The following is an executive summary of the key issues and trends that impacted the industry each month in the year 2013:
Auctions and sales:
2013 played host to some magnificent auctions. Few sales, created history and few broke records. In February 2013, Sotheby’s New York Important Jewels sale earned revenue worth $10,535,821. A diamond ring of 6.46 carats sold as the top lot, fetched $560,500. Also, white diamonds that was auctioned at Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale held in April churned revenues worth $61.4 million. An un-mounted 28.86 carat diamond was sold for $6.9 million or $239,351 per carat. The diamond set a World Auction Record Price per carat for a round white diamond.
In April 2013, Sotheby’s New York auctioned a 15.10 carat pear-shaped diamond set in a platinum ring, which was sold for $2.1 million. A 5.30 carat, deep-blue diamond was sold at the Bonhams London auctionin to Graff, for a value of $9.5 million or $1.8 million per carat. Also, Tzoffey's 1818 auctioned a 1.27 carat fancy purple pink cushion cut diamond which was bought for $242,000. Christie’s Geneva auctioned a 34.65 carat Princie diamond that was sold at a price that created a new record for any jewel sold at Christie’s. It was bought for $39,323,750 with premium or $1,135,000 per carat.
A diamond pendant necklace with a marquise-cut purplish pink diamond featured as the top lot of Christie's Hong Kong’s Magnificent Jewels sale in May 2013. The necklace was sold for a record breaking $11.2 million. The entire auction featured 290 jewels in total and generated revenue of $82.9 million and at a Christie's New York auction that was held in October total churned revenues worth $46,675,125. The New York sale offered three loose stones. The top lot was pink diamond ring selling for $6,325,000, while another was a 3.81 carat rectangular-cut diamond ring selling $3,973,000. The third was a 5.13-carat, square-cut yellow diamond bought for $269,000.
A 118 carat stone characterised as flawless broke records in when it sold in Hong Kong for a record price of $30.6 million dollars in October 2013. The Christie’s Geneva Sale held in November, had offered the ‘Orange’ diamond that went down the hammer for $35,540,612 or $2.4 million per carat, creating a world record price per carat for any diamond sold at auction, as well as a world record price for an orange diamond.
Five new Sightholders were included by The De Beers Group of Companies for the remainder of the 2012-2015 Supplier of Choice (SoC) contract period. Few of the new companies added were: H. Vinod kumar, H. Dipak, K.P. Sanghavi and Asian Star.
In July 2013, The De Beers Group of Companies announced that it will begin providing customers of its rough diamond auctions through the introduction of forward contract sales. The introduction of forward contract sales will enable customers to engage in forward planning, and help them meet their business requirements. Later in the year, De Beers furnished details on how customers can participate in forward contracts.
The first half of 2013, closing on June 30, noted that its rough diamond sales were almost flat, and as Philippe Mellier, CEO of De Beers Group said, ‘trading conditions remained challenging for our rough market partners’. The sales of rough diamonds stood at $3.0 billion (the same in the six months in 2012 were also at $3.0 billion). Overall sales including De Beers’ Forevermark brand and Element six technology unit, stood at $3.3 billion. De Beers’ half-year production increased by nearly one million carats to 14.3 Mct (30 June 2012: 13.4 Mct) owing to improved ore grades at Orapa and Jwaneng Mines.
De Beers’ underlying operating profit contribution to Anglo American increased by $322 million to $571 million, driven primarily by Anglo American’s increased shareholding from August 2012. De Beers Sightholders expressed frustration following the sight which ended on October 4. An estimated 15 percent of goods, or $86 million worth, were left on the table.
2013 was one of the most difficult years for the industry in terms of stocks and share prices.
Vaibhav Gems rushed from Rs. 84.95 in March to 244.8 in October and finally 696 in December, whereas Gitanjali Gems' shares fell from Rs. 621 in May to 213 in July and further down to 48.10 in December. Goenka Diamond's shares too, fell from Rs. 29.00 in April to 13.85 in September and 7.18 in December. Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ), shares from 245 in March fell to 215 in April and rose to 255 in May to drop again to 138.50 in September. While shares of PC Jewellers crashed from 122.25 in April to almost 65 in July to 90.25 in November.
2013 not only had to bid farewell to few industry biggies but also welcomed some new talents which brought the diamond industry to the next level.
The De Beers announced the departure of Varda Shine. Shine will also step down as Chairperson of the DTC Botswana board and Deputy Chairperson of the Namibia DTC board. In addition to that, Nigel Simson appointed as Senior Vice President of Global Sightholder Sales at De Beers.
Mark Cutifani, the present CEO of Anglo Gold Ashanti took over the role from Cynthia Carroll and was appointed as Anglo American’s new CEO.
