BELGISCHE VERENEGING VAN HANDELAARS, IN-EN UITVOERDERS VAN GESLEPEN DIAMANT

The Belgian Polished Diamond Traders Association

Click here to edit subtitle

Antwerp diamond industry 'bvgd' youtube channel




An Urgent Call to Invest in Marketing

Recent challenges have affected all segments of the diamonds market. To stimulate a recovery, all industry participants must contribute to raise the budget earmarked to promote the product.


By Shashin Choksi & Siddharth Choksi


RAPAPORT... The diamond industry must significantly increase its marketing spend to ensure the trade’s longevity. This need is highlighted by the difficult conditions the sector has endured over the past few years.

Recent challenges have led to a lack of confidence in the diamond trade that resulted in a seemingly endless stream of financial misconduct carried out by a minority of ill-intended merchants. Our trade representatives need to introduce stringent measures that will combat such misconduct.

More importantly, consumer appetite for our product has stagnated in this tough market, while the absence of marketing and innovation has had a further negative effect on demand. We must collectively work to restore the appeal of our product among consumers.

The diamond industry exists thanks to breakthrough marketing by De Beers, with its iconic “A Diamond is Forever” campaigns becoming entrenched in the consumer mindset.

It’s no coincidence that as De Beers’ marketing budget surged in the 1990s and early 2000s, spending on diamonds by US consumers tripled. Government data shows that net imports of diamonds to the US grew from $2.41 billion in 1990 to $7.15 billion in 2007, before De Beers shelved its generic marketing the following year. As the investment in category marketing declined, demand slowed and net imports to the US dropped to $3.96 billion in 2018.

At the same time, polished prices have been on a constant decline and our stock has devalued by some 20% in the last decade. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat diamonds is down 48% since its highs in mid-2011.

Of course, industry dynamics have changed. Increased competition in both the mining and retail ends of the supply chain has made it counterproductive for companies such as De Beers to invest heavily in generic marketing as it promotes its competitors’ product. Therefore, it is vital that all diamond industry participants contribute to category marketing as a collective.

Export contribution

We must reinvent the way the industry tackles marketing, and to do that we need to increase our budget radically. Raising the necessary funds on a continual basis is possible by taking a small contribution from all diamond exports that would be earmarked to promote the product. That would include:

• A 0.05% levy on all diamond exports (rough and polished) from non-mining countries. This translates to a mere $50 for every $100,000 of exports. Considering polished exports from just the top five exporters – India, the US, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium – that would have brought a contribution of around $41 million in 2018, based on data published by the respective governments.

• A fee of 0.5% on all polished exports and 1% on rough exports from mining countries, or $500 and $1000 for every $100,000 in polished and rough shipments, respectively. A 1% cut of rough exports from the top five producer countries alone – Botswana, Russia, Canada, South Africa and Angola – would amount to $152.5 million, based on 2018 Kimberley Process statistics.

• A payment of 2% of all exports by the diamond-mining companies, which would come to $2,000 for every $100,000 of goods shipped out. The combined sales from five of the top miners – De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto, Petra Diamonds and Mountain Province – would have brought in $228 million for the proposed marketing fund last year.

All that translates to approximately $421 million just from those parameters, which would easily exceed half a billion dollars when extended to all countries and companies. It would mark a significant improvement on the budget currently provided by seven mining companies to the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), which is charged with spear-heading the industry’s category marketing. These contributions would not be a tax, but a much-needed investment.

The cost of apathy

It may seem like an expensive challenge, but we must also consider the price of being passive and allowing our stock losses to continue. Such a scenario would be far more costly in the long run, sparing no one — from the small traders to the large manufacturers and, yes, also the miners, as demonstrated by the recent slump in rough sales.

We have already collectively lost billions of dollars, considering the dramatic stock devaluations endured since 2011. And yet, the mining companies continue to make healthy profits. Alrosa paid a record dividend of $1.18 billion to its shareholders in 2018, while De Beers reported earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $518 million in the first half of 2019.

Mining-company profits come at the expense of manufacturers and dealers, who are struggling. The continued devaluation of our diamonds emphasizes why we need to pool our resources to revive our product’s luster through aggressive marketing. It’s only fair that the mining companies bear responsibility for the larger contribution.

Real ambassadors

While some miners have increased their marketing budget in recent years, the funds are largely siphoned to promote their own retail-jewelry brands, which ultimately compete with their clients. And while the miners have funded the DPA to lead the industry’s marketing effort, the organization’s 2019 budget of $75 million is hardly enough.

We need to raise the budget so that our marketing efforts can reach all consumer markets and use all marketing media outlets. That includes educating the consumer about the ethical practices of our industry.

The consumer landscape is changing, and we know millennials value experiences over products. However, there is still demand for luxury items, when one considers the record revenue generated by the likes of LVMH, Richemont and Kering.

Comparing those to the performance of Signet Jewelers and others that sell to more mainstream consumers highlights the ineffectiveness of the industry’s marketing efforts. The fact that the luxury segment is growing but our trade is lagging should serve as a wake-up call to rejuvenate the image of our product.

Effective marketing would also combat the lure of lab-grown diamonds, which have proven to be the biggest-ever disruptor to the traditional industry. Rather than challenging the appeal of synthetics, we should separate our product by highlighting the inherent value of natural stones.

Leaving a legacy

The new fee structure from exports would require leadership from the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). The trade body should oversee its implementation to ensure that all bourses participate in and benefit from the scheme. The funds should enable the industry to spread its message across all platforms and markets, adding to the work currently done by the DPA.

Companies spend roughly 11% of their turnover on marketing, according to a 2019 study by Gartner research. The marketing spend varies across industries. But if an industry is struggling, as ours is, surely more needs to be invested. A minimal contribution from all stakeholders will provide the much-sought-after turnaround.

The diamond industry is unique. But to ensure it is sustained for the long run, we need to build on what makes it so special. We can’t rest on our laurels. A small percentage of our exports will go a long way to ensure there is still something for the next generation of eager diamond miners, manufacturers, dealers and jewelers to enjoy.

About the authors: Shashin Choksi, director of Swati Gems bvba, is a second-generation diamond merchant from Antwerp, with over 40 years of experience in the industry. Shashin is also a dedicated husband and father of three.

Siddharth Choksi holds a degree in business administration degree from IE Business School and currently works at a venture capital fund in Amsterdam. Since a young age he has undertaken a number of internships within the diamond and jewelry industry, gaining exposure to the various stages of the trade's supply chain.

Image: Polished diamonds (Shutterstock).


Bron: RAPAPORT




 
Synthetic Ethics   By Martin Rapaport, 23 may 2019

Synthetic diamonds are a fundamental threat to the natural diamond industry. They are not just a competitive product like gems, pearls, or gold jewelry. They are a replacement product. Their marketers shout out: Don’t buy natural diamonds, buy synthetic diamonds because synthetic diamonds are more ethical. They are cheaper. They build up synthetic diamonds by tearing down natural diamonds.

The natural diamond trade is confused and afraid. Our diamond distribution system is under relentless attack as retailers are forced to match lower prices from online sellers who operate at lower costs. Furthermore, suppliers are using the internet to sell direct to consumers, cutting out retailers. Competition is fierce, profit margins are low and people are leaving the industry.

The problem is not just distribution. Natural diamonds themselves are under direct attack. Synthetic sellers are mounting marketing and public-relations campaigns to convince consumers that natural diamonds are bad. They claim natural diamonds deface the earth and force child labor. The reputation of our diamonds and trade are being destroyed in the mind of the consumer.

Identity crisis

Our trade is having an identity crisis. Are synthetics more ethical? Are they a good product? Should we sell synthetics? If we sell synthetics, what does that say about us and our natural diamonds?

The synthetic marketing campaigns are just the tip of the iceberg. What’s really going on is an attempt to steal the identity of natural diamonds and hijack the reason people buy diamonds. Synthetics sellers are not saying “Buy synthetics because they are more beautiful, sparkly, or well cut.” They are saying “Buy synthetics because they are the same as natural diamonds but with better ethics and lower prices.” They are getting under our skin by trying to capture the idea and promise of natural diamonds.

Synthetics are parasites living off the marketing message that naturally scarce diamonds are the ultimate gift of love and commitment. Synthetics are trying to steal the Diamond Dream. They don’t have their own message. Synthetics are not more ethical.[1] They don’t contribute to sustainable economic development in developing countries. And most importantly they don’t hold value.

Synthetic prices

Synthetic sellers make a strong argument that synthetic diamonds are “exactly the same”[2] as natural diamonds. But that’s not true. Synthetic diamonds have no natural limitation of supply. They can be cranked out in unlimited quantities and will be manufactured as long as there is profit. Given a competitive market, the quantity and supply of synthetic diamonds manufactured will increase until there is very little price difference between the cost of manufacturing and the sales price. The wholesale B2B price of synthetics is limited to manufacturing costs plus a small distribution profit.

The cost of manufacturing synthetic diamonds is continuously decreasing (it currently stands at $300 to $500 per carat). Technological advances in synthetic processing are being driven by governments and companies seeking to develop a broad range of futuristic synthetic diamond technologies that have nothing to do with jewelry. These include synthetic diamond chips for quantum computers, high-powered CO2 lasers, and even biological applications funded by the US Department of Defense.[3] Extended funding for these advances will create new technology that will further reduce the cost of creating synthetics. Think Moore’s law on steroids.

There are also the tens of thousands of High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) machines in China shifting production from creating synthetic diamond abrasives to synthetic gem rough. And let’s not forget about what happened to synthetic emeralds, rubies and sapphires: Their prices plummeted as unlimited production increased supply.

For all the above reasons, it is reasonable and rational to predict that synthetic diamond prices will decline significantly over the next few years. In fact, according to some reports, prices for 1-carat synthetics have fallen over 20% in just the last quarter.

In contrast, the supply of natural diamonds — particularly large expensive diamonds — is limited by their natural occurrence. You can’t just crank them out. Natural diamond prices are based on scarcity and that is why their price per carat increases with size and quality. The scarcer something is the more valuable it is.

Synthetic values

Jewelers considering the sale of synthetic diamond engagement rings should consider the ramifications of what happens when the customer comes back in a few years and finds out that her $30,000 diamond is now worth $3,000 or $300. What will you say? What will you do? Do you think that customer will ever trust you again? Do you think the customer will ever again buy any diamond, synthetic or natural, from you or anyone else again?

Consumers are not being told of the sinking value of their synthetic diamonds. Jewelers are presenting the diamonds as a discounted item compared to natural diamonds even though they are not comparable when it comes to value retention. These jewelers and jewelry companies are misleading consumers who think they are buying a diamond that will retain value the way a natural diamond does. An entire generation of millennials is being “ethically” ripped off.

Sadly, we have an industry that is cashing in on the reputation of natural diamonds. We are destroying the long-term reputation of diamonds as a store of value for short-term synthetic profits. It’s shocking to see so many in our industry willing to take consumers for a ride without disclosing the likely price decline of expensive synthetic diamonds.

The diamond dream

So what is the diamond dream? Why do people buy diamonds? What is the promise of diamonds?

Let’s talk diamond engagement rings. When a man gives a woman a diamond,[4] there is more going on than the physical exchange of a commodity. Similarly, when a couple has a committed relationship, there is more going on than a one-night Tinder experience. We seek to transcend our physical connection by incorporating high-level emotions into a spiritual relationship. We seek to make love, not just have sex. The diamond engagement ring is an emotional and spiritual gift that transcends the physical diamond as it communicates the commitment of love forever. The universally symbolic gift of a diamond engagement ring is similar to a wedding ring, which is “worth” much more than its weight in gold. The value of the wedding ring incorporates the emotional and spiritual investment of the couple. So, too, the diamond engagement ring.

For many young women, the diamond dream is that one day she will fall in love. The perfect man will come along, ask her to marry him and give her a diamond ring to seal that love. The dream starts at a young age — maybe 10 or 12 — and continues throughout her life. Even after she gets married, she will look at the ring every day, remembering the love it represents.

The foundation of diamond demand is the engagement ring. A man does not give an engagement ring to a woman just because it sparkles. He is giving her much more than the physical product. He is giving her his promise to be there for her, for the rest of her life.

The value of values

The natural diamond trade does itself a disservice by promoting diamonds based on price. If the most important thing about the diamond is price then why doesn’t the man just give the woman cash? Many in the trade do not know how to sell the emotional power of the diamond so they just sell price discounting. It is likely that these companies will lose market share to synthetic diamond sellers.

The woman receiving the diamond does not just want price — she wants value. She does not want a commodity transaction; she wants her relationship with her lover to be more than transactional. She wants her man to give her something valuable because she projects the value of the diamond onto herself. She wants to think, “He loves me sooo much, he spent sooo much on me.” Sure, she wants the biggest and best diamond she can get for their money, but most importantly she wants him to show her he loves her by buying her something expensive. Something that has no utility other than to make her feel good and confident about his love for her.

The Achilles heel of synthetic diamonds is that they don’t have the ability to store value. Yet an important part of the diamond dream is the idea that the gift she is receiving is valuable and will stay valuable forever. That is what she is thinking and that is what she is expecting. The fact that no one is telling her the value of her synthetic diamond will deteriorate is a great injustice.

The diamond dream is about the promise of real love, based on real emotions, based on a real diamond that maintains real value. The diamond dream is not about cool technology, celebrating a transactional relationship, or a synthetic diamond that has no long-term value. There is no such thing as a synthetic diamond dream.

 Conclusion

Synthetic diamonds are threatening the integrity of the natural diamond trade by promoting the sale of expensive synthetic diamonds without disclosing their inability to store value. Consumers are being misled about the medium- and long-term value of their synthetic diamonds. Absent full and fair disclosure it is likely that once consumers find out about the “value retention problem” they will no longer be interested in buying any diamonds, including natural diamonds.

As millennials finally come of marriageable age, we are in danger of losing an entire generation of diamond consumers due to our failure to differentiate our natural diamonds from synthetic diamonds based on value retention and other factors. Better marketing focusing on the benefits of natural diamonds compared to synthetic diamonds is desperately needed.

It looks like we have lost the battle for low-quality natural melee diamonds. The benefits of natural diamonds for inexpensive fashion jewelry are unclear. Extensive marketing efforts to brand and sell synthetic diamond jewelry by Swarovski, Diamond Foundry and others are taking place. Nothing similar is being done for natural diamonds.

All of us in the diamond industry face an ethical dilemma: Should we or should we not sell synthetic diamonds? Even with full disclosure about value retention, we will still have the problem of facing consumers who will come back in a few years with worth-less synthetic diamonds.

From the Rapaport perspective we question the ethics of establishing a synthetic diamond trading network on RapNet or publishing a Rapaport price list for synthetics. We do not think it is right to create an enabling environment for products that will hurt consumers.

So as to gain a better understanding of the trade’s position regarding synthetic diamonds, we will be holding a RapNet vote on synthetic diamond issues before the Las Vegas show. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.


WORLD DIAMOND MAGAZINE february 2019

GLOBAL POLISHED DIAMOND DEMAND, (Report on Lab grown diamonds)

No one should underestimate the effects that Lightox will have. It is going to disrupt the natural business to a far greater degree than has already occurred. Lightbox has made MMDs a totally acceptable product. It will incentivise those already producing MMDs to ride this new coattail and to increase production and pursue technological advancement.

It will force many retailers to the attempts by various institutions in the industry to fight the expansion of MMDs, even punish dealers who would dare to carry MMDs, is not only counterproductive, but will also guarantee that the disruption to come will be even more painful than it needs to be.

