By Michelle Graff
The latest sales figures from De Beers Group and Alrosa, both released last week, show that increased demand for diamond jewelry among consumers is beginning to stimulate recovery in rough demand. (Photo courtesy of De Beers Group)
New York—Diamond sales picked up in late summer for both De Beers Group and Alrosa, with recovery in retail demand for finished jewelry stimulating the rough market.

During the sixth sales cycle of the year (July 27-Aug. 13), De Beers’ rough diamond sales totaled $116 million, less than half of the $250 million sold in the same period last year.

But sales took a turn for the better the following month (Aug. 19-Sept. 10), reaching $320 million.

That is an 11 percent increase over the same period last year, though, De Beers noted, the $320 million figure is preliminary and could be adjusted based on final completed sales.

De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver characterized the diamond industry’s recovery as being at “an early stage” with strong demand for bridal jewelry across markets fueling a recovery in rough diamond demand.

He said it will take some time to return to what business was like before COVID-19.

Alrosa reported similar results in August.

Sales of rough and polished diamonds totaled $216.7 million ($202.1 million in rough and $14.6 million in polished), up 19 percent from $181.8 million in August 2019.

Year-to-date, rough and polished sales have totaled $1.24 billion, about half of the $2.16 billion sold by the same point last year.

Like Cleaver, Evgeny Agureev, Alrosa’s deputy CEO, said the gradual recovery of diamond jewelry demand is creating the need for rough, which he called a “good sign” as the industry enters the pivotal holiday selling season.

“Hopefully, the support we offered our long-term clients in March-August has a positive effect on restoring the supply/demand balance and helps the diamond market to overcome the most challenging period,” he said.

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