Archive for Diamond News
The Marange diamond mine was only discovered in Zimbabwe in 2006. Despite being very young, the mind has had a significant impact on Zimbabwe and the surrounding areas. With the discovery of such a rich natural resource, the country experienced a dramatic increase of inflation, as well as crime and violence. In 2008, President Richard Mugabe put an end to the free-for-all scramble for diamonds and turned Marange over to mining companies. This gave the state large a much larger control of the diamond resources. It is speculated that these diamond profits will buy the coming election for President Mugabe.
The introduction of mining companies certainly did not equal the end of conflict and violence for Marange. When Mugabe’s team of soldiers cleared the mines, approximately 200 people were killed and many more were seriously injured. As a result of these acts, and many other human rights violations, the Marange diamonds were banned from entering the world market for many years. Due to a loophole in the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, and to much dismay of human rights organizations, this ban was lifted in November of 2011.
With a large stock pile of diamonds flooding onto the world markets, Mugabe and his men have become inundated with money. Over the past few months, Mugabe has been able to strengthen his army, train thousands of new soldiers, and purchase numerous vehicles and weapons from China. Many campaigners feel that Mugabe will be able to use this new wealth to intimidate his way to winning the election. Millions of dollars are going toward securing the upcoming election, while the citizens of the country are suffering, many lack basic necessities such as clean drinking water and healthcare.
The Kimberly Process has lost many supporters by lifting the export ban on the Marange diamonds. The sales of these diamonds are widely considered to be funding President Mugabe’s violent regime, and therefore, should be categorized as conflict diamonds. The country now has millions of carats of diamonds being sold at exponential rate. These diamonds are flooding to distributors, while many consider them to be blood diamonds. The Kimberly Process has shown a great flaw in the case of Zimbabwe, and has failed the citizens who are experiencing abuse. Hopefully, regulations will soon be enforced to stop diamond mining from funding such blatant abuse of power.
With the growing popularity of pink diamond engagement rings, Lugaro Jewellers, a leading jeweller retailer in Western Canada, has a pink diamond on display that is sure to have many admirers. This diamond discovery was a major milestone for Canadian diamond mining. The diamond is the largest Canadian-mined pink diamond, and the first pink diamond mined from the De Beers operated Victor Mine in Ontario.
The 2.75-carat diamond has been classified as natural light pink by the Gemological Institute of America. Pink diamonds are largely considered to be the most expensive naturally occurring substance by weight. Adding to its already large value, the pink diamond has been cut and polished into an impressive oval design by Crossworks Manufacturing and set into a beautiful ring designed by Simon G.
This Canadian mining milestone gem is set into an 18-carat white gold band and surrounded by an intricate pattern of smaller white and pink diamonds. This masterpiece of a ring comes with a hefty price tag of $425,000 CDN.
Canadian mining still has a lot of developing to do, but this is just one of many examples of how much the Canadian diamond industry has progressed. The entire production of this gorgeous pink diamond ring was completed within Canadian borders. This monumental 275-carat pink diamond discovery was made possible by De Beers Canada, and it was made beautiful by the Ontario-based Crossworks manufacturing. Crossworks Manufacturing has become one of the largest, and most successful diamond manufacturers in North America.
Steve Agopian, the very honored president of Lugaro Jewellers, stated, “Canadian diamonds resonate with our clients, and we are excited to have one of the rarest of them all, a pink diamond like no other.” Many consumers prefer Canadian diamonds to other diamond suppliers, which may have controversial origins. However, it is quite difficult and expensive for most jewelers to specialize in Canadian or American produced diamonds. Lugaro Jewellers has been an avid supporter of diamonds that are mined, cut, and polished entirely in Canada. It was only natural that they would be the jewellers to acquire the highly sought after Canadian pink diamond.
After mining companies took control of the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe, the security surrounding the fields has been greatly heightened. This has been devastating for the diamond smugglers from surrounding towns, primarily out of Mozambique. It has been only a few years since the added security was initially enforced, but in that short time, the Mozambique economy has taken a noticeable hit. This underground and illegal market was seemingly very lucrative for Mozambique.
The towns bordering the Zimbabwe mining fields were thriving thanks to the illicit diamond business. This diamond black market would attract buyers and traders from around the world to these small locations. The local businesses, especially hotels and restaurants, would greatly benefit from the money smugglers and buyers were injecting into the economy. With the almost complete shut down of smuggling, these businesses have dried up and the towns have all but disappeared. Most locals had to relocate, in some cases many kilometers away, to attempt to find work.
