Just like last year during the same period, De Beers’ rough diamond sales have accrued almost the same amount as last year, which is believed to be in line with seasonal trends.
Figures released by the De Beers parent company – Anglo American – show that the value of rough diamond sales from both Global Sightholder sales and auction sales for the seventh cycle stood at $505 million, compared with $507 million during the same cycle last year.
The figure recorded in the seventh cycle is lower than the one recorded in the previous when the diamond group registered $533 million.
De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver says they provided sightholders with the opportunity to re-phase the allocation of some smaller, lower value rough diamonds. Ahead of the September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair, Cleaver says demand remains stable.
Since the first cycle of 2018, sales of rough diamonds for De Beers have been steadily declining but the group executives have always maintained that it is in line with seasonal trends. In January during the first cycle, De Beers registered $720 million, the highest so far this year.
This period is traditionally thought to be when demand is stronger and it also coincided with the reopening of some of the diamond polishing operations in India, thereby resulting in an increase in demand of smaller, lower quality rough diamonds.
De Beers source 75 percent of its diamonds from Debswana mines while the rest come from other mines. Months ago, De Beers shook the world when it announced that it was venturing into production of laboratory made diamonds known as synthetics.
The group said it is investing around $94 million in the next four years in a new Element Six production facility. The group has been manufacturing these sorts of diamonds for over 50 years now which were mainly used for industrial purposes.
Now the diamond giant will be producing them for purposes of making jewellery that will be sold under Lightbox, a subsidiary of De Beers Group. De Beers said it expects to produce about 50, 000 carats of synthetics annually at its Element Six production facility.
However, it has been made clear that these synthetics will be marketed as such – synthetics. One of the reasons advanced by the diamond giant is that it would like to dispel the confusion between the synthetics diamonds and natural ones that take millions of years to be produced underground.