Weekly Digest: An impossibly rare 100ct diamond, Women’s Jewelry Network news and strong Alrosa sales
This week’s round-up of the biggest headlines from the international diamond and diamond jewellery industries sparkles with an incredible 102.34 carat flawless diamond, plus sales news from Alrosa and insights on India straight from Mumbai.
Sotheby’s unveils rarest white diamond ever to come to market
To celebrate the first anniversary of its New Bond Street salon in London, Sotheby’s Diamonds, a retail boutique specialising in the world’s finest diamonds, will unveil a stone of exception – an extraordinarily rare 102.34 carat white diamond.
The stone is the only known round brilliant-cut diamond over 100 carats that is perfect according to colour, clarity and cut, Sotheby’s said in a statement.
An extraordinarily rare 10234 carat white diamond from Sothebys Diamonds
At 102.34 carats, this stone is the rarest white diamond ever to come to the market and the largest, round D colour flawless diamond known to man, it said.
The only stone of its kind ever graded by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), the diamond has achieved the highest rankings under each of the criteria by which the quality of a stone is judged (‘the four Cs’).
India gem export arm urges “rolling back” of diamond import duty
Pramod Agrawal, newly elected Chairman of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), has urged the government to cancel a doubling of the import duty on polished diamonds to 5 percent.
“We have asked the government to roll back the increase of the import duty,” Agrawal told a news conference after the opening ceremony of the IIJS Signature show in Mumbai on February 9.
The GJEPC is urging the government to set the import duty at the previous level of 2.5 percent, he said. The government on February 1 announced a doubling of the duty to 5 percent.
Agrawal has said the duty increase would hamper “India’s chances of becoming an international diamond trading hub” as it “doesn’t provide India a level playing field vis-à-vis other peers such as Belgium, Dubai and Israel.”
He welcomed a decision to cut the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for diamonds to 0.25 percent from 3 percent from late January, saying it would encourage the trade in diamonds in the domestic market.
In contrast, India’s gem and jewellery exports are forecast to see double digit growth in value terms year-on-year in 2018, with Agrawal predicting a 15-20 percent rise this year.
Women’s Jewelry Association elects Jenny Luker as President
The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) elected Jenny Luker, President of Platinum Guild International, as the new President of the WJA International Board of Directors.
Joining Luker on the 2018 WJA Board's Executive Committee are newly elected officers: Sara Yood, Senior Counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, as Treasurer; Rebecca Moskal, Partner at Communique, as Corporate Secretary; and Lauren Thompson, Associate Director of communications & digital development at Jewelers of America, as Vice President of Chapter Affairs.
Jenny Luker has been named the new President of the WJA International Board of Directors
"We have a new executive committee and a board reflecting our diverse membership in terms of geography and segment of the industry. This gives us a chance to view our mission with fresh eyes,” Luker said.
The Women's Jewelry Association aims to help women in the jewellery and watch industries advance and develop professionally through networking, education, leadership development, and the provision of member services.
Russian miner Alrosa sees jump in January sales
Alrosa’s sales surged 38 percent to $504.5 million in January, following a buoyant holiday season, the Russian miner said.
“We have seen good demand for the whole assortment of our diamond products,” Alrosa Deputy CEO Yury Okoemov said.
“[Demand was] supported by positive trends in the major sales markets, backed by good retail sales results in 2017, including the Christmas season, and growing polished-diamond prices in January.”
Rough sales jumped 39 percent year-on-year to $499 million for the month, while polished revenue dropped 24 percent to $5.5 million.
Words by David Brough
Discover more industry news on the CARAT+ website every week.
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.