Diamond news has been a bit glum this year, with prices decreasing as demand has waned. High-quality, high-cost jewelry has taken a backseat to technology when it comes to the middle class.
At the same time, experts claim that wealthy buyers will continue to hold interest in these precious gems, meaning that in the future large diamonds could set new records at auction.
Many investors also remain interested in diamonds and are keen to follow developments. Here, we’ve gathered our most-read diamond news stories of 2017. Read on to see what news made headlines.
Kicking off our list of top diamond news stories is a video interview with John Kaiser of Kaiser Research. When asked about the state of the diamond market, Kaiser dove into the challenges facing the industry and his forecast for the market. The expert revealed that the masses are spending their disposable income on things like technology, as opposed to fine jewelry. As a result, diamond demand has waned with that demographic. He did claim, however, that wealthier people remain interested in buying larger-sized diamonds, and recognize their value.
Kaiser also described conditions in India, and how the country’s move toward a cashless society has affected diamond sales. Check out the video below to hear more of his insights on diamond mines and what the diamond space looks like moving forward.
Another top diamond news story was this article on the Diamond Producers Association’s (DPA) decision to market to Millennials. The “Real is rare. Rare is diamonds” campaign launched in 2016. Why Millennials? Well, despite diamond sales falling $2 billion from 2014 to 2015, Millennials spent nearly $26 billion on diamonds in 2015. The DPA is betting on this target demographic to help revive the industry.
In March 2017, a new diamond mine officially begun commercial production, and it’s the largest the world has seen yet. The mine, called Gahcho Kue, is owned by De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX:MPV,NASDAQ:MPVD). Gahcho Kue is located near Yellowknife in Canada, and is expected to produce 54 million carats over its lifespan. According to De Beers, the mine has been great for the local economy in the Northwest Territories, contributing $341 million.
Another diamond news story that caught our audience’s eye was the sale of the world’s most expensive diamond ever auctioned. Aptly named the “Pink Star,” it measures an astounding 59.6 carats. The stone was originally cut from a 136-carat rough diamond and took two years to cut into its current shape.
The price of pink diamonds has gone up dramatically in recent years, and some say scarcity is expected to increase as the mine responsible for 90 to 95 percent of global supply may close. Read the story for more details on this large sale and to watch a video of the Pink Star.
Last on our list of diamond news is De Beers’ announcement that it plans to close four Namibian mines by 2022. The company says it will make an effort to keep workers employed for as long as possible.
De Beers’ Namibian diamond mines are said to produce some of the highest-selling diamonds in the company, selling for $528 per carat compared with just $187 on average for the rest. In fact, these high-priced diamonds actually represent more than 10 percent of the company’s earnings. Despite those factors, the mines are set to close down. How come? Read the article to find out why.
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.