The Spirit of the Rose pink diamond
Alrosa saw strong demand for rough and polished diamonds in December last year, with sales reaching US$521.6 million on the back of steady midstream business and the sale of the Spirit of the Rose pink diamond.
The December 2020 figure was 43.37 per cent higher than US$363.8 million in December 2019. Full-year sales however shrank by 16 per cent to US$2.8 billion in 2020 from US$3.33 billion in 2019 largely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Alrosa sold US$405 million worth of rough and polished diamonds in January 2020 but by April – as global lockdowns and travel restrictions were put in place – sales had plummeted to US$15.6 million. Alrosa then implemented a flexible sales strategy, allowing customers to defer contracted volumes of rough diamonds to subsequent trading sessions. Business recovered in August, with sales reaching US$216.7 million as the Covid-19 situation improved in some countries.
In November 2020, the Spirit of the Rose – the world’s largest vivid purple-pink diamond ever to appear at auction – sold for US$26.63 million at Sotheby’s Geneva, setting a world record for a purple-pink diamond. The 14.83-carat diamond, bought by an anonymous buyer over phone bidding, was mined and cut by Alrosa.
“High sales of rough diamonds in December generally reflected the current level of market demand,” noted Evgeny Agureev, deputy CEO of Alrosa. “Alrosa continues to maintain maximum flexibility in satisfying only confirmed demand for rough diamonds.”
The company expects January sales to return to average levels, with demand further stabilising during the first quarter.