RAPAPORT FEBRUARI 2019 BY AVI KRAVITZ(report on lab grown diamonds)

The mined-diamond industry needs to get of the defensive in the synthetic-diamond debate. It can do so by amplifying the good that diamonds do – through both its corporate social-responsibility programs and its role in providing livelihoods to tens of millions of people. It should also enhance its storytelling about where a diamond comes from, building on the wave of source-verification and traceability programs that have recently emerged.

Consumers do care about what they’re buying, and they want to be assured that their purchase is making a positive contribution. Natural-diamond companies should be providing those assurances regardless of the rivalry with synthetics. It has become quite clear that the natural-diamond and jewelry brands able to garner growth in today’s challenging environment are those investing in technology and telling a meaningful story.

In that context, the synthetic-diamond debate should not be about the threat of losing market share. Lab-grown products, whether meat or diamonds, provide a different appeal and will evolve to a segmented market. £Rather, it’s about the diamond industry believing in its product. Having survived the early-disrupter challenges that cultured meat is now presenting for food suppliers, the natural-diamond trade should have the tools to sell with confidence. The growth of synthetics may continue to shake the market, but natural diamonds have a unique value proposition that still resonates with consumers.

KEY INDUSTRY TRENDS BY THE GLOBAL DIAMOND INDUSTRY 2018 BY BAINS & COMPANY.(dec 2018)


Three trends have the highest potential to affect the diamond industry in the near terms : advancements in digital technologies, the development of lab-grown diamonds and generational shifts in consumer preferences.

Among other benefits, digital technologies are aiding transparency and efficiency efforts across all segments of the value chain. For example, in 2017 and early 2018, blockchain projects were launched to help consumers confidently identify the origin of their diamonds.

Two important events occurred in 2018 regarding the lab-grown diamond market. In July, the US Federal Trade Commission amended its Jewellery Guides, clarifying “a diamond is a diamond” regardless of its origin. In September, De Beers Group launched a lab-grown fashion jewellery retailer called Lightbox Jewellery that introduced a new pricing paradigm.

While much attention has been paid to millennial buyers, their successors in Generation Z have been gaining buying power, forcing the industry to rethink marketing and sales strategies. Self-purchased sales and social media shopping are expected to increase, attracting younger generations of diamond buyers with distinct preferences.

Nieuw voor de BVGD-leden.;


Deze service is een aanzienlijke vergemakkeling in de import en export service van geslepen diamant, en die de handelscapaciteit van de Antwerpse diamanthandelaars sterker maakt.

Dear members,

The BVGD, in cooperation with IDEX is offering a service where you can locate, authenticate and get a stone shipped to you from different diamond centres worldwide. The cost for this service is  3% of the value of the stone. This courtesy is a significant and powerful breakthrough in helping to facilitate the import and export of polished diamonds in Antwerp: This is essentially what the BVGD is about. Hopefully, the diamond sector will benefit from this global service.


For any inquiries please contact Henri Keesje at the bvgd.

 The BVGD shares the same concerns than the DPA.

By Hedda Schupak, Editor, The Centurion |  August 01, 2018.

DPA Responds To FTC Guides’ Updated Terminology.

The removal of the word “natural” was based purely on science, not commerce. The FTC’s justification for the change is that man-made diamonds did not exist in 1956 when the first definition was drafted, but now that lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as diamonds found in the earth, they are in fact diamonds.

Diamond industry leaders fear that consumers won’t differentiate between the two. In a statement, Jean-Marc Lieberherr (above left), CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, expressed grave concerns around the new terminology, especially use of the word “cultured” to describe a diamond even with additional qualifiers, and use of the word “mined” to describe a natural diamond, especially as not all are obtained through extractive mining. But he acknowledged the synthetic diamond manufacturers’ pledge to respect the new Guides in their marketing and called upon them to honor the commitment.


Here is Lieberherr’s complete statement regarding the new Guides:

“The DPA welcomes the release of the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Jewelry Guides following six years of consultation with the industry.  This document plays an important role, alongside other applicable norms and standards, in protecting consumers from deceitful communication by marketers.  The DPA commits to respecting the FTC Guides – as it has always done – in its communication, and in particular as it pertains to the way it describes synthetic diamonds – diamonds created in a laboratory – and natural diamonds.  We note and welcome synthetic diamond manufacturers’ public pledge to respect the new Guides.

The DPA appreciates that the FTC still requires marketers of man-made stones to differentiate their product conspicuously from natural diamonds in their marketing communication.  While we disagree with the change in the FTC’s definition of a diamond, we want to remind the industry that all other norms and standards continue to support that a diamond is a mineral of natural origin, and to clarify that the FTC Guides continue to ask marketers to qualify the use of the word “diamond” to describe any product that is not “a mined stone.”  

Furthermore, the DPA expresses deep concerns that the new Guides fail to provide the clarity required to avoid more consumer confusion and deception, instead introducing unnecessary ambiguity.  In particular, the Guides support the broad use of terms which – while potentially incorrect and misleading – can be qualified through communication to avoid consumer deception.  This is the basis on which the FTC approves the qualified use of the term “cultured diamonds” even though it has been demonstrated that the majority of consumers mistakenly interpret “cultured” as a description used for natural diamonds.  The DPA believes that this principle, if widely applied, would open the door to yet more consumer confusion and deception and would require the agency to address a large number of claims on a cumbersome case-by-case basis.  DPA had hoped that the agency would provide clearer guidelines for industry on these important issues and looks forward to engaging further the FTC on the subject.

