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ALROSA's Vinikhin Visits Israel to Display Dynasty Collection

Pavel Vinikhin, Director of DIAMONDS ALROSA, the company's polishing branch,  sat down with IDEX to discuss the purpose of his visit.

What is the purpose of your visit?

We came here to showcase our unique collection of polished diamonds, under the name of Dynasty, to Israeli clients. The collection will be sold at the special online auction in November. Given the long-term partnership between ALROSA and Israel diamond industry, we gave Israeli clients an opportunity to see the collection first-hand before the auction in their own country.

Because the modern diamond market is global and clients usually travel a lot and have offices in different parts of the world, many of them have already seen the collection in Russia and Hong Kong. However, some customers asked to show the collection in Israel, so that is why we are here.

How would you describe the collection?

The collection is really unique, so it awakens lots of emotions in people. Firstly, it has a really stunning diamond as the centerpiece – 51-carat, D color, VVS1 clarity and Triple Excellent cut. It is the clearest and the most expensive polished diamond ever produced in Russia. The characteristics of the stone (as well as the other four in the collection) are confirmed in the GIA certificates supplied with them. Less than 1% of all the polished stones in the world have comparable parameters.

Add to this, our clients from all over the world are really impressed by the fact that all five diamonds are made from one rough stone weighing 179-carat from the Nyurbinskaya kimberlite pipe in Yakutia. This fact, together with the polished diamonds' characteristics, proves the mastership of our polishers. It took us a long time (18 months) to plan and create the collection from one rough stone. At the very beginning, seeing the high characteristics of the rough diamond, we set ourselves an ambitious task: to obtain the largest diamond as possible with the best possible characteristics. We immediately realized that we were going to produce a round stone weighing more than 50 carats. The other stones were "born" while processing.

The collection is continuing its international tour. After Israel, it will go to New York in November. At the moment we are not ready to announce the starting price for the auction, but will be ready after the New York. The stones will be sold separately (not in a set), and each stone will have its own price.

The Dynasty is our first experience of creating a unique collection of polished diamonds. Definitely, we have to look at the results of the auction. But the high interest coming from the customers as well as the high opinions they give to the stones – all these factors allow us to believe that we will get a good price. Moreover, such unique diamonds as the Dynasty collection are always in demand and are not subject to market volatility. Now we realize that this is the first but certainly not the last collection. In In the future we will create unique single stones and collections of white and colored stones. We understand that it will be an integral part of the strategy of the ALROSA polishing division. Actually, at the moment DIAMONDS ALROSA experts are studying a few large rough diamonds for it.

Considering our plans to manufacture some other unique stones and polished collections, we started creating the right infrastructure for it. The Dynasty will be sold at ALROSA's first Internet auction. We are now preparing an appropriate IT platform. In the future, we will organize more auctions for unique polished diamonds to be sold on this platform.

How important is the Israeli market to ALROSA?

ALROSA and Israel have a long and successful history of partnership. In 2016, Israeli clients purchased rough diamonds from ALROSA worth more than $470 million. The company also has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Israel Diamond Exchange. The document envisages the development of cooperation between the IDE and ALROSA, primarily in the exchange of information and joint efforts in the common fight against the appearance of synthetic diamonds on the natural stone market, creating a transparent supply chain of diamonds. The parties also expressed their readiness to consider possibilities of cooperation in the field of educational programs and communication technologies for the sorting and grading of rough diamonds.

The company sells rough and polished diamonds to Israeli customers. DIAMONDS ALROSA has about 400 customers around the world, and there are also some Israeli companies buying polished diamonds on a regular basis. Of course, we would be happy if this cooperation is developed.

Are there plans to polish goods in Israel?

ALROSA sells rough diamonds to cutters from around the world. But we produce our polished diamonds and don’t have any plans to move our cutting facilities outside of Russia. Firstly, we have a good technological base and most importantly cutters with unique skills. Their qualification is confirmed not only by our words or our regular competency tests, but also by the fact that they are able to make such stones as the Dynasty. Secondly, ALROSA is today the world's only diamond mining company which has its own polishing business. We believe that this is one of our advantages: our customers can be assured they get a guaranteed origin stone that was mined in Russia and cut in Russia. Confidence in origin is very important for modern consumers.

What are their views on the current state of the diamond market globally?

Polished diamonds and jewelry are still seeing consumer demand, and this is confirmed by the reported retail sales figures. While some experts say that millenials are not as interested in diamonds as their parents, diamonds are still on their lists of priorities and still associated with feelings, status and value. To maintain and develop this demand, the industry needs, firstly generic marketing efforts, which today are handled by the DPA, and, secondly, to evolve in line with new trends. The world is changing and consumer needs are changing too. It is critical that they know that we are dealing in non-conflict diamond, and that the industry proves evidence that this is the case. The demand is not only for non-conflict stones, but also sustainable and socially responsible diamonds. In the last few years, gave seen the rise of new issue: synthetics. ALROSA, being a part of the industry, should also explain the difference to consumers between real, natural diamonds and synthetic stones, as well as to trying to protect them from the undisclosed mixing of lab-grown stones with diamonds.

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