Arjav Diamonds Offer 60 Lots in Online Rough Auction

Arjav Diamonds (India), a subsidiary of DTC Sightholder Arjav Diamonds, Antwerp, has launched an online auction for rough diamonds, out of the Indian diamond-processing city of Surat. Ashit Mehta, chairman of the Blue Star group that Arjav is part of, told IDEX Online that the auction consisted of 60 lots of large stones.

“All the goods on auction are above 4.80 carats,” Mehta said, adding, “Prices range from $1,500 p/c all the way up to $25,000 p/c, with an average price for the entire auction of $3,000 p/c.”
The rough was sourced from a variety of mines in South Africa, Botswana and Russia and most of the resultant polished goods would be “certification goods,” meaning the average quality was high. According to Mehta, between 175 and 200 diamond dealers are expected to participate in the auction.

Viewing of the goods will be in Surat, on June 1-7, and the online auction will take place on June 9. According to Mehta, many of the goods have already been assessed and planned for processing on the Sarin Galaxy machine. Successful bidders will be given the Galaxy files as well. “Only BHP Billiton has tried this before,” Mehta said. “Planning the stone on a high-tech machine like the Galaxy, which only a couple of hundred firms have, adds value to the stone.”

“We want to send a message to the diamond community that Surat is the ultimate destination for diamonds. They can be sourced here in the rough, cut and polished to the highest standards, with the polished available for sale in substantial lots,” Mehta said, adding, “we want small and medium Indian diamond firms to be able to garner experience in online auctions, so that they will, in future, be able to compete successfully in online auctions all around the world  in Southern Africa, Antwerp and Russia.”

Mehta clarified that the auction was an independent initiative by the Blue Star group even though he was also chairman of Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing (India) Limited (SRDSIL), a rough sourcing company set up by a collective of diamond dealers in Surat. “The objectives of SRDSIL are the same,” he noted, “to enable small and medium enterprises to easily acquire the kind of goods that they need. However, the primary objective of the SRDSIL is to source Zimbabwe goods for the Indian processing industry.”

Due to Kimberley Process limitations, that initiative is currently on hold. “We’ll move ahead with it as soon as we get KP clearance.”

If the current auction succeeds, Blue Star would consider holding more auctions, including for small goods. The auction’s website, is expected to go live on Monday.

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