New Natural Diamond Perspectives

Isabelle Hossenlopp

Dear readers,

In this latest newsletter, we begin by telling you all about the initiatives underway in the diamond sector. Following the departure of Stephen Lussier, David Prager has become the new Chairman of the Natural Diamond Council. Prager is convinced of the need for transparent communication and information, and he intends to continue the NDC’s efforts to make natural diamonds ever more desirable.

De Beers Group has appointed Sandrine Conseiller CEO of De Beers Brands. Sandrine has been a significant voice in French industry when it comes to responsibility and diversity, and since she is not a diamond specialist, she will bring a new perspective to these crucial issues that are permanently at the forefront of the conversation. Two developments have highlighted this trend: firstly, Rubel & Ménasché’s partnership with Sarine, a company that is reinventing rough diamond traceability thanks to a verifiable method based on major scientific and technological advances. Likely to inspire innovative ways of working, this initiative could create a new standard for the industry. The second development is the agreement signed between De Beers and the Sarine company to better guarantee the origin of stones while providing a platform for G7 members.

Added to the issue of traceability – and against the backdrop of the Russian diamond ban – is the challenge of lab-grown diamonds. Occupying an ever-growing place in the market, these diamonds are partly responsible for the erosion in the volume and value of natural diamonds. Having lost a third of their value in one year, 0.5 ct diamonds have been hit particularly hard, while half the engagement ring diamonds sold in the US are lab-grown, according to expert Edahn Golan (Tenoris). However, Martin Rapaport believes the trade in lab-grown diamonds will not be profitable in the long term, and he has the figures to back him up.

So it is more crucial than ever to communicate the importance of natural diamonds if we are to restore people’s trust in the diamond dream. The Natural Diamond Council has just launched a global advertising campaign with its ambassador Lily James, while De Beers has invested $20 million in its new campaign (see our previous newsletter). Rob Bates provides an interesting analysis of the De Beers campaign, aimed at retailers rather than customers. The group caused controversy in the retail sector when it launched a limited collection of engagement rings made from lab-grown diamonds (via its Lightbox subsidiary).

We’ll end on an upbeat note to remind us of the authentic beauty of diamonds. Bulgari’s 75 Years of Infinite Tales exhibition in Dubai celebrates the iconic Serpenti motif created in 1948, unveiling unique pieces and showcasing the Italian brand’s priceless heritage and craftsmanship. Last but not least, the sales of two extremely rare stones – the Infinite Blue diamond and the fancy intense pink – have caught our attention, with the latter set to be the fourth diamond of its kind ever sold at auction.

These are the sort of events that remind us of the intoxicating magic and rarity of diamonds.

We hope you enjoy reading !