5 Top Diamond News Stories of 2018

Gem Investing
Diamond Investing

Which diamond news stories made headlines in 2018? From policy changes to synthetic stones to mine openings and closures, the year was busy.

Diamond news in 2018 was dominated by mine openings and closures, policy changes and of course the continued emergence of synthetic stones. 

Companies like De Beers are attempting to reach the Millennial and Generation Z demographics in an effort to capture the hearts and wallets of young people with disposable income. At the same time, experts claim that wealthy buyers will continue to be interested in these precious gems.

On the whole, the diamond the landscape continues to develop, and below we’ve gathered our most-read diamond news stories of 2018. Read on to see what news made headlines.

1.One of Sierra Leone’s Last Diamond Mines Reopens

Kicking off our list of top diamond news stories is the May announcement that the Koidu mine would be reopening. The mine is owned by private company BSG Resources, which has spent US$50 million to develop the mine from open pit to underground.

That could cause production to grow by up to 650,000 carats per year. But this investment has come at a high cost — read on to find out why a BSG advisor told Bloomberg, “[w]e’re not out of the woods.”

2.Angola Set to Change Diamond Industry to Attract Investment

Another top diamond news story was an article on Angola’s diamond industry. In the past, the country was plagued by a civil war that dragged on for 27 years. Understandably this was not good for investment, and when it ended in 2002 the economy was in rough shape.

In recent years, Angola has also been affected by low oil prices, and so in an effort to bring about economic stimulation President João Lourenço announced changes to the nation’s diamond policies. What are those policies going to look like? Take a look for more details.

3. Platinum, Diamond Miners Potentially Exempt from Zimbabwe’s Ownership Laws

Next up is the news that Zimbabwe will consider allowing platinum and diamond miners to apply for exemption from a law that that stipulates that mines in the country must be 51-percent locally owned.

This step came after ownership restrictions were lifted for all other minerals at the behest of Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s new president. Mnangagwa said that the restrictions only apply to platinum and diamond mines “for now” — so can we expect this law to lifted on all minerals eventually? Read on for more information.

4.Lerala Diamond Mine to Hit Online Auction Block

Another diamond news story that caught our audience’s eye was the announcement that the Lerala diamond mine would be sold following financial woes and lackluster performance.

Operator Kimberly Diamonds was disappointed to say the least when the mine recovered only 59,000 carats out of the 357,000 expected. Once the mine was closed, a legal battle ensued between the company and the Botswana government. How did that conclude, and what will this auction entail? Continue reading for those details.

5. De Beers Launches Fashion Jewelry Line with Lab-grown Diamonds

Our last diamond news story focuses on the surprising development that De Beers seems to have adopted the old adage “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” The major miner, which has long touted natural diamonds as a superior option, launched a lab-grown fashion jewelry line in May. 

Why did the company finally make that leap? De Beers was likely looking at the numbers and getting ahead of the ball. Analysts say that while synthetic diamonds presently take up just 2 percent of the market that number is expected to reach 10 percent by 2030. There are also a number of benefits — both financial and environmental — to consider. Read on to find out more.

What diamond news did you follow this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Amanda Kay, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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