What is the price of a diamond? | Dutch tv program De Rekenkamer

What is the price of a diamond?
BrilliAnt – the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair
is on Dutch television 30 March 2017! 

Antwerp, Belgium – March 28, 2017: Earlier this year, a team of the Dutch tv program De Rekenkamer visited Antwerp during the eighth edition of BrilliAnt – the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair.  The result can be viewed Thursday Night 30 March 2017, at 20:30 on channel NPO 3.

De Rekenkamer is a program that investigates how consumer products are sourced, produced, marketed and priced. The program’s production tram spent a full day at the fair, interviewing exhibitors. They also shot footage of the diamond polishing process.
de rekenkamer
The organisers of BrilliAnt – the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair – the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Antwerp Diamond Kring – emphasize that there is only one annual edition of the fair.
The unique character of the fair, its exclusive location in the heart of the Antwerp Diamond Quarter, and its unmatched services and security measures cannot not be emulated anywhere else, or by anyone else, for that matter” says Ya’akov Almor, the fair’s long-time communications director.
BrilliAnt is traditionally held during the last week of January, and is a fixed landmark on the international trade fair calendar.”
BrilliAnt – the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair is a joint initiative of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Antwerp Diamond Kring, and is powered by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

DE REKENKAMER

Volgende uitzending:

Do 30 mrt 2017 20:30 – 20:55

Wat kost een lucifer en wat kost een diamant?

De onderwerpen lucifers en diamanten staan centraal. Van mega goedkoop tot extreem duur: de lucifer versus de diamant. Diamonds are a girls best friend, we voelen ons als eksters aangetrokken tot dit soms onbetaalbare glimmertje. Maar wat is een diamant nu eigenlijk echt waard? En de lucifer; bij far een van de meeste goedkope producten in de winkel. Hoe goedkoop is dit goedkope houtje eigenlijk?

Cullinan |home of the Petra Diamond Mine, where the magnificent Cullinan diamond was discovered

Cullinan

Cullinan, home of the Petra Diamond Mine, where the magnificent Cullinan diamond was discovered on
22 January 1905.

Cullinan annual festival is another of the successful economic growth and job creation projects that have been encouraged and successfully implemented in the area.

Festival activities to entertain the whole family have been planned.
These include vintage cars, a Diamond Rush,  beer gardens, a craft market, camel & pony rides, game drives, helicopter flips over the pit (which is even larger than the Kimberly hole!), surface  tours of the mine, A wonderful variety of eats, and a food market, will be provided on the day.

While in Cullinan, if you are passionate about poetry, red wine,
moonlight and music…

For those festival-goers not wanting to rush back to Pretoria or
Johannesburg, and wanting to experience the brilliance of the stars out
of the city, as well as the peace and tranquility of the surroundings at
Cullinan, If you looking for a great wedding venue considerJan Harmsgats’ Backyard.

Monday to Sunday 09h00 to 16h00, against the backdrop of the quaint diamond town of Cullinan, north of Pretoria, Jan Harms opens his backyard and garden to the public. Well worth a visit.

This rustic venue at 88 Oak Avenue , Cullinan has
become famous over the last eighteen months for its otherworldly music
evenings, weddings and antique auctions.

Jan Harm (012) 734-0536 or (082) 255-2465.

Venue Viewing: Monday to Sunday 9h00 to 16h00.

JanHarmsgat se Agterplaas is geleë in die pragtige, historiese deel van Cullinan – ‘n katspoeg van Pretoria en ‘n klipgooi van Johannesburg.

Die sandsteenhuis met sy ongelooflike dekor is nie ‘n sommerso-huis nie! Dis ‘n plek waar fantastiese dinge gebeur…

Cullinan

Cullinan, which has developed a unique history and atmosphere since
its birth as a diamond-mining town, offers the tourist a variety of
other activities situated as it is in a beautiful, unspoiled
environment. Several curio shops and restaurants are located In the
town, and the surroundings are Ideal for horse riding end bird watching.

A small, well-preserved 19th century mining town east of Pretoria. Founded in 1902 and named for the founder of the Premier Diamond Mine, Sir Thomas Major Cullinan, this semi-rural community consists of mining families, farmers, artists and, on weekends, bikers and families looking to escape to the country.

Cullinan

INTERESTING FACTS

The Cullinan Star Cut™, a unique 66-facet cut, has an extra 8 facets.

Cullinan village, once a farm called Elandsfontein, was acquired by prospector Thomas Cullinan when he established the farm’s diamond-bearing potential. It became the Premier (Transvaal) Diamond Mining Company Ltd, now the Petra Diamond Mine.

Cullinan village is situated in Dinokeng, the north-east corner of Gauteng province. Its close proximity to Pretoria and Johannesburg, its Victorian charm, and its reputation for yielding some of the largest diamonds ever discovered, make it a fascinating destination.

Quirky and quaint, the town of Cullinan’s focal point is Oak Avenue, which is lined with jacaranda and oak trees, cottages with intricate wrought-iron work and picket fences, bric-a-brac shops, restaurants, and the must-visit Jan Harmsgat se Agterplaas (literally, ‘Jan Harmsgat’s back garden’), a garden theater-cum-gallery that rarely fails to delight visitors with its junkyard glamour.

The open-cast mine is among the biggest in the world, three times the size of the more famous Kimberley Big Hole. When you’ve finished ogling this enormous crater, visit the Diamond Hub next door, where you’ll be able to see replicas of the mine’s most famous gems and diamond-cutting demonstrations.

Check out the historical and cultural attractions, including murals painted by Italian prisoners of war during World War II, St George’s Anglican Church designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the Sammy Marks Museum and Cullinan Station.

Dig below Cullinan’s surface and you’ll find fascinating stories. Take a local tour with a specialised guide or visit game ranches, go for outdoor sports, adventure activities and steam train trips.

WHO TO CONTACT

Cullinan Tourism Information
Tel: +28 (0) 12 734 1111
Email: info@cullinan.co.za

HOW TO GET HERE

From Johannesburg follow the N1 north towards Pretoria. Take the Pretoria East/Polokwane split. Take the N4 east (towards Witbank), then take the Rayton/Cullinan (R515) off ramp.

TOURS TO DO

Local guides offer historical and mine tours. On Sundays, a tractor tour visits Cullinan’s historical attractions; McHardy House Museum

GET AROUND

You’ll need a car to  visit the mine, and tour the surrounds. It’s possible to explore the centre of town on foot, or take a narrated tram ride through the village.

LENGTH OF STAY

A perfect two-day, one-night getaway.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodation options in the village range from five-star guesthouses to zany cottages constructed from reclaimed construction materials and junk.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

The Groot Gat Festival in March, and a Mampoer Festival in May (mampoer is a notoriously strong, traditional South African spirit akin to moonshine).

BEST BUYS

Cullinan Mine is famous for its rare blue diamonds, which are on sale.

DIAMOND GUIDES

Ask Corlia Roberts  for advise on engagement rings,  wedding venues, engagement ideas, use the educational interactive media on the website to better understand diamonds before making an engagement ring purchase.

 

 

Diamond Guide | FAQ

Diamond Guide

Diamond Education Chart

Diamond Guide to Rough Diamond sorting and evaluation where students are taught to sort and evaluate rough diamonds, and price rough diamond, Sorting & valuation. In nature there are no perfect crystals, or two identical diamonds, so their grading involves sorting them by more than 8,000 shapes and classification. http://24hourdiamondnews.com 

Learn about Diamonds


Mediterranean Gemmological and Jewellery Conference in Syracuse, Italy.

alrosa

Mediterranean Gemmological and Jewellery Conference in Syracuse, Italy May 11-14, 2017.

Lectures

Lectures from leading Gemmologists, Dealers, coloured diamond experts on a broad range of subjects but crucial topics that are most worrisome to Jewellers, Gem Dealers and Appraisers.

Alan Bronstein
Story of the Blue Moon Diamond

The topic is about one of the most sensational blue diamonds recovered in the last few decades that has been documented from mine, through its metamorphosis to one of the most beautiful and historical diamonds that are known to exist today. With comments from the few individuals that were instrumental in creating its provenance.

Dr. Katrien de Corte
Type IIa Diamonds: Good, Bad, and Rare

Katrien de Corte will talk on type II diamonds specifically the light brown and grey/blue natural varieties and treatments that can be applied to them. Their abundance in nature and presence on the market will be discussed as well as lab standard and advanced techniques to separate natural, treated and synthetic type II diamonds.

Thomas Gelb
Fancy Color Diamonds: Color Grading and its Relationship to Value

Thomas will describe how GIA grades colour in fancy colour diamonds, the lighting and viewing geometry used and what graders are looking for with reference to master stones. The terminology used will be discussed and how the trade values the grades.