Finally, the DPA is surprised at the wide use of the expression “mined diamond” throughout the FTC Guides in lieu of “natural diamond”, a terminology heavily promoted by man-made diamond producers.  Indeed, “mined diamonds” refers to an extraction process, and not to a creation process, and the vast majority of the world’s diamonds will never be mined, making this an incorrect qualification.”






Quotes and  tips.
Education.
One of the roles of continuing education is to ensure salespeople are up to date on both the facts of trade and attitudes of moden customers.
Keeping up those skills can strike and chord with clients and encourage them to buy buy and to tell others about their experience.
Education is one of the ways you can stay up there and keep delivering those costumers expectations, because you want that person coming back, you want them sharing your name with their friends and family.
The last thing you want is to miss something that the completion next door doesn't miss, because that's a competitive advantage.(Rapaport, special eduction supplement by Joshua Freedman , april 2018)

BVGD is testing the possibility of installing an imagery machine in diamond bourse of Antwerp in order to serve all the diamondtraders. (10/04/2018).

         BEWARE  OF  CYBER  CRIME

Dear colleagues,


A quick update before the Easter break :


A month ago, I made a proposal to the Diamond Bourse to put a diamond imaging machine at the service of the diamond traders.

Last week, I went with a few board members of the Bourse to see a demonstration of the Diapix machine made by Ogi.

The results were not convincing and we are going to wait until June when the new machine will come out.

In general the idea was well received, and the collaboration between BVGD and the Diamond Bourse was very good.


After the vacation i will send the membership letter for 2018, along with the fees.


Wishing you good vacation,


Henri Keesje.

Click here to edit text

Interview  Ari Epstein ( CEO  AWDC)
De Tijd  30 maart 2018
‘Wij eisen oplossing voor diamantsector'.

Dat diamantairs geen bankrekening kunnen openen, schaadt Antwerpen als internationaal diamantcentrum. ‘De banken kunnen de diamantsector niet laten stikken’, zegt Ari Epstein, de topman van de diamantkoepel AWDC.

Dat de diamantsector met een imagoprobleem kampt, ontkent Epstein niet. ‘Dat is eigen aan het product, dat vaak met glitter en glamour geassocieerd wordt. Nochtans wordt 95 procent van de verhandelde diamant gebruikt voor industriële toepassingen, zoals in de medische wereld, voor boorkoppen of voor schoonheidsproducten.’

Dat die negatieve perceptie het voor diamantairs onmogelijk maakt om een bankrekening te openen, zoals De Tijd  meldde, vindt de AWDC-topman een brug te ver. Hij houdt een pleidooi om naar de feiten te kijken, diamantbedrijven individueel te screenen en vooral oplossingen te zoeken.

Is de diamantsector niet nog altijd te weinig transparant?

Ari Epstein: ‘De diamantsector heeft, vaak in samenwerking met de overheid, een rist maatregelen genomen om de risico’s in kaart te brengen, ze te objectiveren en er antwoorden op te formuleren. Cashbetalingen boven 3.000 euro zijn al lang niet meer toegelaten, de controles op het naleven van de antiwitwasregels zijn aangescherpt, en door de karaattaks zijn de boekhoudingen transparanter en de balansen steviger. We juichen al die maatregelen toe. Antwerpen kan die transparantie uitspelen als concurrentiële troef.’

‘Dat de maatregelen werken, blijkt uit het groeiende succes van de diamantveilingen in Antwerpen.'

'Ook grote buitenlandse diamantgroepen willen vanwege de diamanttaks hun hoofdkwartier naar Antwerpen verhuizen. Er liggen concrete dossiers op onze tafel. Maar als blijkt dat diamantairs hier geen bankrekening kunnen openen, dan is er een probleem. Om een licentie als diamanthandelaar te kunnen krijgen moet je een bankrekening hebben.’

Volgens de bankwereld zijn de dossiers die diamantairs indienen vaak niet volledig.

Epstein: ‘Het probleem vandaag is dat diamantairs zelfs niet de kans krijgen om een dossier in te dienen. Zodra banken in België zien dat iemand in de diamantsector actief is, krijgt die te horen dat hij geen klant kan worden.'

'Een medewerker van AWDC, die niet in de diamanthandel zit maar als bediende voor de koepelorganisatie werkt, kon zelfs geen lening krijgen voor een auto.'

'Bij sommige banken (Belfius, red.) staat het zelfs online dat klanten geen relatie mogen aangaan met diamantairs. Ze bekijken zelfs de dossiers niet. Een volledige sector systematisch uitsluiten mag niet, maar het gebeurt dus wel.’

Waarom zijn diamantairs personae non gratae voor de banken geworden?

Epstein: ‘Dat is nog altijd een gevolg van de perfecte storm waarin we zijn beland toen KBC in 2014 besliste de deuren van de Antwerp Diamond Bank te sluiten. De diamantsector zat daar voor niets tussen, in de nasleep van de bankencrisis werd KBC verplicht activiteiten af te stoten. Het was niet onze fout, maar we dragen er nog altijd de gevolgen van.’

