Beyond magnificence and splendor, world of diamonds evolves on stirred grounds. When stake is so important, interests collide. But technology develops following its onward course. Here are some interesting off-stage events in diamond industry and innovations in technology.
De Beers sued by head of Diamond Bourse
Derek Parsons, president of Diamond Bourse of Southeast United States has filed a lawsuit against De Beers, on charge of company's disregard of American competition law. Their Supplier of Choice policy puts American dealers at a disadvantage. The suit was not launched on behalf of Miami bourse but on behalf of diamond dealers in America, condemning criteria on which De Beers makes sales – they would sell only to their sightholders, discouraging non-sightholders and keeping prices artificially high at a non-competitive level.
Diamond mining expands
De Beers holds control of only 50% of roughs market
Diamond rising prices have stimulated exploration and mining in more countries such as Canada, Russia, Angola, India, Brazil. Nevertheless, about 40% of diamonds still come from Botswana and South Africa. De Beers' control on rough diamond market was declared to have decreased from 70% to about 50%. Canada, Russia and West and Central Africa are considered by specialists an important potential diamond source. India and Brazil are prospected by geologists also due to fact that they are known to have been a diamond source in past.
The largest diamond reserve of Africa lives in extreme poverty
Although fourth largest producer in world by value and holder of largest diamond reserves in Africa. Angola's per capita gross national income GNI is estimated at $650 per annum. People' s main means of subsistence is agriculture. The diamond sector has been seriously affected by long war and by gem smuggling. Yet it still represents a very important potential driver of economic development. Since 2002, when conflict between government and UNITA rebel movement ended, developing sector has become a national priority and government has already made changes to diamond sector regulations. Serious redevelopment and investment is needed in this area. At present, artisanal mining operates in Angola and it brings very little economic benefit to local communities.
Increasing conflict in Russia between diamond cutters and miners
The Russian company Alrosa is largest diamond miner in world outside De Beers. Diamond cutters accuse Alrosa of favoring exports and providing larger stones for foreign market and offering only small-sized diamonds to internal market. On other hand, Alrosa says that cutters cannot be allowed to pick assortment of size they want. The result is that Russian cutters are buying million dollars in rough stones from South Africa each month. Russian manufacturers had a production of $1.1 billion in 2003, and Alrosa is estimated to produce around $2 billion worth rough diamonds this year.