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DeBeers’ diamond sales surge by 57% in September

Anglo American is reporting that DeBeers‘ rough diamond sales during the eighth cycle of 2020 brought in $467 million USD.

Not only is this is a significant surge over 2020’s seventh cycle, which brought in $334 million, it’s a noteworthy increase of 57% over the $297 million realized during the same cycle in 2019.

Encouraging trends

This report dovetails with previous news from Tiffany & Company, Signet (parent of Kay and Jared) and Macy’s-Bloomingdale’s, all reporting that jewelry sales were rising at the end of the summer into August. Diamond jewelry, specifically, was a top product category at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. You can read more about the concept of “revenge spending” in our previous GemBlog article: Americans are buying diamonds instead of vacations.

DeBeers’ Chief Executive, Bruce Cleaver, commented:

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. 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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Stimulating sales

DeBeers’ sales slumped measurably in 2020 as the Coronavirus pandemic spread around the globe. In August there were signs of recovery ($334 million), attributed to DeBeers’ lowering prices of large goods and producers making optimistic preparations for the holiday season. For the September cycle DeBeers continued taking measures to stimulate sales, this time reducing prices of smaller goods, extending the period of the sight beyond its normal week and offering more flexible terms to sight holders. Total rough diamond revenue for the miner now stands at more than $900 million over the second half of 2020. In related news, Alrosa reported increased sales in September as well, up to $336 million.

A number of innovative approaches were taken by miners during the Coronavirus, including fully digital and hybrid tenders. You can read more about these measures in our prior GemBlog post: Rough diamond sales go digital.

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