade, ethics and transparency in the fancy color diamond retail, wholesale and mining industry.

The FCRF activity will encompass:

• Developing innovative research and digital tools that will support the fancy color diamond retail selling process for consumers, retailers and collectors;

• Promoting fair trade in fancy color diamonds throughout the value chain underpinned by reliable data analysis to create a uniform knowledge base across all industry layers;

• Authoring publications to clarify the complex methodology for evaluating fancy color diamonds;

• Correcting common misconceptions about evaluating fancy color diamonds.

The FCRF expects that together these activities will enhance consumer demand and retail understanding of fancy color diamonds.

The FCRF was initiated by Eden Rachminov, author of "The Fancy Color Diamond Book" and winner of the NCDIA education award. Ambitions and activities of The FCRF will be guided and evaluated by an experienced board of advisors that work throughout the diamond pipeline.

Rachminov, a member of the board of advisors for The FCRF, commented, “The launch of The Fancy Color Research Foundation is in response to the growth in fancy color diamonds transactions and the resulting need for greater education, understanding and clarity in the industry.

“The process and skills for evaluating fancy color diamonds are unique to this exceptional product. As a result there is a need to clarify misconceptions and to highlight the differences to evaluating colorless diamonds. 

“In addition to publishing the Index, The FCRF is developing and publishing a series of practical tools, targeted at retailers. We are confident that The Fancy Color Research Foundation will be a significant influence on increasing demand within the fancy color diamond industry.”

Membership of the FCRF is open to retailers, auction houses, wholesale traders/manufacturers, financial institutions, insurance appraisers and mining companies. Organizations interested in membership of The FCRF should visit fcresearch.org to register details.

About the Fancy Color Diamond Index:
The Index is a first of its kind tracker of changes in the market prices of yellow, pink and blue fancy color diamonds, the three most commonly traded fancy color diamond categories (a market price is a wholesale transaction taking place in one or more of the global diamond trading centers). 

The Index is a composite representation of changes in price points gathered since 2005, based on a statistically significant sample size. It offers insight into variations in the appreciation of diamonds of different colors and sizes. 

The Fancy Color Research Foundation oversees proprietary prevalence and pricing data aggregation and production of the index. A third party New York-based audit firm reviews the development of The Index from the various data points gathered.

The Index can be used to understand and track the historical price behavior of different rare fancy color diamonds.

via www.diamonds.net

New lawsuits filed against Genesis Diamonds concerning EGL-certified diamonds

Gia_vs_eglA lawsuit filed Monday centers on what might be the most dramatic example yet of diamond discrepancies at Nashville's popular Genesis Diamonds.

In one of two suits filed on Monday, a customer said a pair of three-carat diamond cufflinks he bought from Genesis, with color grades certified by a lab known as EGL International, turned out to be six to seven colors worse and far less valuable when analyzed by GIA, the most stringent diamond grading laboratory.

The same customer also bought an expensive anniversary ring he claimed was exaggerated by four color grades in its EGL International certification.

"There's a six-figure difference, over $100,000, between what my client was told these diamonds were worth and what an independent appraiser told us they were worth when we had them checked this year," attorney Brian Cummings said.

Last May, the Channel 4 I-Team talked to customers, former employees and competing jewelers who claimed Genesis often sold diamonds certified by EGL International. In many cases, those diamonds were not of the quality the customers expected.

There are now three lawsuits against Genesis concerning misleading customers about the quality of certain diamonds.

Eli Richardson, Genesis Diamond's attorney, said diamond grading is done with the human eye and the store stands by what it sells.

"All grading is subjective, and EGL International is known to be more lenient than GIA," Richardson said. "That does not make EGL International certifications fraudulent, just more lenient."

The two customers who filed suits Monday are represented by a different attorney than the one who alleged Genesis was breaking U.S. custom laws by offering EGL-certified diamonds, since the laboratory is involved in a complicated legal fight over its name.

Cummings said his customers had no idea their diamonds weren't worth what they paid.

"We have purchases in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by two different individuals at three very different price points, but the single common denominator was Genesis Diamonds told these people on different days these items were worth or what their grades were, were far from the truth," Cummings said.

Attorneys for Genesis said the store offered full refunds to both customers who filed a suit Monday, but both refused.

Genesis also said at least one of the pieces of jewelry at issue wasn't even certified as the suit describes.

Reported by Demetria Kalodimos - Channel 4 Nashville, TN



Will rare pink diamond auction sparkle for investors? - Telegraph

Will rare pink diamond auction sparkle for investors?

Pink diamond tender comes as wealthy Asian buyers spur rise in the precious stones

Red diamondsRio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining company, has launched its latest rare pink diamond auction in Australia as prices for the most sought after of precious gems stones are expected to surge. The 2014 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection which is going under the hammer comprises 55 diamonds, including 51 pink and purplish red diamonds and four Fancy Red diamonds.
Only 13 Fancy Red diamonds have been included in the annual tender in the last 30 years.
Diamonds are becoming an increasingly rare item as fewer mines remain in operation and new discoveries dwindle. According to Petra Diamonds there are only around 30 operational diamond mines still working around the world. De Beers estimates there is only a 1pc chance of finding a profitable diamond mine.
Rio Tinto controls the market for pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia. Around 65pc of the world's diamond supplies come from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director said: "Decades ago, no one would have believed that Australia held the secret of diamonds, let alone virtually the world's entire source of rare pink and red diamonds.
"The pinnacle of the production from Rio Tinto's Argyle mine, the annual pink tender diamonds are now celebrated internationally as amongst the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. We have seen and continue to see sustained demand and price growth for Argyle pink diamonds.
" Investors have until October 8 to submit bids for the diamonds, which will be showcased in New York, Sydney, Perth and Hong Kong.
According to Rio Tinto, the market for pink diamonds is quite separate to white diamonds, and due to their rarity, pink diamonds typically command prices far in excess of white diamonds. The world's biggest certified diamond is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found at the mine near Pretoria in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, set in the Crown Jewels of Britain. However, most of the new demand for diamonds is now coming from the Asian market.
In 2000, the whole of Asia made up 8pc of global diamond jewellery sales, while in 2012 China and Hong Kong alone made up 13pc, with the expectation that this will rise to 18pc by 2017. Bain's 2013 diamond report found that the stones have strong spiritual resonance in China, where diamonds are associated with eternity and high status. And the country's affluent middle class is predicted to grow by 60pc, or 200m, to a total of more than 500m over the next six years..

via www.telegraph.co.uk


Diamond Source of Virginia - Your source for diamond earrings

RB 2.11 tcw 3-prong-1smFor round diamond earring mountings, we recommend 14-karat white gold three-prong Martini style mountings with Versa posts and Guardian™  clutch backs.  We find these to be the best looking, most comfortable and most secure types of mounting and backs.
The three-prong head keeps the round appearance more than then four-prong heads often used for earrings.

Why the Diamond Business Keeps Getting Slammed - JCK

Blog post by By Rob Bates, Senior Editor JCK Magazine

Rough diamonds-4jpgI have heard it said that if you really want to distrust the mass media, read articles on a subject you know a lot about. And so it is with diamonds. Every six months or so, I come across articles along the lines of “diamonds are a scam.” (See recent pieces in The Huffington Post, PolicyMic, and Bustle.) Now, JCK’s editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky, Trace Shelton at Instore, and Edahn Golan at IDEX have had their say on these articles, and their takes are all worth reading. But I’d also like to talk about some common assertions, look at where they came from, and why they keep popping up.

First, let’s start with something you hear a lot: “Diamonds are not rare.” Now, this is true, to an extent. You can buy diamonds at any mall in America. Any item that is available within a 10-mile radius of most Americans is not rare. But high-quality diamonds are not so easy to find. And the biggest, best-quality diamonds are rarest of all. Wealthy investors wouldn’t spend $30 million for a 118 ct. D Flawless if there were piles of them lying around somewhere.

When people say “diamonds aren’t rare” they generally mean the supply of diamonds has been artificially constrained. And yes, for decades, De Beers did stockpile diamonds in order to keep the prices high. Now, however, its market share is 35 to 40 percent, and it no longer makes sense to do that. In addition, De Beers’ agreement with European Union antitrust authorities forbids it from stockpiling. As does the American antitrust class-action suit that became final in 2012, which requires De Beers to:

…abide by state and federal antitrust laws, prohibits specific conduct that Plaintiffs believe has been anticompetitive in the past, limits De Beers’ purchase of rough diamonds from a third party to 40 percent of that third party’s production unless a regulatory agency gives express approval otherwise, prohibits stockpiling of rough diamonds, and prohibits resale price maintenance agreements by De Beers. 

(And really, think about it. If De Beers went through the trouble of paying $300 million to settle an antitrust class action regarding its anticompetitive conduct, it wouldn’t then go out and repeat the same behavior that led to the lawsuit. That would mean it would get sued again.) 

The diamond industry used to be run by a cartel. It isn’t anymore. You would think if these writers really cared about all this, they would be happy about that. Instead many just gloss over or ignore it, even though the information has been out there for years.  