For a term of four years, Burhan Seber, President, Diamond Manufacturers Association of Namibia (DAIMAN), has been appointed to the Diamond Board of Namibia by Honourable Isak Katali, Namibia's Minister of Mines & Energy. Also, Gilat Elizov Gefen was appointed Managing Director at Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI).
In March 2013, Serge Couvreur was appointed to serve as General Manager of HRD Antwerp. Rio Tinto Diamonds appointed Bollywood actress Yaami Gautam to be the Brand Ambassador for its Indian diamond jewellery flagship initiative ‘Nazraana’.
In April 2013, The All India Gems and Jewellery Federation (GJF) appointed a new chairman, Haresh Chamanbhai Soni.
Former Finance Director of Foseco plc.and Group Financial Controller and Treasurer of Burmah Castrol plc., Paul Dean was appointed as a Chief Financial Officer for Rio Tinto Diamonds in May. And, Nigel Simson was appointed as Senior Vice President of Global Sightholder Sales at De Beers.
In September 2013, a new design director was appointed at Tiffany & Co. The new director - Francesca Amfitheatrof will be looking into design of all of Tiffany's product categories. In addition to that, Frederic Cumenal was appointed as President Retail. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) appointed Jennifer Treese Wilson as its Corporate Counsel in October 2013. In this new position, Wilson will initially support GIA’s worldwide education programmes.
Online diamond and diamond jewellery retailer Blue Nile, Inc. has appointed Scott Howe, CEO and President of Acxiom Corporation to its Board of Directors. The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) re-elected Shmuel Schnitzer as President. IDE also announced appointing a new board and officers in October. The new board and officers include: Shmuel Schnitzer, President; Jacob Korn, Deputy and Vice-President; Jacob Kattan and many more.
Kalyan Jewellers launched its 11th showroom in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in a place called Visakhapatnam. The showroom is the company’s 45th in the country. Also, it has opened three new showrooms in Mumbai’s suburbs of Thane, Vashi and Borivali each that were inaugurated at the hands of the brand ambassadors Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwariya Rai Bachchan.
Tara Jewellers expanded its presence in India. In May, it opened six company managed stores in Bhatinda, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ludhiana and Udaipur, bringing its presence to a total of 36 stores in 25 cities across North, West and Central India.
The India International Jewellery Week (IIJW) unfolded in New Delhi, for the first time after three years of showcasing in Mumbai.
Internationally, Forevermark the diamond brand of De Beers launched itself in Australia by holding a high-profile event in Australia. Forevermark will now be available at few authorized stores in Brisbane and Sydney and Dhamani Jewels opened a jewellery store in Emirates Towers Hotel, UAE in March 2013. The Diamond Trading Company (DTC) relocated its London-based sales activities to Botswana in November 2013.
Pointing out that there are other financial instruments which provide better returns than gold, Chidambaram urged people not to invest in gold. The surge in gold buying sent the April trade deficit to $17.8 billion, up more than 72 per cent from March. Gold prices were corrected by around 30 percent. Gold jewellery imported from Thailand into India attracted a duty of six to 10 percent.
In July 2013, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had imposed further restrictions on gold imports for the domestic Indian market, in a move to curb the current account deficit (CAD) of the country. Accordingly, it had stated that the banks and importing agencies will have to make sure that 20 percent of the gold imported in any form or purity, including unrefined gold is used for export purposes.
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) mentioned the revised scheme for import of gold in the country in July. RBI decided to rationalise the import of gold in any form/purity including import of gold coins into the country, after a series of steps to curb the gold imports, and thus curb the country’s current account deficit.
Later, Government of India raised import duties to eight percent from just about two percent and further till 10 percent. According to GJEPC’s data, gold bar imports by the country witnessed a huge fall of 67.61 percent in August over the year. The provisional figures released suggested that the total gold bar imports by the country in August amounted to INR 1,936.32 crores ($306.33 million). The country’s gold bar imports during the period from April to August in 2013 totaled INR 12,107.51 crores ($2,118.14 million).
The Indian Government raised import duty on gold jewellery in September 2013, in a move to protect the small and domestic artisans. The said duty has been raised from 10 percent to 15 percent. The Government also planned to raise the import duty on cut and polished diamonds to five percent from the current two percent. GJEPC data shows that imports of cut and polished diamonds almost doubled in the first six months of the current fiscal year, hitting domestic manufacturing.
DMIA called for industry support to tackle issue of synthetic diamonds and trade bodies support DMIA’s efforts to prevent synthetics being presented as natural diamonds. IDE launched awareness campaign on synthetic diamonds in December.
Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) endeavoured to resolve issue of undisclosed mixing of diamonds. The issue of mixing of synthetic diamonds in parcels containing natural had gained precedence for which the Council had formed a Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee along with the various trade associations like GJEPC, BDB, GJF and MDMA in August 2013.