best opportunity in 25 years
IMPROVED GLOBAL TRENDS” DRIVE TIFFANY’S HOLIDAY SALES UP
Holiday sales showed an increase of approximately 1%-3% over last year
31.12.2019Retail and Jewelry
tiffany jewelry store tokyo
Credit: Iris Hortman
Tiffany & Co. has published its sales results for the holiday period (from November 1 to December 24, 2019), showing an increase of approximately 1%-3% compared to the same period in 2018.
Tiffany & Co. jewelry
Credit: Iris Hortman
The jeweller’s CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo, said that the rise reflects “improved global trends compared to previous quarters this year”. He added that the Chinese Mainland drove the company’s overall sales growth with “a strong double-digit increase”, offset by the persisting declines in the Hong Kong market and, to a lesser degree, Japan. There was a sales growth in the Americas.
Tiffany & Co store in Prague
Credit: Iris Hortman
In November, LVMH and Tiffany & Co. reached one of the biggest deals in the history of the luxury sector when LVMH, owner of global luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Sephora, Fendi and more, agreed to purchase the jeweller for $135 per share – a total of $16.2 billion.
Tags: Diamonds News, Jewelry News, Diamond Jewelry News
US SALES OF JEWELLERY AND WATCHES GET A BOOST IN OCTOBER
JARED AND JAMES ALLEN OPEN NEW CONCEPT JEWELLERY STORE
Look at this dumb cunt still trying to flog the deadest horse on the asx!
Lost the lot and in denial. Hi- fucking- larious. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
What Happened in the Diamond Trade in 2019
Jan 2, 2020 4:18 AM By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Last year will go down as a difficult one for the diamond industry. While manufacturers took the biggest hit with thin profit margins, tight liquidity and excess supply, miners also suffered as rough demand slumped. Plenty of global events also affected the trade, from stock-market volatility to street protests in Hong Kong.
The Rapaport Weekly Market Comment is a much-read summary of sector activity, covering major news and trends that impact diamond supply and demand. Here, we provide a digest of those regular bulletins by month, showing how the situation changed throughout 2019.
• Polished suppliers start 2019 with high inventory of small goods up to 0.30 ct.
• Rough sentiment weak as manufacturers face tight profit margins, high inventory and less financing.
• Indian bank credit down 30% due to weaker rupee and change in lending policy.
• ICICI Bank to close Antwerp branch.
• Rough dealers’ premiums decline on secondary market, with continued weakness in low-value goods at $505M De Beers sight.
• Retail outlook optimistic, boosted by tax reforms and low unemployment, but stock-market volatility, higher interest rates and US-China trade tariffs may slow luxury spending.
• Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index falls to 18-month low.
• Reduced expectations for Chinese Year of the Pig after 4Q slowdown.
• De Beers approves changes to its disclosure rules.
• Tiffany & Co. declares geographical provenance of diamonds over 0.18 ct.
• Manufacturers maintaining low production as profit margins are squeezed by high rough prices.
• Suppliers selling at lower prices to generate liquidity.
• Selective buyers creating shortages of excellent-cut (3X, none) diamonds, but prices of lower-quality goods softening due to excess supply.
• Rough trading cautious as profit margins remain tight despite rough-price reductions at De Beers sight.
• Far East trading quiet during Chinese New Year.
• Slow start to Hong Kong show, but optimistic Far East buyers are restocking inventory after Chinese New Year.
• Dealers hoping show will stimulate better trading after sluggish Jan./Feb.
• Diamonds between 0.70 ct. and 1.99 ct. moving well, but large stones weak.
• Demand selective and inventory levels high, with buyers insisting on deep discounts for goods under 0.50 ct.
• Shortages developing for better qualities as India cuts back production.
• Trade cautious after slow Hong Kong show.
• Far East consumer outlook improving as US and China approach trade deal.
• Miners bracing for tough year as first-quarter sales decline an estimated 30%.
• Rough market quiet, with deep concerns about manufacturing profitability.
• GIA to introduce polished-diamond country-of-origin report.
• HRD adopts natural-diamond grading language for synthetics reports.
• Fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi arrested in London.
• Eurostar Diamond Traders close to bankruptcy amid $500M debts.
• Baselworld announces price cuts and changes to diamond section, after smaller 2019 show.
• Dealers under pressure as polished prices continue to soften.
