De Beers upbeat on diamonds outlook, despite sales drop

De Beers Group is said to be refusing to allow its clients to disclose the legitimacy of diamonds from the company. (Image courtesy of De Beers Group)

De Beers Group is refusing to allow its clients to disclose the legitimacy of diamonds from De Beers. All De Beers’ rough diamonds are now opaque. That’s 42% of the world’s legitimate diamond production in 2017, and $14.993 billion of rough diamonds from 2015 through 2017.

In a letter to clients, De Beers states: “In relation to programmes such as GIA’s ‘Mine to Market’ (M2M), or other downstream entities’ initiatives seeking to make provenance claims. We have declined all such requests.… The Sightholder Signature License Clause 3.6.6 states: ‘you will not represent that any particular diamond or diamonds are sourced, or originate, from us or any member of the De Beers Group except with our prior written consent.’”

The net effect of De Beers’ action is to deny legitimate companies and non-profit organizations such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) the ability to track the legitimacy of polished diamonds.

“De Beers is extending its market power from rough to polished markets through exclusive polished distribution networks such as Forevermark. They are making it impossible for independent third parties to source-certify their diamonds, thereby disabling legitimate diamond distribution systems. De Beers is using its market power to restrain competition in the market for legitimate source-certified polished diamonds,” said Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group.

Rapaport is also calling out De Beers for personally attacking Martin Rapaport with false statements.

In a formal statement, De Beers wrote, “As background, Martin Rapaport had requested to be able to market diamonds from the De Beers Group, using the De...

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