Cheaper diamonds fire life into the hidden world of gem trading (Bloomberg News/Mining Weekly – August 31, 2020)

For the past six months, the global diamond hubs in Antwerp, Belgium, and Mumbai have been at a standstill, with cutting and polishing factories closed and trading floors shuttered.

Now, a capitulation on prices by the biggest miners is sparking the industry back to life. After refusing to budge on diamond prices during much of the pandemic, De Beers and Russian rival Alrosa PJSC decided last week they saw enough signs of recovering demand and seized the opportunity, cutting some prices by almost 10%.

The impact was instant, as rough diamond buyers snapped up about half a billion dollars in uncut gems, according to people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The resurgence came the same week Tiffany & Co said its jewelry sales were improving monthly, adding to optimism the entire industry is rebounding.
The developments will bring relief to a supply chain that’s been paralyzed since the pandemic hit, with jewelry stores closed, cutters and polishers stuck at home and traders locked out of key producing countries.

For the rest of this article: