Alrosa increasing presence in the United States
New York--Alrosa is extending its reach in the U.S. market, agreeing to hold more sales in New York and signing a contract with Sotheby’s allowing the auction house to sell its important stones.
The Russian diamond miner announced on May 27 that it had signed a letter of intent with Sotheby’s for the sale of “large and unique” diamonds manufactured by Brillianty Alrosa, the company’s cutting and polishing division, and diamond jewelry. The Gemological Institute of America will certify any diamonds offered at auction.
“Signing this letter of intent with Sotheby’s aims at further promotion of the brand Alrosa on international markets and optimization of the company’s cutting and polishing complex,” Alrosa said in a company statement.
A few days later, as the jewelry trade shows were kicking off in Las Vegas, Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA) President Ronnie VanderLinden announced that Alrosa had committed to continue to hold tenders for both rough and polished goods in New York several times a year going forward. He added that they anticipate Alrosa becoming an official member of the DMIA in the near future.
Following negotiations with DMIA executives and the Diamond Dealers Club of New York that began in December 2011, Alrosa held its first New York auction of rough in July 2012, selling stones between 11 and 80 carats in size. Eighty percent of the lots offered were sold.
Vladlen Nogovitsyn, Alrosa’s head of marketing, said its recent agreement with the DMIA and Sotheby’s plus the long-term rough supply contract it inked with Tiffany & Co. subsidiary Laurelton Diamonds in late 2012 are all proof of the company’s intention to increase its involvement in the U.S. market.
Alexander Malinin, an Alrosa vice president and general manager of Brillianty Alrosa, said the company plans to move into a larger office space in the 580 Fifth Ave., the building in the Diamond District where a great many of the trade have their New York offices.
“The volume of business done in Manhattan is huge and we simply need to be there, where the action is,” he said.
Alrosa’s ambitions are not limited to growth in the U.S. market. In a recent interview with IDEX Online, Alrosa First Vice President Executive Director Igor Sobolev said the diamond company plans to be No. 1 in the world in terms of both volume and value by 2018, overtaking De Beers, which remains the world’s No. 1 producer in value terms. Alrosa is basing this projection on constant--but not increasing--demand from consumers, increasing production and rough prices, and known reserves.