Editors

Diamonds, the new safe haven?

EditorsApr 18, 2012

Diamonds, the new safe haven?

Major changes are afoot at the world’s largest diamond miners: De Beers, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. After 80 years in the business, the Oppenheimer family likely will be out of the diamond trade by years’ end. Both BHP Billiton...

Major changes are afoot at the world’s largest diamond miners: De Beers, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. After 80 years in the business, the Oppenheimer family likely will be out of the diamond trade by years’ end. Both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have said they want to exit as well.


Amid all this, there is growing chatter about the rise of diamond investment funds, a topic that always sparks debate among jewelers, manufacturers and the like.

In a recent column, IDEX Online’s Edahn Golan said that he expects to see diamond funds and other forms of investment in diamonds begin operations within the year. He reiterated that same point when quoted in a story called “Diamonds as a Commodity” (which led with the question, “Could diamonds be the new gold?”) published by The New York Times on Friday.

The idea of diamond investment funds is one that has been talked about since I started working at National Jeweler more than four years ago. But is now the time for it to happen? 

As noted above, there are major changes taking place in the industry. Though it has been said that it will be “business as usual” at De Beers, Anglo American is bound to have a different take on the business once the Oppenheimers are gone. While there has been much speculation about the future owners of the diamond mines operated by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, the latest reports have named a leveraged buyout firm called Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. as a front-runner in the bidding war.

It’s also worth noting that last May, Harry Winston Diamond Corp., which reportedly also is interested in the diamond assets of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, announced that it was teaming up with a company based in Zurich to create a diamond investment fund. (Interestingly, it’s been noted how Harry Winston CEO Robert Gannicott said during the company’s recent conference call that diamonds are “too complex” to be treated as a commodity. Except for when, I guess, Harry Winston wants to treat them that way?)

There’s also the current world economic situation to consider. On Monday evening, I had dinner with an independent jeweler who said he was investing in natural color diamonds because he knows they are going to go up in value, unlike his stagnant stock portfolio, which still is struggling to recover from the

beating it took during the downturn.

This retailer has at least one client who feels the same way; the two actually share ownership of a nice yellow diamond, which they (obviously) hope to sell for a profit eventually. And he said he’s interested in investing in more natural color diamonds.

I understand that one jeweler investing in a natural color diamond is not nearly as complex as launching an entire diamond investment fund. But I use this anecdote to make a point: Given all the economic instability in the world, people are looking for somewhere stable to put their money.

Are diamonds going to be it?
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Model Wearing Eat Cake Collection
CollectionsApr 16, 2024
Akaila Reid Launches ‘Eat Cake’ Collection

It’s ultra-feminine and filled with gold, pearls, and soft pastels.

Emily Highet Morgan, Emily Bennett
MajorsApr 16, 2024
Loudr Adds 2 Directors

Emily Highet Morgan and Emily Bennett have joined the agency’s team.

Stuller catalogs
MajorsApr 16, 2024
Stuller Releases First Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry Catalog

Its updated book for mountings is also now available.

1-(3.18).JPG
Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

Headshot of Karen Rentmeesters
SourcingApr 16, 2024
Karen Rentmeesters Takes Over as Interim CEO of AWDC

She has been with the organization since 2010, most recently serving as its chief officer of PR and industry relations.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
Joyce’s Jewelry
TechnologyApr 15, 2024
Judge Rules Jeweler’s Lawsuit Against PNC Bank Can Move Forward

Joyce’s Jewelry sued the bank after cybercriminals drained its accounts of nearly $1.6 million through a series of wire transfers.

Alfred W. DeScenza
IndependentsApr 15, 2024
Alfred W. DeScenza of DeScenza Diamonds Dies at 95

He is remembered by loved ones for his loyalty, integrity, and kindness.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

Madeleine K. Albright
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
Madeleine K. Albright Jewelry, Pins Coming to Auction

Hosted by Freeman’s | Hindman, the sale will take place May 7-8.

Audemars Piguet circa 1985 emerald car watch
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
All of Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sold in Less Than an Hour

The auction house said all 24 timepieces offered in its underground sale of rare and avant-garde watches quickly found buyers.

AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Events & AwardsApr 15, 2024
10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Evil Eye Charm with Turquoise Disc
CollectionsApr 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Lionheart’s Evil Eye Gemstone Charm

The charm is a modern rendition of the evil eye amulet that has been worn for thousands of years.

The Jewelry Symposium scholarship winners 2024
Events & AwardsApr 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Announces 4 Scholarship Winners

Ahead of its trade show next month, TJS awarded free registration and accommodations to one jewelry professional and three students.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Steven Rosdal
IndependentsApr 11, 2024
Steven Rosdal, Co-Founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, Dies at 77

He is remembered for his charisma, passion, integrity, kindness, and wit.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

Sylvie Jewelry model
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
Sylvie Launches New Nature-Inspired Collection, ‘Tulira’

The bridal collection consists of 35 engagement rings and seven wedding bands.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea in 18-karat yellow gold
WatchesApr 10, 2024
These Are Rolex’s New Watches for 2024

The crown introduced a dozen timepieces in Geneva, including a heavy metal version of its deep-sea divers’ watch.

Levy’s Fine Jewelry diamond education
IndependentsApr 10, 2024
Levy's Fine Jewelry Explores Diamond History

The family-owned jeweler has a new education section on its website dedicated to the history of diamond cutting.

With Clarity NFL wedding bands
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
With Clarity Partners With NFL on Wedding Bands

The limited-edition men’s rings can be customized with one of 12 team logos.

Asian Star’s diamond manufacturing facility in India
SourcingApr 10, 2024
Compliance, Caution, and Concern: The Current Outlook of Indian Diamantaires

There is a willingness to comply with new government-mandated regulations, with an insistence that they should be practical and realistic.

Chrono24 watch inspection lab
WatchesApr 09, 2024
Chrono24 Debuts Pre-Owned Watch Authentication Program

The program, now live in Europe, will roll out to the U.S. this summer.

6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond
AuctionsApr 09, 2024
Phillips to Offer 6.21-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond

Colored gemstones and signed jewels are the focus of its upcoming Geneva sale.

Lucapa rough colorless and pink diamonds
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Former De Beers Exec Appointed to Lucapa Board

Stuart Brown, who was De Beers’ CFO and interim CEO, is now Lucapa’s independent non-executive chairman.

Jewelers for Children POS System Donations
MajorsApr 09, 2024
Jewel360 Announces New POS Integration, JFC Partnership

The point-of-sale software can now prompt customers to round up their credit card purchases as a donation to Jewelers for Children.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy