gold, gold, gold, crypto coins, blockchain and diamonds

What happened, what may happen

For those interested in the yellow metal, the World Gold Council recently released two documents on the 2017 gold market events and on the outlook for 2018. We all now how forecasts work (I have just read and quote “if you have to forecast, forecast a lot“). Even so, the more you read and know, the better (provided you have a critical knowledgeable mind). The documents are available for download at WGC’s website or from here:

In another issue, a World Gold Council report states that:

  • Cryptocurrencies are no substitute for gold. In a summary of their report, WGC says”Bitcoin’s parabolic price rise was the big story of 2017 – putting the spotlight on the cryptocurrency market. While gold’s performance was a solid 13%, it was a fraction of the 13-fold increase of bitcoin by the end of the year.
    Some commentators went as far as to claim cryptocurrencies could replace gold. Cryptocurrencies may become an established part of the financial system. But, in our view, gold is very different from cryptocurrencies, as gold:

    • is less volatile
    • has a more liquid market
    • trades in an established regulatory framework
    • has a well understood role in an investment portfolio
    • has little overlap with cryptocurrencies on many sources of demand and supply. 

    These characteristics underpin gold’s role as a mainstream financial asset that will likely continue to resonate in today’s digital world.

Diamonds as an investment is no longer news; it’s been around since the oil crises of the seventies. There has been some evolution recently, related to the blockchain technology and crypto coins:

  • De Beers, has announced that “it is progressing development of the first blockchain technology initiative to span the diamond value chain and provide a single, tamper-proof and permanent digital record for every diamond registered on the platform.” Read more here, at IDEX.
  • The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) unveiled a new diamond-backed digital coin at IDWI (international Diamond Week in Israel). “The Israel Diamond Exchange and startup CARATS.IO have unveiled a new diamond-based crypto currency called CDC (Carats.io Diamond Currency), which they created together. The new coin was unveiled yesterday (Monday) at the International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI – February 5 – 7, 2018). The trade in the crypto currency will be based on a new index, presented yesterday for the first time, which will reflect the daily trends in the diamond trade at the IDE. The index will be updated daily on big LED screens, which will be set at the Trading Hall. The index will reflect diamond prices set according to 14 parameters for comparing diamond prices”. To know more, just read here, at IDE’s website.
    According to Founder and CEO Avishai Shoushan, CARATS.IO’s extensive ecosystem of products will elevate the entire diamond industry. CARATS.IO is creating two separate cryptocurrencies, each backed by diamonds purchased on the Israel Diamond Exchange. One coin, called CUT (Carat Utility Token), will be used specifically in B2B transactions between eligible diamond traders. This currency will enable safe peer-to-peer transactions, altogether eliminating the need for financial intermediaries. The second currency, called CARAT, is meant for the wider market of financial institutions and digital currency investors. Both currencies will be backed by diamonds, with a market cap coverage of 25 percent, significantly reducing their speculative level of investment.“, in previous news.

100 anos – DIAMANG, 2017

Bom Agosto, boas férias para todos os que as gozam agora.
É altura de começar a planear o final do ano e 2018.

A DIAMANG faz 100 anos daqui poucos meses.