• Indian cutters lacking liquidity; reducing production and seeking to offload excess 0.30 to 0.50 ct. inventory.
• Steady demand for 1 ct. diamonds supporting the market.
• Manufacturers hoping lower rough sales will ease liquidity concerns amid reports De Beers reducing 2019 supply.
• Chow Tai Fook and Luk Fook signal slowdown during Chinese New Year, with decline in gem-set jewelry sales.
• LVMH upbeat on luxury market, with 1Q jewelry and watch sales +9% to $1.2B.
• US considers regulations requiring source-of-origin disclosure.
• De Beers launches provenance program for “Diamonds from DTC.”
• GIA rebrands synthetics grading report as lab-grown.
• Tiffany and Forevermark shift marketing focus to bridal.
• Graff unveils world’s largest square emerald diamond: a 302.37 ct., D stone cut from 1,109 ct. Lesedi La Rona.
• Market sentiment weak amid slow orders, tight liquidity and declining prices.
• Good demand for 0.70 to 1.99 ct., G-J, VS-SI, RapSpec A3+; other categories weak.
• Large-stone dealers cautious amid high-end slowdown.
• Opportunities for high-end buyers after 3 to 5 ct. prices drop significantly.
• Polished suppliers left with large volumes and low profit margins.
• Dealers doing better than manufacturers.
• Jewelers taking more on memo and using tech in their stores to tap online supply and improve consumer buying experience.
• Suppliers preparing for Las Vegas shows, hoping new JCK venue and steady US retail market will stimulate diamond trading.
• Rough trading cautious with high auction prices and tight manufacturing profits.
• De Beers maintains stable prices at $415M sight; low Indian liquidity impacting demand.
• India’s customs tightens disclosure rules for rough imports.
• Petra sells 425 ct., D, type II rough to Stargems and Choron for $15M.
• US retail positive, with fine jewelry a top category at J.C. Penney and Macy’s.
• Signet debuts synthetic diamonds on James Allen website.
• Industry mourns the passing of Leo Schachter and Sam Abrams.
• Sentiment weak amid ongoing liquidity concerns and softening polished prices.
• Polished production reduced by estimated 30% in 2019 due to high inventory, sluggish demand and tight manufacturing profits.
• Slow trading at JCK Las Vegas show highlights middle-market liquidity and profitability challenges.
• Jewelry wholesalers did better, reflecting steady US market.
• Suppliers using technology and sourcing programs to demonstrate added value as jewelers reduce inventory purchases.
• De Beers sales slump as manufacturers reduce cutting operations.
• Rough market cautious despite reported 4% to 8% price cut on small rough during De Beers sight. Price cuts not enough to reboot the market.
• Weak yuan and trade war reduce tourist shopping, but outlook for Chinese local demand improves as luxury consumers shift to domestic spending.
• Quiet Hong Kong fair highlights show fatigue and cautious Far East demand.
• Tara Jewels files bankruptcy.
• French billionaire Patrick Drahi acquires Sotheby’s for $3.7B.
• RapNet members vote no to lab-grown listings and price list.
• Swarovski plans move into natural diamonds.
• Polished suppliers cautious for 2H amid trade-war uncertainty, weak dealer demand and tight manufacturing profit.
• Manufacturers maintaining low production and buying polished rather than rough, as they need to focus on profitability instead of turnover.
• Buyers taking advantage of suppliers’ need for cash and pushing for discounts.
• ABN Amro restricts rough-sector lending out of concern for lack of profitability.
• US supporting the trade with steady retail sales.
• Producers raising rough inventory as 1H sales slump and mine production remains steady.
• De Beers allows additional deferrals at July sight.
• Tariff tensions and political protests impact Hong Kong luxury spending.
• India keeps duty on polished diamonds at uncompetitive 8.25%; introduces separate import code for lab-grown rough diamonds to differentiate natural from synthetic diamonds.
• Low expectations for Sep. Hong Kong show due to slowdown in Chinese demand and escalation of political protests.
• Belgian, Indian and Israeli trade bodies call to postpone fair amid uncertainties about buyer attendance.
• Polished-inventory levels starting to decline as manufacturers cut production and rough buying.
• Small Aug. sight as De Beers lets sightholders reject 50% of goods.
• Alrosa slashes 2019 sales forecast.
• Mid-scale miners struggle to stay afloat in current weak market.
