De Beers Boosts Diamond Sales as Customers Stock Up for Holidays

  • Biggest diamond producer sold $630 million in latest offering
  • Holiday season is busiest time for the diamond industry

De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer, boosted sales of the gems in its latest offering as customers began stocking up for the holiday season later this year.

The Anglo American Plc unit sold $630 million of rough diamonds in its seventh offering this year, up from $528 million in the previous sale, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Rough stones are those which haven’t been cut or polished.

“We saw healthy demand for our rough diamonds,” De Beers Chief Executive Officer Bruce Cleaver said in the statement. “Manufacturers brought forward some of their demand in order to cut and polish rough diamonds in time for the important retail selling season.”

The diamond industry is seasonal, with the holiday period from Thanksgiving in November through the Lunar New Year in Asia in January or early February the busiest period for jewelry sales. Rough-diamond prices have rebounded 4.7 percent this year after De Beers and rival Alrosa PJSC cut off supply to try to support the market. The stones slumped 18 percent in 2015 as slowing Chinese demand and an industry-wide credit crunch curbed purchases.