É oportunidade para celebrarmos ao longo de 2017 e 2018, a DIAMANG e os diamantes, Portugal e os Portugueses, Angola e os Angolanos.
Já existem algumas ideias; são precisas mais. O que podemos fazer, e onde?
  • O quê?
    • Conferências técnicas
    • Almoços
    • Exposição de fotografias
    • Edição de livros
    • Artesanato da Lunda
    • Minerais e rochas ligados aos diamantes
    • Que mais?
  • Onde?
    • Lisboa, claro.
    • Luanda, evidentemente.
    • Porque não na Lunda?
    • Porto.
    • Sardoal.
    • Moura.
    • Viana do Castelo.
    • Onde mais?
Serão precisos voluntários para ajudar a organizar e coordenar os eventos; estou certo que poderei contar com Pedro Batista Tomé, Joao Pedro Roque, Isabel Inácio, Luz d’Oliveira Belchior, Jose de Sá, Graziela Valente, Ana Carvalho, Isabel Redondo e muitos outros em todo o Mundo.
Vamos precisar de recursos audiovisuais, peças e artefactos, mapas, filmes e fotografias (antigas e modernas).
Se me fizerem chegar (através de comentários no blog, no Facebook ou LinkedIn ou através do meu email – luischambel@sinese.pt) as vossas ideias, nome e contactos durante Agosto, poderemos começar a organizar tudo logo no início de Setembro – o primeiro evento será a 16 de Outubro.
Abraço a todos.
Boas férias.

CIBJO Diamond Commission Special Report (synthetics and inclusion mapping technologies)

CIBJO released a Diamond Commission Special Report (SEPTEMBER 7, 2016). The report (cibjo-special-report-2016-diamond-commission) discusses two important developments:

  1. Synthetic diamonds. The report reiterates standards introduced by CIBJO to clearly distinguish between natural and man-made gems. These essentially were adopted (in general) by the International Standards Organisation in 2015, when it released ISO International Standard 18323 (specifies a set of permitted descriptors for the diamond industry that are designed to be understood by the consumer).
  2. Scanning technologies, created in recent years, enable rough dealers to accurately map the internal inclusions in a stone. The report discuss the ethical implications of such technologies.

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, describes itself as the “United Nations of the jewellery business,”. It represents the interests of all individuals, organisations and companies earning their livelihoods from jewellery, gemstones and precious metals. It is the oldest international organization in jewellery sector, having originally been established in 1926.

With its membership made up largely by national jewellery trade organizations from more than 40 countries around the world, CIBJO covers the entire jewellery, gemstone and precious metals sectors vertically, from mine to marketplace, and horizontally within each of the component sectors in the various production, manufacturing and trading centres. Most of the international jewellery sector’s leading corporations and service providers are also affiliated to CIBJO through commercial membership.

Curso: Introdução à Gemologia

Curso Maria José Trindade

A Maria José Trindade, que organiza e lecciona o curso, é uma gemóloga com uma rara base científica, garantia da qualidade dos cursos que lecciona. Para se inscrever no curso de Introdução à Gemologia do próximo dia 9 de Julho (em Lisboa) basta aceder ao site da WeValue: Formação Avançada.

Maria José Trindade graduated in Geology (Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon), also has a Master degree in Dynamic Geology (Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon) and a PhD degree in Geosciences (University of Aveiro). She also has a specialization in Gemology and Diamond Grading (Portuguese Gemological Institute).

She has scientific experience in different areas, such as geochemistry, mineralogy, igneous petrology, volcanology, sedimentary basin analysis, clay deposits, external geodynamics, archaeometry, weathering of stone built heritage and compositional characterization of historic tiles. More recently, she obtained experience in the study of gemstone’s properties used for their identification and separation from fakes (synthetic and artificial substances).

Her professional activities, as a FCT post-doctoral researcher, have been developed in the Center for Nuclear Sciences and Technologies (Nuclear and Technological Campus of Technical Superior Institute) and she also collaborates with Geobiotec research center (University of Aveiro). Her work has been dedicated to the application of nuclear methods and mineralogical analysis to characterize geologic and ceramic samples in studies regarding distribution of trace elements and natural radionuclides (U, Th and K) in superficial environments, as well as in provenance studies of archaeological shards and cultural heritage studies.

She is author of several scientific papers in national and international journals and proceedings of scientific meetings, in addition to dozens of oral and poster presentations in international and national conferences, in a few as invited lecturer. She was awarded as “best poster” and “young investigator” in two European scientific meetings. She is also a reviewer of scientific papers and was a member of the scientific committee of a congress and a symposium held in Lisbon.  

