By Brecken Branstrator
brecken.branstrator@nationaljeweler.com
Citing travel restrictions in Botswana, South Africa and India, De Beers Group announced Monday it’s canceling its third sight of the year. It was scheduled to take place this week (March 30 to April 3) in Gaborone. (Photo courtesy of De Beers Group)
Gaborone, Botswana—De Beers Group has canceled its third sight of the year, which was scheduled to take place this week in Gaborone, Botswana.

De Beers called off the event due to travel restrictions put in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

It announced the cancellation in a statement released Monday, noting the restrictions on the movement of people and product in Botswana, South Africa and India specifically.

India’s prime minster instituted a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24 while South Africa started a three-week lockdown on Friday. The country had already closed its borders.

In Botswana, the government put a ban on visitors from high-risk countries, including the United States, earlier this month. The country was one of the last in the world without a confirmed case of COVID-19; the government reported its first confirmed cases on Monday.

De Beers is allowing sightholders to defer 100 percent of their sight three allocations to later
in the year and noted it “will continue to seek innovative ways to meet sightholders’ rough diamond supply needs in the coming weeks.”

After coming off a difficult year, the diamond miner and marketer showed signs of improvement at the start of 2020, with sightholder and auction sales up 10 percent over the same period last year.

But it didn’t take long for the coronavirus, which surfaced in Wuhan, China in late December and brought the country’s economy to halt soon thereafter, to take a toll on diamond sales.


Sales fell 28 percent year-over-year in February.


TAGS:   Coronavirus
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