• US jewelry sales compensating for weakness elsewhere, but retailers holding less inventory.
• Strong jewelry sales at Macy’s and J.C. Penney highlight discounting and promotional retail environment.
• US jewelers likely to raise local manufacturing as 10% tariff on diamond and jewelry imports from China takes effect Sep. 1.
• New levy to impact jewelers more than diamantaires.
• Devalued yuan adds price pressure for Chinese diamond importers.
• Tiffany expands into India, with Delhi store to open in 2H.
• Polished-inventory levels reduced, but still higher than previous years.
• Steady demand for 0.30 to 1.99 ct., G-I, SI-I1, RapSpec A3+ diamonds, and reduced supply supporting price levels.
• 3 ct. and larger, D-F, VVS+ weak.
• Hong Kong show brings fewer visitors, but better-than-expected trading. Serious buyers attending.
• Fair signals shift to lower price points.
• Chinese dealers and consumers focused on domestic spending, with cautious Far East demand affecting sentiment.
• De Beers offers 30% buybacks at Sep. sight.
• Manufacturing profit margins tight despite limited rough supply.
• Rapaport calls for $1B industry-wide marketing campaign for engagement rings, including $500M matching funds from mining companies.
• Polished trading improving as jewelers prepare holiday inventory. US demand supporting the market.
• Shortages in RapSpec A3+, nonfluorescent goods as manufacturers maintain low production.
• Specific demand creating high inventory of less popular qualities.
• Manufacturing slowing before Diwali with factories closing until late November. Trading slow at Bharat Diamond Week.
• De Beers inventory up in 3Q due to weak rough demand and despite production decline. Miner predicts elevated stock levels will last until 2020.
• Hong Kong retail sales slump as protests escalate during Oct. 1 Golden Week.
• Brands shifting high-ticket items from Hong Kong to Shanghai stores.
• LVMH makes $14.5B offer to acquire Tiffany & Co.
• Richemont acquires Italian jeweler Buccellati.
• Sotheby’s HK sells $38M, with 10.64 ct., purplish-pink, IF diamond selling for $19.9M ($1.9M/ct.); auction also reflected sluggish big-stone market as 80.88 ct., D, FL diamond fails to sell.
• De Beers launching Lightbox at Bloomingdale’s and Reeds Jewelers; Signet introduces synthetic diamonds at Kay and Jared.
• David Kellie to succeed Jean-Marc Lieberherr as CEO of Diamond Producers Association.
• Polished market stable and showing rise in demand for 0.30 to 0.50 ct.
• Reduced manufacturing has led to shortages of top-quality RapSpec A3+ goods.
• Optimistic outlook for season as stock market rallies despite Trump impeachment trial and trade war.
• Macy’s and J.C. Penney highlight strong 3Q jewelry performance.
• Rough trading steady after De Beers reduces rough prices 5%-7% at Nov. sight.
• Manufacturers raising production after Diwali break amid shortages of better-quality RapSpec A3+ diamonds.
• Retail outlook optimistic as Dow hits record.
• Jewelers taking more on memo, presenting good opportunity for New York dealer market.
• LVMH $16.2B Tiffany buyout demonstrates confidence in luxury jewelry sector.
• Potential US-China trade deal boosts expectations for Chinese New Year, but ongoing unrest dampens Hong Kong luxury market.
• Peter Meeus and IGI submit competing bids to acquire HRD Antwerp.
• Diamantaires satisfied with Dec. orders after tough year.
• Mastercard reports holiday jewelry sales +1.8%, driven by +8.8% growth in e-commerce.
• Tiffany & Co. holiday revenue up 1% to 3%, with strength in China and improvement in Europe and America.
• Mall traffic down but more people buying.
• Stores focused on creating unique customer experience.
• Shortages and holiday demand supporting diamond prices, especially for diamonds below 1 ct.
• Consumers shifting to lower price points.
• Diamantaires preparing for post-season demand, but manufacturers cautious about raising factory production.
• Chinese demand driving polished market ahead of Jan. 25 lunar festival as US and China edge toward trade deal.
• Rough market stable following $425M Dec. sight. De Beers returns to regular sales policy, ending flexibility that allowed higher buybacks or deferrals.
• Alrosa positions itself in China with WeChat blockchain program and unveils plan to integrate Kristall polishing units.
• De Beers lowers 2020 production plan as Anglo American reports 2019 inventory grew by $500M.
