By Michelle Graff
London--De Beers said rough diamond sales continued to increase in March and April, aided by stable polished diamond prices and wholesale demand.

The miner and marketer said Wednesday that preliminary results for the third sales cycle of the year (Feb. 29 to April 4) indicate that rough diamond sales totaled $660 million, up from $617 million in the second sales cycle.

It also is an improvement from the $545 million in rough diamond sales De Beers reported in the first sales cycle of the year.

De Beers said continued stability in polished diamond prices--which also was noted by Rapaport Group in its most recent monthly report--and wholesale diamond sales created “reasonably positive” demand for rough diamonds. 

However, the company is keeping what CEO Philippe Mellier describes as a “prudent mindset” as it heads into a period of the year when rough diamond sales historically have been lower.

The reporting of rough diamond prices by De Beers marks a new era of transparency for the miner and marketer. There is certain data, however, that the company said it won’t disclose for competitive reasons, including year-over-year sales comparisons and the breakdown of auction vs. sightholder sales.

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