‘Belgische banken willen voor diamantairs geen bankrekening meer

openen, waardoor die hun business ook niet meer kunnen doen draaien. Kijk, we zijn en blijven hier, we maken deel uit van het economische DNA van België. Maar als we geen betalingen meer kunnen doen, lukt het natuurlijk niet meer.’

Moet de diamantwereld zelf niet meer doen om het vertrouwen van de bankwereld terug te winnen?

Epstein: ‘We zijn niet bij de pakken blijven zitten. Al drie jaar reiken we de bankwereld de hand. De overheid heeft mede op onze vraag een risicoanalyse gemaakt om de reële risico’s in de handel in diamant in kaart te brengen en bijkomende noodzakelijke oplossingen uit te werken.'

'Wij zijn een samenwerking aangegaan met Bureau Van Dijck. Die Belgische leverancier van handelsinformatie heeft een databank, die ook banken gebruiken om hun klanten te controleren en na te gaan of aan alle regelgeving is voldaan. Wij doen dus al heel wat voorbereidend werk voor de banken.’

Is het toch niet te begrijpen dat de banken hun vingers niet willen verbranden aan de diamantsector?

Epstein: ‘Daarom hebben we in februari al aan Febelfin, de koepelorganisatie van de banken, een systeem voorgelegd waarbij de risico-analyse van diamant- bedrijven deels wordt uitgevoerd door de sector zelf. Dat kan dan onafhankelijk gecontroleerd worden door de overheid. Het vermindert de kosten en risico’s voor de banken en verhoogt de rendabiliteit.’

‘Wij hebben dit initiatief begin februari aan Febelfin voorgesteld, maar kregen nog geen reactie. Blijkbaar heeft Febelfin het zelfs nog niet voorgelegd aan de banken. Daar hebben wij vragen bij.'

'Na drie jaar dialoog wordt het tijd voor een concrete oplossing. Vanuit de diamantwereld nemen wij onze verantwoordelijkheid, maar nu is het hoog tijd dat de bankwereld mee aan een oplossing werkt. De banken kunnen de diamantsector niet laten stikken.’



 

Antwerp Welcomes Delegation of European Jewelers for "Diamond Experience"
The BVGD welcomes the initiative of the AWDC in bringing jeweler delegations to Antwerp and organising meetings with diamond manufacturers and diamond traders.
This is the kind of interaction that helps to promote our trade internationally.
We sincerely support and promote further iniatives of this sort.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Click here to edit title.

Antwerp kicks off diamond year 2017-2018

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Philippe Barsamian Elected President, Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses.

The Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses (FDBD), the umbrella organization for Antwerp's four diamond bourses, has elected Philippe Barsamian as president. Mr. Barsamian has been a member since 1974 of the Antwerp Diamond Club. He became a member of the ADC's board of directors in 1998, serving as managing director from 2000 to to 2002, and as vice-chairman since 2002. He has also been a member of the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses since 2006, and was a member of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre's Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014. He takes over as president of FDBD from Willy Rotti, who completed three consecutive terms in office and could therefore not stand for office again under the Federation's by-laws.

pictures,,,,

 


Antwerpse diamantsector eist oplossing voor bankenprobleem. 


Antwerpse diamantsector eist oplossing voor bankenprobleem 

In een reactie op de mediaberichten rond het probleem van toegang tot bankrekeningen stelt het Antwerp World Diamond Centre dat de gehele diamantsector de facto volledig wordt uitgesloten door Belgische banken. Aan de hand van verzamelde getuigenissen, correspondentie en informatie die banken zelf publiceren kan de koepelorganisatie duidelijk aantonen dat het daarbij gaat om een systematisch weigeren van klanten die gelinkt zijn aan de diamantsector, voor zowel persoonlijke als zakelijke bankrelaties, nog voor die klanten enig dossier konden indienen.
 
Wetgeving en initiatieven vanuit sector
In hun weigering verwijzen de banken vaak naar de zogenoemde risico-factor. Dat de sector zich niet bewust zou zijn van deze problematiek houdt geen steek. Allereerst wordt de diamanthandel in ons land door een hele reeks wettelijke verplichtingen uitermate streng gecontroleerd. Zo kunnen bij wet enkel door de overheid erkende en geregistreerde firma’s in België diamanthandel drijven en is een zeer strikte antiwitwaswetgeving van toepassing. Bovendien wordt het internationale betalingsverkeer gecontroleerd en wordt binnen het Diamond Office elke in- en uitvoer voor 100% gecontroleerd. 
 
De Antwerpse diamantsector heeft in de afgelopen jaren ook bijzondere inspanningen geleverd om bovenop die verplichtingen extra initiatieven op te zetten. Zo werden sinds 2013 maar liefst 23 anti-witwasseminaries georganiseerd, bijgewoond door 544 bedrijven, het aantal meldingen aan CFI steeg van 1 melding in 2013 naar 35 meldingen in 2016, dankzij de oprichting van een SPOC door AWDC. Een specifiek daartoe opgerichte anti-witwas en compliance helpdesk behandelde vorig jaar alleen 631 vragen. AWDC sloot ook een partnerschap af met de Compliance Catalyst databank van Bureau Van Dijk, een databank met 250 miljoen klantgegevens wereldwijd die gratis ter beschikking wordt gesteld van diamantfirma’s zodat ze efficiënt de bij wet verplichte identificatie van klanten en personen kunnen uitvoeren.  
 
