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Weekly Digest: Blockchain pilot schemes, Cryptocurrencies and luxury leaders


In a new series of weekly reports, CARAT+ rounds-up the biggest news headlines from the international diamond and diamond jewellery industries. This week, De Beers invests in blockchain technology and International Diamond Week prepares to welcome cryptocurrency experts.

De Beers develops diamond blockchain pilot

De Beers Group has announced it is developing the first blockchain technology initiative to span the diamond value chain and provide a single, tamper-proof and permanent digital record for every diamond registered on the platform.

Related News: Optimistic 2018 outlook, GIA in Antwerp, GJEPC welcomes new Executive Director – Weekly Digest 12.01.18

The initiative will underpin confidence in diamonds and the diamond industry by ensuring that all registered diamonds are conflict-free and natural, while also enhancing efficiency across the sector.

Following the success of an initial proof of concept trial that resulted in a working prototype, a pilot is now under way involving a small number of participants.

The pilot will identify key insights and opportunities for enhancement and assess how the platform can be integrated with existing systems and processes, in advance of a full launch later this year.

De Beers is focusing on its first blockchain technology initiative
De Beers is focusing on its first blockchain technology initiative

Gem Diamonds recovers exceptional 910 carat diamond

Gem Diamonds has announced the recovery of an exceptional quality 910 carat, D colour Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho. The diamond, the largest recovered from Letšeng, is believed to be the fifth largest gem quality diamond ever recovered.

“Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds, including the 603 carat Lesotho Promise. However, this exceptional top-quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letšeng mine,” said Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds’ Chief Executive Officer.

Gem Diamonds has recovered this 910 carat D colour Type IIa diamond from the Leteng mine in Lesotho 
Gem Diamonds has recovered this 910 carat D colour Type IIa diamond from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho

New diamond based cryptocurrencies to be unveiled at IDWI

The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) will unveil new diamond-based cryptocurrencies created by start-up CARATS.IO, during the next International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI) (February 5–7, 2018.)

As part of IDWI events, CARATS.IO will host a seminar introducing their diamond-backed financial instruments to explain their benefits to the industry, according to IDWI.

CARATS.IO is creating two separate cryptocurrencies, each backed by diamonds purchased on the Israel Diamond Exchange.

Related News: Diamond market upbeat for 2018 as Chinese consumption bounces back

One coin, called CUT (Carat Utility Token), will be used specifically in B2B transactions between eligible diamond traders. This currency will enable safe peer-to-peer transactions, altogether eliminating the need for financial intermediaries.

The second currency, called CARAT, is meant for the wider market of financial institutions and digital currency investors.

Personal luxury goods market to grow, Bain says

The global market for personal luxury goods is set to grow over the next three years, spurred by rising demand in China, a report by management consulting firm Bain & Company has said.

The report, entitled ‘Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Fall–Winter 2017’, said the global luxury goods market was set to rise by a compound annual 4-5 percent at constant exchange rates, reaching €295-305 billion by 2020.

Worldwide, the personal luxury goods market experienced growth across all regions, driven both by more robust local consumption (up 4%) and by strong tourist purchases (up 6%), Bain & Company said.

China was a clear top performer. Chinese consumption bounced back in 2017, fuelled by renewed consumer confidence and the rapid emergence of a new—and increasingly fashion-savvy—middle class.

Words by David Brough   ‚Äč

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 & 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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