Diamond Manufacturing

The economics and activities of diamond manufacturing. A sensible place to start a background journey into the midsection of the diamond value chain.

What is Diamond Manufacturing?

It is the series of actions that transform a rough diamond into a polished diamond ready to be set in a jewelry item. It is an activity that not only transforms a rough stone into a polished diamond, the transformation process is also where the most value is added to a diamond.

The polishing process takes place in the midsection of the diamond value chain, commonly referred to as the midstream. Here is the place where knowledge, skill, and cutting edge technology come together, and are of the outmost importance for the diamond value chain.

What Happens in Diamond Manufacturing?

Diamond manufacturing involves:

  • Rough diamond purchasing
  • Rough diamond assessment
  • Sophisticated technological tools
  • Cutting
  • Polishing
  • Grading
  • Wholesale of polished diamonds

Where are Most Diamonds Manufactured?

The majority of diamonds are polished in India. Manufacturing also takes place in Belgium, Israel, China, and Thailand.

Issues Related to Diamond Manufacturing

This section of the diamond value chain is not just the key transformation spot for diamonds, it is also the most vulnerable part of the diamond value chain. It is heavily reliant on complex financing and suffers from the thinnest margins of all sections of the diamond industry.

It also bears the greatest risk. Diamonds can break during the polishing process. The thin margins and difficult profitability means that business and can easily fall into losses. Most manufacturers are in a volume business, which does not lend itself to improved profitability.

For a deeper look into this topic, please see below:

Refusals, Strops, Contracts and Conspiracies – A Rough Market Review

Refusals, Strops, Prices, New Contracts and Conspiracies – A Rough Market Review

In a way, there were no surprises this past week, and that in itself should be a surprise. De Beers offered a large rough diamond supply to its clients – at slightly higher prices – and the market just could not digest it. Why did the miner offer so many goods in an overloaded market? Why were the prices high …

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The US State of the Jewelry Market Report

US Market report jewelry diamonds consumer expenditure

Millennials spend more on jewelry than any other age group Age group between 25-34 spent 28% more than average household Consumers are buying more jewelry but at a lower price-per-piece Fine jewelry sales in the US reach $68.8 billion Watch sales reach $9.13 billion, increasing 7.7% Buying season spans throughout the year, with sales during traditional holiday season dropping 1.2% …

Indian Diamond Companies Improve Cash Flow

IIJ Feb 2015

Diamond manufacturers adjusted their operations to the current low and declining loose diamond prices and high rough diamond prices. In the backdrop are fixed overhead costs and costly financing, according to traders.

Interview with Rubel & Menasche

Interview

How lab-grown, transparency, Amazon’s low price-point jewelry, Anglo American’s takeover of De Beers and high retailer fragmentation are influencing the diamond industry today. The second in a series of interviews with Rubel & Menasche’s Marianne Riou is here.

De Beers Sales +11% in 2014

Rough diamond sorting - De Beers

Anglo American announced its results this morning and with it De Beers‘ results: Sales: $7.114 billion (+11%) Carats sold: 32.73 million carats (+5%) Underlying EBITDA: $1.818 bln CAPAX: $689 million Return on CAPEX: 15% Highlights from the 2014 financial report: De Beers’ underlying EBIT increased by 36% to $1.4 billion (2013: $1.0 billion). The increase was due primarily to solid demand across …

Rio Tinto’s Diamond Sales +5.8% in 2014

Rio Tinto’s Diamond Sales +5.8% in 2014 The Argyle Pink Jubilee Diamond

A strong rise in rough diamond prices have led to an increase in Rio Tinto’s gross revenue from diamonds in 2014 despite a sharp drop in production. Gross revenue increased to $901 million, up 5.8% from $852 million in 2013. In 2014, the company mined 13.87 million carats, a 13% year-over-year decrease. The decrease coincides with the move from open-pit …

Rough Diamond Market Report: Subdued Market Ahead of Diwali

Even with a very small supply of rough diamonds from the major diamond suppliers De Beers and Alrosa during this diamond cycle, premiums in the secondary market were so low that in some categories it meant selling at a loss for the first hand buyers – the Sightholders and Alrosa clients. There are several reasons for this, the upcoming Diwali holiday …