De Beers Has Biggest Diamond Sale in a Year as Buyers Return – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – January 24, 2017)

De Beers had its biggest diamond sale in at least a year as the gem industry restocked after the key holiday period.

The company, owned by Anglo American Plc, sold $720 million of diamonds in its first sale of the year, compared with $545 million at last year’s January offering, it said in a statement Tuesday.

The world’s biggest diamond producer said it saw “good demand” across most diamond categories, while there was a larger-than-usual gap between its previous sale.

The large amount may help boost confidence that demand is continuing to rebound after a slump in 2015.

It’s also a sign that trade buyers in India, who handle as much as 90 percent of the world’s rough diamonds, are recovering from wide-ranging currency reforms in November that created a cash crunch.

De Beers’s first sale of the year, which gives traders a chance to replenish stocks following the crucial holiday period, followed its smallest offering of 2016 in December. The firm’s biggest sale last year was $666 million in April.

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