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Weekly Digest: Record blue diamond prices, revenue surges at Petra and new collaborations for AWDC


In our weekly summary of the biggest news from the international diamond and diamond jewellery industries, blue diamonds excel at auction, ALROSA strengthens its ties with CARAT+ Main Partner, Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Petra enjoys a successful Q3. 

Blue diamonds fetch extraordinary results at New York sales

Two blue diamonds garnered remarkable sales results at Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions in New York in April.
An incredibly rare 3.47-carat fancy intense blue diamond ring, which sold in Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on April 19 for $6.7 million, achieved a new world auction record price-per-carat for any fancy intense blue diamond ($1,920,259 per-carat).

The 3.47ct fancy intense blue diamond ring that smashed the world auction price-per-carat record at Sotheby’s New York. Image Credit: Sotheby’s. 

Gary Schuler, Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division, Americas, said: “Our results affirm that the auction market continues to flex its strength in top-quality diamonds, important gemstones and jewels with distinguished provenance.”

Elsewhere, a 3.09-carat blue diamond comfortably surpassed its pre-sale estimate at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York.

The rectangular-cut, fancy intense blue diamond ring, surrounded by tapered baguette-cut diamonds, sold for $5.4 million. Its pre-sale estimate was $2 million to $3 million.

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ALROSA opens India representative office

ALROSA opened a representative office in Mumbai in April in order to strengthen ties with the Indian trade and manufacturers.

India is the world’s largest diamond polishing centre. From 70% to 90% of rough diamonds are cut there. ALROSA has a long trade collaboration with India and is interested in strengthening this cooperation, the Russian miner said in a statement.

In 2017, ALROSA directly supplied to India rough diamonds worth almost $700 million.

In the new contract period (2018-2020), ALROSA has signed 15 long-term contracts with diamond manufacturing companies in India – 14 for gem-quality diamonds and one for industrial goods.

The miner currently works with more than 100 Indian companies that buy diamonds from the spot market or auctions.

Related News: Rough diamond market showing signs of recovery

Higher rough diamond prices bolster Petra sales

A rise in rough diamond prices boosted sales of miner Petra Diamonds in its fiscal third quarter ending March 31, 2018.

Sales revenue surged 44% for Petra Diamonds in Q3. Pictured: A 121.26 carat Type II white diamond recovered at Cullinan, June 2016. Image Credit: Petra. 

Revenue surged 44% year-on-year to $172 million, while sales volume rose 28% to 1.4 million carats. The average selling price increased 12% to $125 per carat. 

Rough prices rose 5% on a like-for-like basis at the two tenders the company held in the quarter, compared with the July-to-December period, the miner said in a statement. 

“The diamond market remained relatively strong in the third quarter, boosted by the continued festive retail selling season, incorporating Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, which in turn led to restocking in the pipeline and resultant good demand for purchasing of rough diamonds,” Petra Diamonds said.

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AWDC and ALROSA sign cooperation agreement 

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) signed a cooperation agreement with Russian miner ALROSA, during a mission to Russia by the City of Antwerp, in partnership with the Port of Antwerp, on April 24.

In signing the agreement at a ceremony held in the presence of Bart de Wever, Mayor of Antwerp, and Jean-Arthur Regibeau, Ambassador of Belgium to Russia, the AWDC’s CEO Ari Epstein and ALROSA’s CEO Sergey Ivanov have expanded and strengthened the relationship between the two groups for years to come.

Representatives of the AWDC and Alrosa have signed a cooperation agreement to improve ties between the two organisations. Image Credit: AWDC/Alrosa. 

The objective of this new cooperation agreement is to improve the scope and efficiency of the ties between ALROSA and AWDC, and to commit to supporting one another across a broad spectrum of topics, from the open exchange of information to the promotion of joint marketing initiatives, the AWDC said. 

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It also seals their mutual commitment to protect the integrity and transparency of the diamond value chain by supporting the work of the World Diamond Council and the Kimberley Process, and reaffirms their efforts to improve consumer confidence in diamonds as a product.

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Words by David Brough




CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.

Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world. 

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