The other thing you hear a lot is that “diamonds have no value,” that they are just shiny rocks. This is also true and false. Diamonds have value because we as humans give them value. Just like we do for an Andy Warhol print—which, after all, is just paint on a canvas, with no practical use. Or a piece of paper with Beatles lyrics on it. Or a gold bar, Rolex watch, Louis Vuitton handbag, or iPod. Marketing played a huge role in fueling desire for diamonds and diamond engagement rings in particular. But marketing also played a role in the rise of Andy Warhol. Not to mention the Beatles, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, and the iPod.

Some of the worst commentary out there relies heavily on a 1982 article in The Atlantic by Edward Jay Epstein titled “Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?”, adapted from his book of the same year. (One blogger for Priceonomics seems to have just rewrote Epstein and called it a day.) The thing about that Atlantic piece is, it’s 32 years old. It talks about standard 200 percent markups on diamonds. Those don’t exist anymore. And today, many jewelers buy off the street. If you Google “we buy diamonds,” you get 1.5 million results. According to one estimate, $1 billion in diamonds has been traded in the last few years. So Epstein may not have had luck selling his stone. But plenty more have. 

Will you get full retail value for your diamond the day after you bought it? Of course not. But a diamond holds its value a lot better than many other purchases. If someone wrote an article titled “Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Three-Year-Old Microwave Oven?” he wouldn’t have much luck either. 

Now, diamond prices are a lot more volatile than they have been in the past. That is one aftereffect of the decline of the cartel structure. But as countless consultant reports will tell you, the long-term picture is for diamond prices to rise, because demand is increasing while supply isn’t. And really, if anyone believes his diamonds have no value, please send them to me. I will be happy to take those worthless objects off anyone's hands.

(One aside: Epstein, who did uncover a lot of interesting information in 1982, just reemerged with an article: “Will the Diamond Cartel Survive?” In 2009, he wrote an article called “Can Diamonds Survive the Free Market?” You would think that after three decades of predicting the industry’s doom, he’d at least consider a more nuanced view on the subject. And while his original tome did feature some impressive shoe-leather reporting, he doesn’t seem to have done much work on the industry since then, and his recent article is isn't much different from his 2009 piece, which in turn rehashes his 30-year-old book. Even Epstein, it seems, is recycling Epstein.)

Now, some of these authors are just lazy, repeating facts that are “too good to check.” But in the end, I don’t blame these guys (and most of them are guys). Our industry is at fault. And not just because it’s had, at times, a genuinely ugly history. It’s because it doesn’t stick up for itself.

What kind of lame business lets people spread untruths about it and never responds or tries to correct them? The only people countering these articles are me and my colleagues in the trade press, and that really isn’t our role. Even De Beers never bothers to reply to these things, and it gets slammed worst of all. Considering it wants to establish itself as a consumer brand name, that is a little nuts. 

There is talk that the reconstituted World Diamond Council may represent the industry publicly. That would be welcome. Contrary to what you may have read pre-Valentine’s Day, diamonds are not worthless. But if this industry keeps ignoring its public image as well as the attitudes of younger consumers, and if it can’t get its act together to promote or defend itself, it may prove its worst critics right after all. 


via www.jckonline.com

Orange Diamonds are Rare and Beautiful

Orange-diamond 14.82 pear-1The world’s largest orange diamond, the 14.82 carat stone named “The Orange”, was auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva on November 12, 2013. It sold for $35,000,000, setting the world record for the largest orange diamond and the highest price per carat paid for any colored diamond.

It is approximately three times larger than the other two known large orange diamonds (the 5.54-carat “Pumpkin Diamond” and a 4.19-carat Fancy Vivid Orange, which sold for $2.95 million in 2011).

Pumpkin diamond 5.54 carat-1Few people have ever seen a pure orange diamond because they are so rare and usually kept in private collections. The majority of orange diamonds are found in Africa. The auction of the Pumpkin Diamond, named by the buyer Ronald Winston as it was purchased the day before Halloween, make the news in 1997 and created the first general interest in orange diamonds. At the time the 5.54-carat Pumpkin Diamond with Fancy Vivid Orange color was the largest ever found.

The vast majority of all diamonds have a trace of nitrogen, which usually produces brown or yellow color. With orange diamonds the nitrogen atoms are grouped in a special way when the diamond is formed. The result is that light in the blue and yellow region of the color spectrum is absorbed, producing the orange color.

Orange-diamond 14.82 pear-2Like all colored diamonds, the strength of color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of the diamond. As the color of diamonds progress up the intensity scale (Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, and Fancy Vivid), the rarity and value increases.

Learn more about orange diamonds...

