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De Beers’ rough diamond sales sparkle on US demand for jewellery

The world’s biggest diamond producer by volume said sales had increased by 36.26 percent to R10.5 billion. Reuters

The world’s biggest diamond producer by volume said sales had increased by 36.26 percent to R10.5 billion. Reuters

Published Jun 23, 2022

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De Beers, a subsidiary of Anglo American, said yesterday that its rough diamond sales for its fifth sales cycle for 2022 sparkled as it was buoyed by US demand for jewellery.

The world’s biggest diamond producer by volume said the sales had increased by 36.26 percent to $650 million (R10.5 billion) compared to the previous year’s sales, which were $477m. The sales for the fourth cycle amounted to $604m.

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De Beers Group chief executive Bruce Cleaver said: “Diamond jewellery demand continues to perform well in the key US market, and this was reinforced by positive sentiment following the influential JCK Las Vegas jewellery trade show held in mid-June.”

According to the group, the provisional rough diamond sales figure quoted for the fifth cycle represents the expected sales value for the period June 6 to 21 and remains subject to adjustment based on final completed sales.

Owing to the restrictions on the movement of people and products in various jurisdictions around the globe, De Beers continued to implement a more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during the fifth sales cycle of 2022, with the Sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration.

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“The continued strength of US demand for diamond jewellery and the gradual reopening of retail outlets in China following Covid-19-related lockdowns have supported the sales momentum of De Beers Group’s rough diamonds in the fifth sales cycle of the year,” Cleaver said.

With these strong results, De Beers follows the supplier of coloured gemstones Gemfields, which also reported robust results for its precious stones on Tuesday.

Gemfields announced that its first auction of rubies this year netted $95.6m - an all-time high revenue for any of its auctions.

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Anglo American could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, De Beers’ main rival, Russian firm Alrosa, one of the biggest suppliers of rough diamonds worldwide, was among the earliest companies sanctioned by the US Treasury in February, following the Ukraine invasion.

In May, the Alrosa board recommended not to pay dividends for 2021 owing to the sanctions. Recently, Alrosa suspended its membership in the Natural Diamond Council, a market alliance of the world’s leading producers of precious stones.

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