Sourcing

Rough Diamond Sales Rise Again for De Beers

SourcingJun 23, 2022

Rough Diamond Sales Rise Again for De Beers

Sales were up 36 percent year-over-year in June and are pacing 24 percent ahead of last year at this point.

De Beers Group reported rough diamond sales of $650 million in June, up from $477 million in roughly the same period in 2021 and $604 million in May. (©De Beers Group/Photo credit: Ben Perry @ Armoury Films)
Gaborone, Botswana—De Beers Group’s rough diamond sales jumped 36 percent year-over-year in June, with the company attributing the increase to continued demand for diamond jewelry in the U.S. market.
 
De Beers reported Wednesday that sales of rough diamonds to sightholders and auction clients totaled $650 million in its fifth sales cycle of the year (June 6-21), compared with $477 million in roughly the same period last year.
 
Month-over-month, sales are up 8 percent from $604 million. 
 
Year-to-date, De Beers’ rough diamond sales have totaled $3.13 billion and are now pacing 24 percent ahead of last year ($2.53 billion), up from 21 percent last month.
 
CEO Bruce Cleaver said diamond jewelry continues to perform well in the U.S. market, a trend reinforced by the positive sentiment in the trade following a busy and, many say, lucrative JCK Las Vegas show. 
 
“The continued strength of U.S. demand for diamond jewelry and the gradual reopening of retail outlets in China following COVID-19-related lockdowns have supported the sales momentum of De Beers Group’s rough diamonds in the fifth sales cycle of the year,” he said. 
 
Also helping to boost De Beers 2022 sales are the sanctions placed on Alrosa in light of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, analysts have noted.
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
While the sentiment coming out of the Las Vegas trade shows largely is positive, the most recent reports about U.S. diamond and jewelry sales are mixed. 
 
In its SpendingPulse report released June 14, MasterCard had jewelry sales increasing 22 percent year-over-year, and up 65 percent when compared with May 2019, pre-pandemic. 

 
In a tweet, diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan called into question MasterCard’s bullish report, particularly as 2022 sales are up against a “fantastic” 2021. 
 
In an article on his own website on diamond sales, Golan cited data from Tenoris showing diamond unit sales in the U.S. were down 24 percent year-over-year in May and declined from the previous month, which is unusual since diamond sales usually rise in May due to Mother’s Day.  
 
“The expected cool-down [in diamond sales] is here,” he wrote. “This was not only expected, but also reasonable considering the rising cost of fuel, housing, and household products, along with the tanking stock market.” 
 
It is not “the end of the world,” he wrote, “but it is the end of a wild ride, at least for now.” 
 
Golan also noted a decline in sales of engagement rings set with natural diamonds but rising interest in lab-grown diamonds among U.S. consumers, particularly for engagement rings. 
 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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