De Beers’ 2021 rough diamond sales up 75 percent

Lenore Fedow

Consumer sales of diamond jewelry in the U.S. surpassed sales in 2020 and 2019 in the first half of the year.

De Beers Group reported strong sales and diamond production in 2021, bolstered by increasing consumer demand in the U.S.

In the first half of the year, consumer sales of diamond jewelry in the U.S., as well as mainland China, surpassed sales in 2020 and pre-pandemic 2019.

Though the pandemic impacted its other markets in the first half, the company reported positive recovery across the board by the second half. 

Holiday season sales increased by about one-third year-over-year.

Total revenue surged 66 percent year-over-year to $5.6 billion, compared with $3.4 billion in 2020.

Rough diamond sales were up 75 percent to $4.9 billion, compared with $2.8 billion in 2020.

Midstream capacity is recovering, said De Beers, in spite of a second wave of COVID-19 infections in India in the second quarter. Midstream sentiment and rough diamond demand were “robust” throughout 2021.

Downstream and midstream demand conditions continued to improve, which increased rough diamond production and prices from the “significant reductions” seen at the start of the pandemic, said De Beers.

Rough diamond sales volume were up 56 percent to 33.4 million carats, compared with 21.4 million carats in 2020.

The average realized price was $146 per carat, up 10 percent from $133 per carat in 2020, which De Beers attributed to positive market sentiment that led to an 11 percent increase in the average rough price index.

Rough diamond production was up 29 percent to 32.3 million carats, compared with 25.1 million carats in 2020, due in part to lower production and demand levels in 2020 related to COVID-19.

The miner battled operational issues and heavy rains in southern Africa in the first quarter, but increased production to meet demand.

De Beers attributed the strength of demand to a few factors, including an accumulation of savings by U.S. consumers, pent-up demand for weddings and engagements, less luxury travel, and the draw of diamonds as meaningful gifts.

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Source National Jeweler