• Bain forecasts market recovery only in 2021.
• De Beers issues guidelines for sightholders selling synthetics.
• ABN Amro tightens credit conditions, citing reduced midstream requirements due to streamlined production and sales efficiency.
• Sarine and Serge Couvreur join race to buy HRD Antwerp; IGI pulls out.
Image: A large rough diamond at De Beers’ Global Sightholder Sales operation in Botswana. (Ben Perry/Armoury Films/De Beers)
Why isn’t Saddo calling for an ASIC investigation into this crime scene?
Oh yeah, Because ASIC are already all over it.
Pink diamond tender dazzles at Rio Tinto's Argyle mine, one year out from 2020 closure
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By Courtney Fowler
Updated 13 July 2019 at 10:24 am
First posted 13 July 2019 at 9:39 am
Close up of Rio Tinto's six hero stones
The 64-diamond tender includes six hero stones. (Supplied: Rio Tinto)
One of its last collections of the world's rarest pink and red diamonds has been unveiled by Rio Tinto in a historic preview at the Argyle mine in Western Australia's far north.
The East Kimberley mine produces more than 90 per cent of Australia's diamonds, and is one of the only known sources of pink diamonds in the world.
It is the first time in the 35-year history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender that the collection has been launched on Country, in what's considered to be one of the most exclusive diamond sales in the world.
These are diamonds so rare they never reach the open market.
Diamonds on table with tweezers for scale
The annual tender process has been running for 35 years. (ABC Kimberley: Courtney Fowler)
Celebrating the end of an era
Rio Tinto copper and diamonds chief executive Arnaud Soirat said with fewer than 150 of these extremely rare tender stones left, it was a historic moment for collectors, the company, and its employees.
"Only one per cent of Argyle production is made of coloured diamonds every year," he said.
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"And out of this we are taking the top 50–65 coloured diamonds, putting them together in the tender."
In practical terms, the total number of top quality pink diamonds can be held in the palm of your hand.
This year's 64-diamond collection included three fancy red diamonds, weighing in at 56.28 carats in total.
Most coveted of those diamonds is the Argyle Enigma, a 1.75-carat fancy red diamond, only one of three of its kind weighing more than 1.5 carats to be produced from the mine in 40 years.
Close up of Argyle Enigma hero stone
The hero stone Argyle Enigma is a 1.75 carat Fancy Red. (Supplied: Rio Tinto)
Pink diamond value skyrockets
Over the past 20 years the value of Argyle pink diamonds sold at the tender have appreciated 500 per cent, outperforming all major equity markets.
Mr Soirat said these results were a reflection of the supply of these extremely rare diamonds becoming even more scarce and more valuable.
"If you want to have an idea of the price you can look at the reserves of auctions every year; the best diamonds are sold in Geneva so typically of this quality from Argyle they would attract several million dollars per carat," he said.
"When Argyle is going to shut, 90 per cent of the worldwide production of pink diamonds is going to stop, so you can see why it's making it extremely attractive."
Although the total figure reached by each year's tender is kept secret, in 2018 Rio Tinto revealed the collection reached double-digit price growth — including the sale of the most valuable diamond in the tender's history.
The Argyle Muse, a 2.28-carat fancy purplish-red diamond, was sold to an anonymous buyer.
It is estimated the top stone went for anywhere between $14–21 million.
Long distance shot of Argyle mine landscape
The Argyle Diamond Mine is located in the East Kimberley and has been operating for 40 years. (ABC Kimberley: Courtney Fowler)
An outback diamond empire
YOUTUBE: The allure of the Argyle Pink Diamond
Every year, one of Australia's most renowned diamond collectors, Frauke Bolten-Boshammer, prepares to go into a bidding war for the world's rarest and most valuable diamonds from the remote Kimberley.
The Kununurra-based owner of Kimberley Fine Diamonds started her outback diamond empire 28 years ago, recently publishing a book about her story Diamonds in the Dust.
She is also one of the privileged few invited to attend the Argyle pink diamond tender each year.
And you need to have deep pockets to afford these rare gems.
Ms Bolten-Boshammer said a lot of mystery surrounded the tender process; potential buyers placed a sealed bid, with the highest bidder notified of their win at the tender deadline.
"You don't get to know who else bid or who got the stone you wanted to have. It's all secret," she said.
"I've got maybe 15 tender stones over the years and I've still got seven left in my shop.