Duas novas autorizações de exploração semi-industrial para cooperativas na Lunda Sul

De acordo com notícia publicada no Novo Jornal, o Ministério de Geologia e Minas deu autorização a duas cooperativas para a exploração semi-industrial de diamantes na Lunda Sul.

As autorizações foram dadas às cooperativas Linga Tchimwe (numa área de 54 km2) e Kulha (9 km2). Os direitos são atribuídos por um ano, podendo ser prorrogados por quatro.

Angola é um dos principais produtores mundiais de diamantes, tendo extraído  em 2015 mais de nove milhões de quilates (menos de duas toneladas), com um valor de quase 1.200 milhões de dólares ( a um preço médio em torno de 130 USD/ct).

Of lions, diamonds and nymphs (Angola trip, last week)

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I have just finished an exploratory trip to a new alluvial project in Lunda Norte. Travelled by dirt road from Saurimo to Lucapa between the Luachimo and Chiumbe rivers and back on the “normal” road (Lucapa – Luó – Saurimo, in between the Luachimo and Chicapa rivers). It’s a land of lions, diamonds and nymphs, it’s the heartland of the Angolan diamond deposits.

Later on, I visited Luanda and had a short (close to) perfect trip just after the Barra do Cuanza. I have just published the photo gallery of last weeks’ travels on my blog; this photo is just the first of my favourites.

In Maputo (Mozambique) next week

I will be in Maputo (Mozambique) next week (Monday to Wednesday, the 4th to the 6th April), focused on the country’s mineral industry. It’s a short stay and, unfortunately, limited to Maputo but it’s an opportunity to meet an talk about exploration and mining projects and opportunities (especially about, but not limited to, gems and diamonds, tantalite and other pegmatite deposits). Drop me a line to luischambel@sinese.pt to set up a meeting.

Num retorno há muito desejado, estarei em Maputo (Moçambique) na próxima semana (segunda a quarta, 4 a 6 de Abril), focado na indústria mineira do País. É uma estadia muito curta e, infelizmente limitada a Maputo, mas é uma oportunidade para falar sobre projectos e oportunidades no de prospecção e mineração (especialmente em, mas não limitadas a, gemas e diamantes, tantalite e outros jazigos pegmatíticos). Contacte-me através do meu email para combinarmos uma reunião: luischambel@sinese.pt.

It’s a time of exceptional diamonds

Exceptional diamonds are forever and the last few months have been an epoch of new exceptional diamonds. In the wake of the discoveries in Botswana (Lucara Diamonds Karowe kimberlite south lobe – the 1,111 ct Type IIa Lesedi La Rona and several other large diamonds) and in Angola (Lucapa Diamond Company – 404 ct recovered in the Lulo project, recently sold by 16 million USD), Petra Diamonds recently announced the discovery of an exceptional 32.33 carat pink diamond from the Williamson mine in Tanzania. This diamond was sold for US$15.0 million (US$463,965 per carat); Petra Diamonds also retains an interest in the polished proceeds (Petra will receive 10% of the value uplift of the polished).

Both the Karowe kimberlite (especially its south lobe) and the Lulo alluvials (and the close by kimberlites) are establishing a name as new sources for very large diamonds. Relatively new technological developments – the XRT diamond recovery machines, have also had a major contribution in the surge of discoveries.

32.33ct-pink-stone-final-choice-1
 33.33 ct pink diamond from the Williamson mine (Tanzania) – photo from Petra Diamonds website

Going to PDAC – meet and talk

A last minute decision – I am traveling to Toronto to attend PDAC 2016.

It’s the perfect place to meet and talk: Angola, Mozambique, Brazil and Portugal, diamond and other gems, Nb-Ta and other pegmatite minerals, tungsten, gold, ferrous and base metal deposits, industrial minerals, natural stone. Challenges and opportunities.

Where and when can we meet? luischambel@sinese.pt