By Michelle Graff
Rough diamond sales totaled $467 million in the latest sales cycle for De Beers Group, up 40 percent from the previous sales cycle and 57 percent year-over-year as the diamond miner and marketer prepares for what should be a decent holiday season.
New York—De Beers Group’s rough diamond revenue returned to near pre-COVID levels in its latest round of sales.

But, the company says, it’s too early to determine whether this is the beginning of a sustained recovery or an isolated spike ahead of the holiday season.

Between Sept. 21 and Oct. 9, De Beers’ eighth sales cycle of the year, the company’s rough diamond
sales totaled $467 million (a provisional figure that remains subject to adjustment), up from $334 million in the seventh sales cycle.

It is the company’s highest rough diamond sales total since January.

It also is a stark improvement from the $297 million in rough diamonds sold in the same period last year, though year-over-year comparisons don’t necessarily paint an accurate picture of the market.

Demand was lower than usual for much of 2019, before firming up toward the end of the year.

And 2020, obviously, is also an atypical year, with COVID-19 impacting rough diamond demand through the summer but picking up now.

Pipeline inventories are low and manufacturers need to replenish stock ahead of what De Beers anticipates will be a decent holiday season, with some of the money normally spent on travel expected to divert to diamonds.

“We continue to see a steady improvement in demand for rough diamonds in the eighth sales cycle of the year, with cutters and polishers increasing their purchases as retail orders come through ahead of the key holiday season,” CEO Bruce Cleaver said.

“It’s encouraging to see these demand trends, but these are still early days and there is a long way to go before we can be sure of a sustained recovery in trading conditions.”

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