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De Beers CEO seeks slimmer, more flexible company

By Tova Cohen and Ari Rabinovitch TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Diamond producer De Beers plans to cut costs and use machines more in place of labor as it strives to become leaner and more flexible in response to a tougher world economic environment, the company's chief executive said. De Beers' owner Anglo American <AAL.L> has just changed its own management and is in the middle of a three-month review, the outcome of which will likely include steps to improve the performance of the world's biggest diamond producer by value.

Centr.Africa halts diamond trade pending reforms

Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia said Tuesday that his volatile country would halt trade in diamonds pending reforms to ensure that they are not used to fund conflicts. "There will be no more talk of conflict diamonds in Central Africa," Djotodia told AFP in an exclusive interview. "We will decree a moratorium on the exploitation and sale of diamonds in order to carry out a precise audit."

Rio Tinto puts largest 'red' diamond on market

Rio Tinto said Friday it was putting up for sale the biggest "red" diamond ever produced by its Australian mine amid an "explosion" in demand from Asia for the rare pink-hued stones. The Argyle Phoenix, a 1.56 carat gem, is one of three red diamonds on offer at the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender -- the first time in the 30-year history of the exclusive sale that it has included three red stones. "This is the largest red that has ever come from the Argyle diamond mine," Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson told AFP as she held the stone.

Perfect colourless diamond auctioned for record $23.5mn

A new colourless, pear-shaped diamond weighing 101.73 carats raked in a record $23.5 million at a Christie's auction in Geneva Wednesday. The price, which does not include tax or commission, is the highest ever paid for a flawless colourless diamond, according to the auction house, which had hoped the gem would go for $30 million. apo-nl/gk

Blue diamond goes for a record $9.4 mn in London

London, Apr 25 (EFE).- A rare blue diamond weighing 5.3 carats sold for 6.2 million pounds ($9.4 million) at an auction in London, auction house Bonhams said. "The previous world record price per carat for a blue diamond was $1.68m. This rare gem was bought by Graff Diamonds, the international diamond house headquartered in New Bond Street, London. Bidding came from round the world via 25 telephone lines as well as bidders in the packed saleroom," Bonhams said in a statement.

Blue diamond sets record at London sale

An extremely rare blue diamond sold for £6.2 million ($9.5 million 7.3 million euros) at a London auction on Wednesday, setting a new world record for price per carat. The fancy deep-blue diamond weighing 5.30 carats sold at Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale in central London for a record $1.8 million per carat, beating the previous record of $1.68 million. The gem, which was bought by international diamond house Graff Diamonds, attracted bids from within the auction room and around the world via 25 telephone lines and smashed pre-auction estimates of £1.5 million.

[Photo Story] When it comes to diamonds, all roads lead to Antwerp

When 120 boxes of diamonds worth $50 million were stolen from a suitcase that was being loaded onto a Zurich-bound plane leaving from Belgium’s Zaventem Airport on Monday Feb. 18, all eyes turned to the global center for diamonds, Antwerp.The city of Antwerp, which was where these stolen diamonds had originated, is a port city with a 550-year tradition of diamond processing, not to mention its own diamond exchange.

Belgium fears threat to diamond supremacy after massive heist

* Armed robbers stole $50 mln of jewels * Antwerp traders say airport is weak link * Chance of recovering diamonds small if not found soon BRUSSELS, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Belgian authorities scrambled on Wednesday to fix holes that allowed one of the biggest jewellery heists in history, while dealers said they feared it helped put at risk the country's centuries-old dominance of the diamond trade.

No takers for 114 carat diamond in DR Congo

A 114.63 carat diamond from the Democratic Republic of Congo failed to find a buyer after its mining company owner set up the auction to cover payroll, a union leader said Wednesday. The outcome prompted some in the industry to wonder whether the large stone had major defects or was not fully crystallised. "The workers are disappointed, they hoped to alleviate their poverty," said Dieudonne Kabamba, a union vice-president at the Miba diamond mining company.

Brussels airport heist nets $50-mn diamond haul

Heavily armed robbers disguised as police made off with $50 million worth of diamonds in a spectacular heist on the tarmac at Brussels airport, prosecutors and diamond dealers said Tuesday. The Monday night robbery at Zaventem airport just before 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) was "one of the biggest" ever, said a spokeswoman for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the global dealers' syndicate.
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