Fancy colored diamond prices are showing significant gains in 2013

Colored diamondsFancy colored diamond prices are showing significant gains in 2013 while other goods struggle along. As a result, the various auctions and tenders held in the past two weeks continued to set records, headlining the strength of the colored diamond market with both dealers and private buyers driving up prices.

With more buyers around and diminishing supply, prices have continued to increase. While there is no formal price list for colored goods, Rachminov, managing owner of Rachminov Diamonds estimates that prices for pink diamonds are up about 30 percent from a year ago, while fancy intense vivid yellow goods are up around 35 percent, with lower-quality yellow diamonds up approximately 10 percent. Prices of fancy blue diamonds have increased by about 35 percent in the past two years. Similar estimates were reported from Rio Tinto’s recent Argyle tender of pink diamonds. Leibish Polnauer, of Leibish & Co., who won seven of the 64 Argyle diamonds on offer at the tender, said prices were about 35 percent higher than last year. He similarly reasoned that there were more people bidding. As a result, Rio Tinto fetched record prices with its top lot, a 2.51-carat, fancy deep pink diamond, selling for more than $2 million, or at least $797,000 per carat.

Buyers were therefore spread geographically at the recent Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale. Three of the top ten lots went to private Asian buyers, three to the international trade, two of the top buyers remained anonymous, and one lot sold to a member of the U.S. trade. The very top lot sold to UK-based Moussaieff Jewellers, which bought the rectangular cut, 8.77-carat, fancy intense pink, VVS1 diamond for $6.3 million, or $721,200 per carat.

via www.diamondworld.net

Fancy Vivid Green Cushion Diamond

1.61 carat Cushion Vivid GreenWe occasionally have clients who have green as their favorite color and ask about green colored diamonds.  They are often surprised to hear that green is one of the rarest color for natural diamonds.  A 1.61 carat Cushion Modified Brilliant cut diamond was announced on the market today which is one of the first large GIA graded Fancy Vivid Green diamonds we can remember seeing on the market.

Most green diamonds are a “mint” green color, which is most often seen in diamonds from Brazil.  The “grass” green color of this diamond is likely a result of its African origin.

The rare Fancy colored diamonds (red, pink, green, blue, orange, purple, and violet) have gone up in price dramatically the past ten years.  With prices up as much as ten-fold in ten years, these diamonds have been a focus of investors seeking returns not easily found in real estate, stocks, or bonds.

If you are interested in learning more about Fancy Colored Diamonds as investments, please give us a call at (804) 360-7428.

A new perfection found in diamonds created by an asteroid in Siberian crater 35 million years ago

Popigai Crater mapNew research indicates special qualities which makes these diamonds unique in the world, according to a new announcement by scientists in Novosibirsk. 

'We and Japanese colleagues have arrived at very interesting conclusions,' said Nikolai Pokhilenko, director of the Sobolev Geology and Mineralogy Institute of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, reported Interfax.

Their 'high abrasiveness' is 50% to 60% superior to natural or synthetic diamonds, he said. 

The impact diamonds from the crater also have exclusive polishing characteristics. 'It is possible to make ideally smooth surfaces. Even nano-size crystals of a regular diamond scratch surfaces, but these diamonds polish so well that you won't see any scratches even with an electronic microscope,' he revealed. 

This bodes well for potential applications in high-precision optical systems in satellites, jewellery and other industries, new composite materials, borers and cutting tools, Pokhilenko said. Further studies of the impact diamonds from the vast site - with reserves 10 times bigger than the world's known diamonds - will continue in cooperation with the Kyiv Institute of Super-Solid Materials, Alrosa's subsidiary Almazy Anabara and De Beers' synthetic diamond subsidiary Element Six, and Baker Hughes.

'The precious stones were created by the impact of a space projectile crashed into the Earth 35million years ago, leaving the 100km wide crater'. Pictures: Republic of Sakha information portal 

An expedition to the Popigai crater has been planned for 2014. 

'We will collect samples of impact rock from the discharge area: large pieces, up to 1.5 centimetres, spewed from the crater after the impact,' Pokhilenko told Interfax. He estimated the world market capacity for the new type of diamond raw materials at approximately 3 billion carats.

'The scope of diamond use in industries is growing rapidly in contrast to rare earths, the consumption of which is growing 10-15% per annum,' he said.

'The output of synthetic diamonds has reached 14 billion carats and the new materials (impact diamonds) have their own niche and will eventually force out synthetic diamonds because they are more efficient.'

The precious stones were created by the impact of a space projectile crashed into the Earth 35million years ago, leaving the 100km wide crater.

'The first results of research were sufficient to talk about a possible overturn of the entire world market of diamonds', said the scientist a year ago. 