Sector neemt het initiatief voor dialoog
Bovendien nam AWDC het initiatief om de verschillende actoren in deze problematiek rond de tafel te brengen en constructief aan een oplossing te werken. Zo werd Febelfin, koepel van de Belgische financiële wereld, tussen eind 2014 en afgelopen maand maar liefst tien keer uitgenodigd voor overleg. Tijdens het meest recente overleg stelde AWDC daar nog voor om te werken met een Sustainable Bank Account Access Scheme (SBAAS), specifiek ontwikkeld voor deze problematiek. Bedrijven die instappen in dit schema, dat onafhankelijk geaudit kan worden door een officiële instantie, worden binnen dit schema uitvoerig gescreened, waardoor de compliance kost voor banken aanzienlijk afneemt. 
 
In dialoog met de overheid werkte de sector ook een lijvige risico-analyse uit voor de banken, die alle sector-eigen risico’s in kaart brengt en nog belangrijker, op welke manier die pijnpunten aangepakt worden. Daarnaast nodigde AWDC ook tal van financiële instellingen en relevante bedrijven en organisaties uit om de specifieke dynamiek van de diamanthandel tot in detail toe te lichten.
 
Karaattaks zorgt voor meer transparantie
De lang bepleitte herziening van het fiscale diamantstelsel, de zogenaamde karaattaks, zorgt voor een duidelijke kapitaalbalans en éénduidige, meer transparante boekhouding. Die transparantie verhoogt bijgevolg aanzienlijk de capaciteit van banken om controles uit te voeren. Ironisch genoeg zorgt de systematische discriminatie van de banken rond het openen van bankrekeningen er nu voor dat bedrijven die zich omwille van de karaattaks (opnieuw) in Antwerpen willen vestigen wegblijven. Zonder bankrekening is het immers onmogelijk om handel te drijven.
 
AWDC betreurt dat ondanks de vele inspanningen en pogingen tot dialoog van de afgelopen twee jaar, de Belgische banken nog steeds systematisch en categoriek personen gelinkt aan onze sector blijven weigeren, nog voor die potentiële klanten nog maar de kans krijgen om een dossier in te dienen.
 

 BREXIT?

 

M-Screen

 

Diamond producers associations -DPA

The DPA (Diamond Producers Association) have recently launched their campaign in the USA ‘Real is rare, real is a diamond’.

Some of the interesting points raised during the workshop is that contrary to popular belief Millennials are very interested in diamonds only they have not been exposed to the kind of advertising around it that previous generations have. Also they are quite resistant to the ritual around diamond buying (ex; has to be bought for marriage, anniversary etc).

Part of the research on millennials shows that because of the digital age we are living in and the lack of real experiences and human connections, millennials are actually very drawn to something as unique as a diamond and to something genuine around the experience of buying their diamond.


- few interesting facts:

-Within 5 years Millennials will be at their top purchasing power

-Top purchases for Millennials involve travelling abroad, weekend getaways, electronics, diamonds

-Real is rare, rare is a diamond’ was launched in the USA mid-October with a set of videos targeted to the USA and intends to start a different dialogue around diamonds.  Not  necessarily diamonds are forever concept but more life and relationships have imperfections but having something real is equally important and worth celebrating.

-Still diamonds from marriage count for 35-40% of all diamond purchases

-Self purchase capacity has gone up from 26% to 31%

What  is really intresting  is the idea of how does ‘Real is rare’ connect to what we are doing, how does it play into what we propose as diamond companies.



The BVGD is welcoming rhe new Carat Tax law, that was approved by the European commission and the Belgian parlement.  The BVGD is proud to be the vehicle that introduced the concept of the carat tax to the AWDC. Thanks to a group of committed and motivated diamond traders, the implementation of the carat tax has come to a reality. This proves that the necessity of a discussion platform where members of a trade sector come together in order to find solutions to existing  problems is a productive endeavour. I take this opportunity to thank : Mr Jean-Louis Van Strydonck, Mr Sachin Choksi, Mr Philippe Barsamian, Mr Nishat Parikh, Mr Tom Panis and Mr Ari Epstein( the AWDC) for making this happen.
 
BVGD  is proud   to  be  a  partner for  the
'  Antwerp Diamond Year '                       2017-2018.







                                


Since our childhood, we wake and sleep diamonds.They follow us throughout the day, every minute of every day. It has become a part of who we are, and what we represent. We feel proud and privileged to be a part of this magical industry located in Antwerp, the Diamond capital of the world.

                          Diamonds, it's part of our DNA.
                

 

Antwerp Diamond Forum - ADF

ADF-Antwerp Diamond Forum


We encourage each and every diamond trader to join this proactive group on the Telegram app.

You will be updated on the minute with the latest news in the Antwerp, as well as the global diamond industry. Additionally, you will be able to share your thoughts and debate your ideas with the entire group.

If you want to join the group, please call Mr. Henri Keesje (0476 890305) or Mr. Abhay Nanavati, the administrator of the group.


