Diamante sotto esame da Rubin & Zoe
Diamante sotto esame da Rubin & Zoe

The War of the Diamonds

So far the embargo on Russian diamonds hasn’t worked too well. In the future, however, things could change and the price of the gems most loved by women would inevitably become higher. The war in Ukraine unleashed by Russia had already provoked, in 2022, the announcement of an embargo against the exports of Alrosa, the Russian state diamond giant. But, in fact, precious stones continued to arrive in the West too, due to the difficulty of tracing the gems. In fact, rough diamonds are sold in countries such as India or Thailand, which do not adhere to the stop decided by Western countries on Russian stones. Europe alone in 2022 imported Russian diamonds for 1.4 billion euros. A considerable figure, albeit down from 1.8 billion in 2021.

Expertise in un laboratorio Tiffany
Expertise by Tiffany

Something could change after the G7, the meeting of the major industrialized countries, if China is not taken into account. In Japan, the heads of state of the G7 countries have decided to tighten controls more to reduce one of the sources of income of the Russian state. And Great Britain has announced that it will immediately leave Russian diamonds outside the borders, together with other metals that are exported from Moscow. Russia is now the world’s largest producer of diamonds. The problem, however, is how to control the stone market, which largely passes through channels that are difficult to monitor.

Anversa: acquisti di un buyer
Antwerp, buyer

Where the traces disappear

The biggest obstacle comes from the steps related to processing. While the extracted diamonds are easily controlled, also thanks to the Kimberley Process, a path that certifies the origin of the gems, precisely to prevent them from financing warring countries or factions, the problem comes later. Cutting and polishing rough stones can make traces of provenance disappear. Furthermore, the idea of a real embargo opposes those countries, such as Israel or Belgium, which are the major centers where diamonds are cut.

Diamanti taglio brillante
Brilliant cut diamonds. Copyright: jewels.com

On the other hand, those who have everything to gain from a stop at Alrosa are the producers of gems created in the laboratory, who can benefit from an inevitable increase in the price of natural diamonds. Synthetic diamonds, which are chemically the same as those extracted in mines, already cost much less than natural ones. If the price gap widened further, the advantage would be greater.

Lavorazione dei diamanti alla Dimexon, India
Diamond Processing at Dimexon, India
Esame di diamanti ad Anversa
Diamond examination in Antwerp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

The Louvre in Vacheron Constantin watches

Next Story

Nature seen through Nicholas Varney’s eyes

Latest from news