The crater is located above the Arctic Circle northeast of the most northern Russian city of Norilsk. The nearest stepping off point is the outpost of Khatanga from where it is accessible by helicopter. The Popigai crater is an icon to paleontologists and geologists. But for decades the region was 'off limits' due to diamond mines constructed by Stalin's gulag prisoners. Designated a Geopark by UNESCO, it was created by either an 8 km (5.0 mile) diameter chondrite asteroid, or a 5 km (3.1 mile) diameter stony asteroid, say experts. 

Graphite in the ground was instantly transformed into diamonds over a vast territory. Several scientific expeditions to the crater in the 1990s furthered understanding of its origins and potent

via siberiantimes.com

The state of 2013 global rough diamond supply | Resource Investor

Rough diamondRough diamonds achieved record prices in the summer of 2011, but prices have since slipped back to 2010 levels on global macroeconomic worries.  However, current prices are still higher than historic levels reached in the summer of 2008, and new supply is estimated to fall short of new demand over the next two decades, which could take prices back to new highs. According to a December Bain and Co. report, “The Global Diamond Industry: Portrait of Growth,” global diamond demand is expected to grow at 5.9% annually through 2020, while supply is only expected to grow at 2.7% over the same period of time.  (I think it is worth noting that when discussing diamond supply/demand, the demand is typically end user or purchaser demand of polished diamonds, while supply is typically rough diamond supply from mines.  There are sometimes divergences between rough and polished diamond prices, but generally speaking they are symbiotic.)

Modest-at-best new supply growth over the next 17 years can be attributed to mature mines approaching non-economic depths, and a lack of new projects to offset the diminishing production of the aging mines. Even with annual supply growth of 2.7% through 2020, the supply in 2020, estimated to be 157 million carats, will still not equal pre-financial crisis supply of 177 million carats produced in 2005.

Two of the largest diamond mines in the world, Canada’s Ekati and Diavik mines, have exhausted open pit resources and now are both underground mines. The need to convert a mine from an open pit operation to an underground operation typically results in curtailed production given the geology of kimberlite pipes (the geologic formation of the resource is shaped like a carrot, and gets narrower at depth). Ekati’s production declined 28% year-over-year (YOY) in 2012, and Davik’s production is estimated to decline 17% YOY in 2013.  Three more of the world’s largest mines are set to go underground over the next few years, as Russia’s Udachny mine is expected to be converted to an underground operation in the next two to four years, and Botswana’s Jwaneng and Orapa mines are expected to go underground shortly thereafter. 

Given that it can take more than a decade and $1billion to take a diamond project from discovery to production, there have been a very limited number of significant new projects in development since the mid-1990s.  Projects expected to come online in the next five years, with estimated annual production of 1 million carats or more are Canada’s Renard and Gahcho Kue projects, Botwana’s Ghagoo project, and Russia’s Grib, Lomonosov, Botuobinskaya, and Lomonosovsky projects.  Two other projects worth noting are Canada’s Chidliak and Star-Orion projects, which have the potential to be large mines, but are not likely to commence production any time soon.

The intention of this study is to focus solely on the new supply of gem-quality rough diamonds through mine production.  The mining of industrial grade (non-gem-quality) diamonds exclusively is not economic, thus, an estimated 98% of industrial grade diamond demand is supplied with synthetic (lab grown) diamonds.  However, mines do produce industrial grade diamonds, but only as a by-product.  On average, gem-quality diamonds only represent approximately 25% of a mines production, but account for 95% of the value of diamonds produced. It is important to understand that diamond mining is not just about the quantity of carats produced, but also the quality of diamonds produced. That said, for purposes of simplicity, this study is based on the assumption that the supply of rough diamonds is based on the quantity of carats produced, not the value of carats produced.

Global 2012 rough diamond production is estimated to have been 127 million carats, 2013 production is estimated to be 130 million carats.  The below chart details the production of the most significant diamond mines in the world, estimated to produce a combined 113 million carats in 2013 (or 87% of estimated 2013 supply). The balance of 2013 global rough diamond production (or 13% of estimated 2013 supply) not included below is composed of small-scale or informal mining operations, where production data is opaque or not available.  For example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the third largest diamond producer in the world by volume, but there is only one commercial producer in the country, so the majority of DRC production data on a project basis is unreliable or not available at all. 

 via www.resourceinvestor.com

Denny's Comments

Like most industries, the price of diamonds is product of the balance between supply and demand.  This is especially true now that there are many diamond producers and no De Beers monopoly.  The lead time to bring on new diamond production is long and requires great investment so we can expect to see prices increase until this investment in new mines is justified.