Debate between the candidates , before the AWDC elections.
Organised by ADF  (may 2016)
The candidates are presenting themselves with their program .

Click here to edit text

NEW :  BVGD presents    'Create your company video'   for only 275 euros!   

and promote your COMPANY and the ANTWERP DIAMOND INDUSTRY.

NEWS



BE UP TO DATE WITH  :  http://www.thediamondloupe.com/all



 Board of directors  2014-2015


Chairman :  Mr Henri Keesje

Vice-chairman :  Mr Andre Gumuchdjian

Secretary :  Mr David Horowitz

Treasury  : Mr Nehal Mehta

Advisor : Mr Robert Kiek

Advisor : Mr Philippe Barsamian

Advisor : Mr  Frank Fensie


Summer 2015  :  First publication of the  BVGD  newsletter.


Changes in the Board of Directors

Dear member,

At the last board meeting of the Board of Directors on March 13th 2014, Mr Andre Gumuchdjian has offered to step down from the presidency due to other engagements. The Board of Directors has elected unanimously Mr Henri Keesje as the new president.

European court rejects the appeal of the BVGD

After an eight year battle with the European commission, the EU General Court

has rejected our case for the establishment of an open, free and competitive market for diamonds.


We need to examine closely the Decision of the Court and the arguments that were invoked, most probably the “lack of community interest” has been the predominant factor.


While it is clear that the diamond industry does not affect as many consumers as, say, a Microsoft does, there are millions of people worldwide working in the diamond and jewellery industry. For us as well as for tens of millions of consumers, the impact of an open system would have been beneficial.


To be sure the market has changed tremendously in the last eight years. To a large extent, we feel we won more on the ground rather than in the courtrooms as many aspects of SoC have been proven to be detrimental to the market.


We will examine with our lawyers our further legal options.


We, at the BVGD, feel that many stakeholders have understood the validity of our arguments. Yet the core problems still remain. To be sure, the situation is changing slowly but surely. It is to be hoped that economic reality will force real change in the end, as distorted markets can never be efficient.


In the long run, economic forces will always prevail.


Andre Gumuchdjian

President of the Board of Directors

Categories: None


Rapaport Price List Reduction : Our Reaction

The Belgium Polished Diamond Traders Association (BVGD) has always been at the forefront and is leading the struggle for a free, fair and transparent market.

The BVGD is very concerned by the latest reduction of the Rapaport diamond price list.


While we recognize that a correction in polished prices is taking place, the uniform decrease across the board from 10cts down to .30cts simply does not reflect the reality of the market.


At a time of extremely thin trading owing to a series of Jewish and Indian holidays coupled with the global economic turmoil it is very difficult to gauge the full impact of these price movements.


It is expected that the 3.00ct+ range will suffer the greatest correction as this is the area where the prices have risen the most. What is inconceivable is why the Rapaport Group considers it appropriate to reduce prices similarly in all ranges from 0.30 -10ct.


The 0.30 – 1.00ct range represents a range of polished where recent price rises were not even reflected on the Rapaport list and his decision to reduce the prices proportionately to the 3.00+ highlights once again his inability to correctly read the polished diamond market.


Acknowledging the need and usefulness of a price guide index for our industry, the BVGD appeals to other Polished Diamond Traders Associations to join it within the umbrella of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses to create a credible price index based on a clear and transparent methodology.


Andre Gumuchdjian

President of the Board of Directors of BVGD

Categories: None


 

 

Inleiding

De Belgische Vereniging van Handelaars in Geslepen Diamant, vertegenwoordigt en behartigt de belangen van de Belgische handelaars, de in-en uitvoerders van geslepen diamant.

De BVGD is de enige beroepsvereniging, als dusdanig erkend door de Belgische overheid, om in naam van de handelaars in geslepen diamant te spreken. Onze statuten worden door de Raad van Staat gecontroleerd.

Wij vertegenwoordigen alle handelaars in geslepen diamant, onafgezien van het lidmaatschap. Uiteraard kunnen alleen daadwerkelijke leden deelnemen aan de Algemene Vergaderingen, stemrecht hebben en elk tweede jaar de Raad van Bestuur verkiezen.

Iedere diamanthandelaar die een Belgisch handelsregisternummer heeft, kan zijn aanvraag indienen voor het lidmaatschap. De Raad van Bestuur onderzoekt de aanvragen en is als enigste bevoegd om de status van daadwerkelijk lid toe te kennen.

De doelstellingen van de BVGD zijn de invloed aan te wenden op alle niveaus om de handel in geslepen diamant aan te wakkeren en te vergemakkelijken.

Wij streven er naar om alle hindernissen en tarieven uit te schakelen die de Handel kunnen belemmeren. Wij ondersteunen alle acties die voordelig kunnen zijn voor de Belgische handelaars in geslepen diamant. Wij laten ook alle verzoeken om handelscontacten aan onze leden toekomen.

- Het vergemakkelijken van de handel van geslepen diamant.

- Het verbeteren van de werkwijze van de Diamond Office.

- Het ontwikkelen, samen met de HRD, van nieuwe idee n om de certificaten te optimaliseren.

- Het voorstellen om op markt-effici nte manieren de diamant handel en nijverheid te helpen en/of te Samen met jullie actieve deelname hopen we in de toekomst succesvoller te zijn.