De Beers’ sightholders and auction customers bought $475 million in rough diamonds in its most recent round of sales, up 26 percent from $376 million in the eighth sales cycle of 2017.
Gaborone, Botswana—Consumer demand for diamond jewelry in the United States continues to support the sale of rough diamonds by De Beers Group.

The diamond miner and marketer reported this week that it sold $475 million in rough to sightholders and via its auction platform in the eighth sales cycle of the year, up from $376 million in the eighth sales cycle of 2017.

CEO Bruce Cleaver said demand has dropped for lower-end goods because of the rupee-dollar exchange rate.

The rupee has hit record-low levels against the dollar in recent months; as of Wednesday afternoon, 1 rupee was worth about 0.014 U.S. dollars (diamonds are bought and sold in U.S. dollars worldwide.)

But Cleaver added that overall demand is steady, reflecting ongoing consumer demand for diamonds in the U.S. market.

In announcing its results for the latest sales, De Beers also announced a downward revision of rough diamond auction and sightholder sales for the seventh cycle, from the $505 million reported last month to $503 million.

Here is a chart showing how De Beers’ 2018 rough diamond sales stack up to 2017 so far this year.

                         2017                 2018               
First sales cycle                     $729 million                           $672 million                    
Second $553 million $563 million 
Third $586 million $524 million
Fourth $522 million $554 million
Fifth $541 million      $581 million
Sixth $576 million $533 million
Seventh $507 million $503 million
Eighth $376 million $475 million (provisional)    
Ninth $466 million
Tenth $455 million

To date, sales have totaled $4.41 billion, on pace with last year.

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