I am often approached to work with diamonds from Zimbabwe. Below is a recent article from Rapaport on continued sanctions by the U.S. and the European Union regardless of the fact that Zimbabwe can now export diamonds legally with KPC (Kimberley Process Certification Scheme). For those interested in dealing with Zim goods, it would be prudent to find out the current laws of your country before so doing.
Most of your customers want to buy 4 Ct plus D-I VVS-VS (sometimes SI). To determine if Zim diamonds are the right diamonds for you, look at the posted picture of Zim diamonds above.
1.Can you determine the quality of these diamonds in the picture?
2.Would your customer buy these diamonds in the picture?
3.How much are the diamonds in the picture worth per ct.?
4.What is the average price for Zim goods?
I am putting the answers to these questions at the bottom of the blog.
Zim's Finance Minister Decries U.S. Sanctions. Biti Remains Steadfast That Diamonds Will be Sold.
Jan 16, 2012 11:52 AM By Ricci Dipshan
RAPAPORT... In a letter written to the U.S. assistant secretary of treasury, Charles Collyns, Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Tendai Biti, decried the U.S.’s placement of two Zimbabwe companies, Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources, on its sanction list.
Marange Resources is run by Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), while Mbada Diamonds is a joint venture between the ZMDC and South African-based scrap metal firm New Reclamation Group. ZMDC also faces U.S. sanctions.
Underscoring the need for Zimbabwe to profit from its Marange diamonds, the sale of which was approved by the Kimberley Process this past November, Biti said, ''Zimbabwe is a poor fragile economy and therefore it must be allowed to sell and benefit from its resources.''
He did however, admit that the country had problems dealing with illegal diamond activities, but stated the Zimbabwe’s approval by the Kimberley Process would allow it to stem those activities and legitimately
prosper from its diamond resources. ''Diamonds have been sold illicitly and illegally from Zimbabwe. There have been challenges of accountability and lack of transparency when Zimbabwe was outside the Kimberley Process. Selling under Kimberley Process Certification Scheme would therefore take away any opaqueness or illicitness.''
Biti accused the U.S. of being hypocritical in not allowing the sanctioned companies a chance to plead their case, and of undermining the Kinshasa compromise that gave approval to the export of Marange diamonds. ''The two companies and Zimbabwe should have firstly been allowed to put their case forward before the punitive action was taken. Due process of the law is guaranteed in Amendment 14 of your constitution. Secondly, to the extent that normalcy had been restored by the Kinshasa compromise, the two companies ought to have been given space and a chance to operate under the new regime of compliance.”
Biti went on to add that the "U.S. decision undermines the Kimberley Process and its chairmanship," which the U.S. now holds and he remained defiant that U.S sanctions would not stop the sale of Zimbabwe’s diamonds. ''Your decision will not stop the mining that is a sovereign issue covered by international law. More importantly, it will not stop the sale of diamonds. All it does is encourage more opaqueness and underwriting of the diamond industry.''
Answers to questions on Zimbabwe diamonds:
1.The diamonds have a heavy lava coating. It is impossible to know the clarity without first polishing a ‘window’ on the stone to view the inside. It is also impossible to know the color of a coated stone. The stone could be a D or it could be a Z or even a fancy color.
2.Your customer cannot buy these goods with the criteria of D-I VVS-SI.
3.The diamonds in the picture are worth $35-50 per ct depending on the average size of the stones within the parcel.
4.The average price for Zimbabwe diamonds is $80 per/ct.
I leave you with a quote from NY Times article 6/22/10 “Mr. Van Bockstael estimated that only 5 percent of the stones found were of gem quality, while about 90 percent were of low quality, useful only for industrial purposes. They look like pebbles or chips of broken beer bottles, tinted black, brown or green. “If you found one on the street, you probably wouldn’t even pick it up,” he said.
Louis Pearl G.G.
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