"They're so special; I knew this from the start. I'm 28 years in business and I still love them."
Kimberley Fine Diamonds owner Frauke Bolten-Boshammer and manager Helen Thorne.
Kimberley Fine Diamonds owner Frauke Bolten-Boshammer and manager Helen Thorne. (ABC Kimberley: Courtney Fowler)
Positive for the future
Ms Bolten-Boshammer said there was an increasing awareness among collectors that the global supply of pink diamonds was running out.
"The last few days in the shop, so many people came and asked for pink diamonds … the prices will go up too," she said.
"We had a ring, which 10 years ago was $11,000. We just revalued it and it is now $47,000."
Ms Bolten-Boshammer said despite the mine's closure next year, she remained positive for the future of the industry.
"I'm not concerned because I started buying 28 years ago, I have a good collection," she said.
"And who knows, I still think somebody else might come and go deeper and do it again."
A piece of history
Jewellery historian Vivienne Becker travelled 14,000km from London for this year's historic tender at Argyle.
She has been writing about Argyle pink diamonds since the mid-1980s when they first appeared on the market.
"It was so important for me to come here to see the start and end of this incredible adventure story," she said.
"I have to say as a historian that Argyle pink diamonds have really changed the course of jewellery history.
Jewellery historian Vivienne Becker and Rio Tinto copper and diamonds chief executive Arnaud Soirat look at diamonds in cabinet
London-based jewellery historian Vivienne Becker with Rio Tinto copper and diamonds chief executive Arnaud Soirat. (ABC Kimberley: Courtney Fowler)
Ms Becker said after decades of association with the pink diamond industry, it would be an emotional time for long-term collectors when the tender called its last bids.
"These diamond dealers, they're tough businessmen," she said.
"But when they're faced with one of these tender stones, you can see them melting, so many have said they actually cry when they have to sell them."
Ms Becker said with almost the entire world's supply of rare pink, red and violet diamonds coming from Argyle, speculation has risen on how the closure of the mine would ultimately affect the industry.
With most of the tender stones locked up in banks, vaults and private collections, Ms Becker said it could mean the end of the rare vivid red and fancy pink diamonds being available to the market.
Close up of hero diamonds through magnifier
The collection will be displayed in Australia, Hong Kong and New York. (ABC Kimberley: Courtney Fowler)
Pink colour a mystery
There are a small quantity of pink diamonds mined in Brazil and in South Africa, including the almost 19-carat Pink Legacy, which last year set a new world record price per carat when it sold for almost a whopping $70 million.
But so far nowhere else in the world has produced diamonds as vivid as the pinks from the Kimberley.
Ms Becker said the cause of the colour was an enigma which still puzzled gemologists around the globe.
"It's definitely part of the fascination: coloured diamonds have always been real collectables, [but] Argyle turned them into the ultimate possession, beyond luxury possession," she said.
"It's the mystery, the randomness of how they're formed in nature all those billions of years ago, that combination of brilliance, colour and light which I say are the two most emotional triggers in a gem stone.
"Of course, the pink is the least understood, we know it's something to do with the way the atoms grow [but] there's still mystery at the heart of these beautiful stones."
Red diamond closeup on colourful background
The Argyle Muse, a 2.28-carat fancy purplish-red diamond is the most valuable diamond in the tender's 34-year history. (Supplied: Rio Tinto)
Where to from here?
Rio Tinto's current estimates indicate sufficient economic reserves at the mine to support production through to late 2020.
Mr Soirat said the mine's rehabilitation process had already begun and staff had started to be re-located to new jobs or alternative training opportunities.
He said he looked forward to seeing the land be given a new lease on life.
"We're working with Traditional Owners and Government to facilitate the handover of the lease, we're also supporting the process for the Traditional Owners to ask for Native Title," Mr Soirat said.
"We're going to clean-up and rehabilitate [it] and there could be a different use for the site.
"When we close the mine we will rehabilitate it and eventually we release the mining lease, then if someone else wants to come later on they will have to go through the typical process of asking for mining lease.
"What we do know is that economically, 2020 will be the end of this incredible journey that Argyle has been through over the past 40 years."
After its launch at Argyle, the Pink Diamond Tender collection is set to go on tour to Perth, Sydney, Hong Kong and New York, where a handful of collectors from around the globe have been invited to place silent bids on the rare gems.