Industry News

Inaugural Mozambican Ruby Auction in Singapore Generates $33.5 million in Revenue

Gemfields’ inaugural auction of rough rubies and corundum from its 75 percent-owned Montepuez ruby deposit was held in Singapore from June 12-17. It reported to yield gross auction revenues of $33.5 million and an overall average value of $18.43 per carat. 57 out of the total 62 lots of high and low quality rough rubies and corundum were sold, representing approximately 91-percent of the lots offered. The proceeds will be fully repatriated to Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada. “Adding the revenues from our maiden ruby auction to those derived during this financial year from rough emerald and beryl sales implies aggregate consolidated revenues (from rough gemstone sales) in excess of $143 million,” said Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields.

Photo: Gemfields plc.

Photo: Gemfields plc.

A total of 55 companies attended and placed bids. Representatives of the Mozambican government also attended the auction. Many participants attended a Gemfields auction for the first time; among them most were from or closely associated with Thailand. Other participants were from various locations including New York, Jaipur, Germany and Israel. Cumulative costs incurred at Montepuez to date (including the acquisition cost as well as capex and opex since inception in 2012) stand at approximately $34 million. At the auction, Gemfields presented its “first-of-a-kind” grading and sorting framework for its rough rubies. The method utilized the expertise from its development of rough emerald grading system at the Kagem mine. The next Gemfields auction of rough ruby and corundum is scheduled to take place before the end of this year.


GIA Teams Up with Harvard Business School for Global Leadership Program

GIA, in conjunction with the Harvard Business School (HBS), hosted a four-day global leadership program for 44 senior executives representing gem and jewelry firms from 15 countries at the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Mass from April 28- May 1. The custom curriculum was based on the renowned HBS case study method and examined topics ranging from strategy to customer centricity, challenges facing the industry to leading high performance teams.

The program’s initiative was to bring together leaders from around the world representing different sectors of the gem and jewelry industry to help further develop senior management expertise.

“Developing innovative programs like this to meet the needs of our global industry directly supports our public benefit mission of protecting the gem- and jewelry-buying public,” said Susan Jacques, president and CEO of GIA.

The next GIA global leadership program will be held in June 2015.


Class of the inaugural GIA global leadership program. (Photo: GIA)


Petra’s 29.6-Carat Blue Diamond Sold for $25.6M

The Cullinan mine was acquired by Petra Diamonds in 2008. Other notable diamonds discovered in the mine is the 3,106 carats Culinan Diamond in 1905- described as the largest rough gem diamond ever recovered; and a 25.5 carat blue diamond in 2013 - sold for $16.9 million.The blue diamond was discovered by Petra Diamonds about 25 miles north east of Pretoria, South Africa in January. The color makes it one of the rarest and most coveted in the world. At the point of the discovery, Petra described the stone as “an outstanding vivid blue with extraordinary saturation, tone and clarity. It is one of the most exceptional stones recovered at Cullinan during Petra’s operation of the mine”. “This sale result affirms this stone as one of the most important blue diamonds ever recovered,” Petra CEO Johan Dippenaar noted. This is a follow-up story on the the 29.6-carat blue diamond discovered at the Cullinan mine reported in the ICA January Newsletter (Sign up for the ICA Monthly Newsletter here). The acorn- sized diamond was sold to Golden Yellow Diamonds for Cora International NY for US$25.6 million, or $862,780 per carat.


Zambia receives USD 2 million dividends from Kagem

The Government of the Republic of Zambia, a 25-percent shareholder in Kagem Mining Limited, received its K10.94 million (about USD 2 million) share of the K41.6 million(about USD 8 million) dividends declared by the emerald mining company.

“This is the first dividend paid by Kagem in its 29 year history and the first such payment to the Government from any gemstone operating in Zambia,” said Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda in Lusaka.

Chikwanda added that Kagem needs to expand its operations significantly and partner with Government to increase its capital stocks in its efforts to alleviate poverty.

Back in 2008, when London-listed Gemfields Plc. first acquired a 75-percent beneficial interest of Kagem, the mining company was loss-making and its total annual sales was approximately USD 8.9 million, broadly the same as the dividend now being paid. It then implemented a pioneering incentive scheme, paying bonuses to all Kagem employees for each month in which pre-determined emerald productions thresholds are reached, according to London Stock Exchange.

“Kagem is the flag bearer of the Zambian gemstone sector, and one of the finest examples of what can be achieved in partnerships between government and foreign investors in the mining sphere,” said Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle.


Spread the Secret: the $ 10 million Royal Fantasy Bra unveiled by Victoria’s Secret

Valued at $10 million, the Royal Fantasy Bra and Belt designed exclusively for Victoria’s Secret by world-renowned jeweler Mouawad was introduced in time for the holiday season. The bra is handset in 18 karat gold, featuring a 52 karat and pear shaped center ruby. The two pieces are adorned with over 4,200 precious gems from around the world including rubies, diamonds, and yellow sapphires.

Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel will model the Fantasy Bra in the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Dreams & Fantasies Catalogue and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show airing December 10th on the CBS television network.

Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel in The Royal Fantasy Bra valued at $10 million. Photo credit of Victoria's Secret and/or its affiliates.


Zambian government plans to set up precious-stone collection points benefiting small-scale miners

Zambian government plans to set up precious-stone collection points with the aim to reorganize small –scale miners of precious stones -- by providing them an opportunity to expose their products to international buyers at auctions.

“With the setting up of collection points, transportation will be made easier and miners can bring their products during auctions in Lusaka and money will be given to them instantly,” said Victor Mutambo, Mines, Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary.

While the Zambian government policy on the auctions of emerald in countries like Singapore still stands, the Gemfields’ auction hosted in Lusaka this July yielded the highest unite value achieved at any auction.  Kagem Mining Limited, one of the three emerald mines in Zambia, had already pledged to hold its next auction.

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