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In Manhattan’s diamond district, where salesmen corral tourists outside dozens of neon-lit stores, dealers said business has slowed over the past few months.

In Manhattan’s diamond district, where salesmen corral tourists outside dozens of neon-lit stores, dealers said business has slowed over the past few months.

Photographer: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg
Pursuits
The Big Take

Panic Grips Billion-Dollar Trade Over Russian Diamond Ban

US restrictions on Russia’s giant diamond miner are causing panic across the industry. Traders are hunting for workarounds to keep tapping one of the world’s main sources of precious gems.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is fracturing a billion-dollar trade that spans the permafrost-laden diamond mines of Siberia, secretive trade houses in Antwerp, dusty polishing powerhouses in India and New York’s glittering designer jewelry stores.

Russian mining giant Alrosa PJSC supplies about a third of the world’s raw gems, and US sanctions against the company are causing panic in the industry. Firms from Tiffany & Co. to Signet Jewelers Ltd. have announced plans to suspend sales of Russian diamonds. With wedding season looming in America, desperate delegations have been seeking a workaround from India, the world’s largest exporter that cuts and polishes nine of 10 stones.