De Beers Group sold $390 million in rough diamonds to sightholders and via its auction platform in the fifth sales cycles of the year, compared with $581 million in the same period last year. (Photo credit: De Beers Group)
Gaborone, Botswana—De Beers sold $390 million in rough diamonds in its latest sales cycle, a 33 percent decline.

In a news release, CEO Bruce Cleaver blamed the double-digit drop on a “more challenging” retail environment in China and oversupply in the midstream while noting that demand in the United States remains “solid.”

But industry analyst Edahn Golan tweeted Tuesday that the decline in demand for diamonds was “global.”

De Beers’ most recent sales cycle was its fifth of the year, marking the halfway point of 2019.

To date, the diamond miner and marketer’s rough diamond sales have totaled $2.38 billion, down 18 percent year-over-year.

Here is a chart outlining De Beers’ sales so far in 2019.

                    2018                       2019
First cycle                     $672 million                      $500 million
Second                $563 million               $496 million
Third               $524 million               $581 million
Fourth              $554 million               $416 million
Fifth               $581 million                $390 million (provisional)
Sixth                $533 million
Seventh             $503 million
Eighth                $482 million
Ninth                $442 million
Tenth               $544 million

Also this week, De Beers confirmed that it has changed the name of its grading lab from the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research, or IIDGR, to the simpler De Beers Group Industry Services.

In an email to National Jeweler Wednesday, De Beers’ David Johnson said the renaming makes things “clearer and simpler” for customers and makes it obvious that IIDGR is part of De Beers.

It will provide the following products and services: diamond grading (natural, untreated diamonds only); proprietary lab-grown diamond detection equipment under De Beers Group Technology; melee, parcel and set diamond verification services; and a range of diamond education courses under De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds.

De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds has three campuses, in Maidenhead in the United Kingdom; in Antwerp, Belgium; and Surat, India.

De Beers Group Industry Services has offices at each campus, while De Beers Group Technology develops its detection equipment at the Maidenhead campus only.

The renaming of IIDGR is part of a broader rebranding the company mentioned when discussing “DTC diamonds” earlier this year.


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