In the past, smugglers would sneak past guards and enter the diamond fields through vulnerable areas of fencing. It was dangerous then, but they were able to frequently bribe the guards. The guards were poorly paid and were happy to oblige in most cases. The mining companies, and their security personnel, are solely interested in keeping the diamond profits within the company, and have nearly eliminated any opportunities for smugglers. Now that the Kimberly Process is allowing Zimbabwe to export their diamonds on the world market, the state has plenty of funds to increase the number of guards surrounding the fields.
Of course, it is widely considered positive that the smuggling has been eradicated. It is an illegal activity and, while it boosted the economy of many Mozambique areas, it also raised the crime rates. Towns with a lot of smuggling-related commerce also experience a lot of violence. However, as one of the poorest countries in the world, it is difficult for Mozambique to let this income go. Many of the former smugglers have nowhere to turn for legitimate work.
It is impossible to study the history of the diamond industry without seeing the Oppenheimer name, time and time again. This family, which has controlled De Beers for over 90 years, has majorly influenced every aspect of the sale of diamonds for several generations. Intimidated by the recent turbulence in the economy, the Oppenheimer’s have decided to sell their shares and make their exit. Nicky Oppenheimer has been making many addresses on behalf of the family, detailing their decision to leave the diamond industry.
Under the control of the Oppenheimer’s, De Beers became the world’s most important diamond manufacturing and marketing firm. The Oppenheimer’s had a hand in creating the Central Selling Organization to regulate diamond price and supply around the world. They also helped develop the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme to stop the sale of conflict diamonds. They even created the famous “Diamonds are forever” campaign that would shape the face of diamond marketing, forever.
The diamond industry has experienced many significant trials and changes over the past few years. As a result of the market crash in 2008, the family realized just how vulnerable the family assets were. They reacted by selling much of their stake in the De Beers Company. The family went from 90% ownership, to 40%. This is when the Oppenheimer’s began considering leaving the industry altogether. Many old rules and partnerships had begun to dissolve, the Central Selling Organization had deteriorated, and the Kimberly Process has begun to show its flaws.
The Oppenheimer’s, led by Nicky Oppenheimer, decided to sell their remaining 40% stake in De Beers to Anglo American for over 5 billion dollars. Anglo American is one of the world’s largest mining companies, which already had over 40% ownership of De Beers. 2011 was a good year for diamonds, as the Eastern markets grew and the Western markets made steps toward recovery. This proved to be a good opportunity for the Oppenheimer’s to sell and walk away from the industry that they had shaped and lead for many generations. The diamond industry has experienced such turmoil over the last decade; this major change leaves many wondering about what will be in store for its future.
There are many hesitations consumers may encounter when purchasing diamonds, the most pressing being the prices, as well as the controversial production processes behind many diamonds. Most diamond purchases are for momentous occasions, such as engagement rings, but it can be difficult to enjoy a meaningful piece of jewelry if you are worried about the cost of the diamond or the lives and environments that were negatively effected by its production. D.NEA offers an alternative to natural diamonds, and has opened the very first synthetic diamond jewelry store.
D.NEA is known for being one of the largest producers of synthetic diamonds by weight, quantity and color variety. Until now, those sales were primarily conducted through the Internet. In an effort to further the education and awareness of synthetic diamonds, D.NEA felt it necessary to have a physical location where anyone could come in and learn about the diamonds and their man-made production.
Many people are not familiar with synthetic diamonds. The diamonds are lab-created and typically have a chemical composition and crystal structure extremely similar to natural diamonds. They are not simple imitation diamonds. The synthetic diamonds are available in a variety of yellows, blues, and whites. Yellow diamonds are the easiest, and fastest, to produce manually, and therefore are of the lowest cost.
Just as mined diamonds, synthetic diamonds have their own designer jewelry lines. D.NEA offers their own designer line of synthetic diamond jewelry, as well as lines by Ritani, Steven Kretchmer, and Jane Taylor. D.NEA produces some of the largest lab-created diamonds in the industry, including one carat white diamonds, 1.5 carat blue diamonds, and two carat yellow diamonds. Similar to naturally mined diamonds, these diamonds are also available in a range of color grades.
D.NEA has opened the first retail store focusing on synthetic diamonds in Greenville, South Carolina to give consumers a chance to learn about this beautiful alternative to mined diamonds. Customers can now visit and browse the wide variety of colors, cuts, and designer jewelry lines using eco-friendly, non-conflict man-made diamonds. There is finally a safe and identical alternative to the controversial mined diamond. If you are still on the fence about synthetic diamonds, now you can visit D.NEA’s store and learn about them first hand.