John Chapman
Colour and Fluorescence Grading of Coloured Diamonds by Instruments

Instruments offer the advantage of objectivity and consistency of measurement. However for accuracy with diamonds, several issues must be addressed to cater for the effects of clarity, and cut for which illumination is critical. Suitable image processing and calibration can provide meaningful colour grading with application to fluorescence grading also.

Branko Deljanin
New Approach for Grading and Certification of Coloured Diamonds – Provenance Type

Major labs grade fancy-coloured diamonds into six categories, and dealers often subdivided them further based on colour intensity. GRS and CGL have developed an additional nine colour sub-categories to better cater for coloured diamonds on the market. Additionally jointly they started “Colored Diamond Provenance Report” to assign an Argyle provenance to pink and blue coloured diamonds based on specific “fingerprint” characteristics that are measurable.

Kym Hughes
Valuation of Coloured Diamonds for Trade and Consumers

As home country to many coloured diamonds, Kym Hughes often has to value fancy coloured diamonds from Australia and will provide an insight into pricing such gems and the impact of provenance.  A comparison between Argyle and GIA colour grading systems will also be covered.

Ilaria Adamo
Demantoid Garnet: Identification, Occurrences, and Origin Determination

Due to its rarity and brilliance, demantoid represents one of the most appreciated and precious gemstones among garnets. Liquid and crystalline inclusions in the gem are characteristic of their origin which include; the Urals (Russia), northern Italy, Iran, Pakistan, Namibia and Madagascar. Trace element compositions, especially for chromium and REE are also useful for origin determinations.

Victor Tuzlukov & Alicia Vildosola
Evaluation of Cut for New Generation of Gemstones – Artistic and Precious Cut

Gemologists and appraisers today are not ready to evaluate cut quality of colored stones because the existing cut grading systems (e.g. GIA gems gem grading system) are based on reference to some standard shapes, but many new designs are excluded from this evaluation. A new approach to gem cut grading will be proposed – based on strict criteria of stone elements (perfection of facets, edges, meeting points), symmetry (according to design) and optical features (window).

Larry French
Gianmaria Buccellati: Master Goldsmith of Milan

Italian jewellry designer Gianmaria Buccellati created extraordinary jewels and objects during the 1900s. He used two distinctive goldsmithing techniques in his jewels, engraving and the ‘lace” or honeycomb style. He had a great passion for rare and often overlooked gemstones and a special love for wildly shaped baroque pearls.  Stories surround Gianmaria’s “extraordinary objects” collection which includes chalices, boxes and other objects of art, many of which reside in great museums all over the world.

Dr. Victor Denisov
Luminescence Characteristics of Natural Diamonds

The spectra of luminescence (fluorescence and phosphorescence) of natural diamonds excited by short wavelength (257 nm) or long wave (365 nm) ultraviolet radiation at room and liquid helium (~ 5K) temperatures are studied. The intensities of luminescence of diamonds from the same parent diamonds were investigated, and the influence of the color characteristics of diamonds examined.

Dr. Sergei Terentev
ALROSA Diamond Inspector

A new device – “ALROSA Diamond Inspector” is used to identify the origin of diamonds and their imitations. This device can be applied to diamonds larger than 0.01 ct, including diamonds set in jewelry. The device determines using several analyses in under 1 minute whether a diamond is; natural, synthetic, treated or imitation. The portable machine screens loose polished diamonds and jewelry, identifying synthetics as well as treated stones or simulants.

Three gemologists, including conference chairs Branko Deljanin and George Spyromilios, will test the machine with 50 samples of natural, treated and synthetic diamonds on May 11 and 12.

The launch comes after De Beers introduced its latest automatic device for screening melee at the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show last week.

Venue & Schedule

This is the third in a series of annual conferences that will roam throughout the Mediterranean, allowing delegates to experience new and exciting locations each year.

The conference will take place May 11th to 14th, 2017 in Syracuse, Italy.

Hotel Minareto
Via del Faro Massolivieri
26, 96100 Siracusa, Italy
Tel: (39) 0931 721222

You are responsible for booking your own hotel of your choice or rooms at Hotel Minareto. Use promotional code “MGJC2017” for discounted rate (€150 single room and €170 double room). A block of 40 rooms has been reserved until Feb 7, 2017 and after that only if available. Reservations will not be accepted after May 1st 2017. There are many other affordable hotels in Syracuse.

Hotel Website

 

 

ALROSA | prepaid $600 million of bank loans

alrosa

ALROSA prepaid $600 million of bank loans

On 28 February 2017, ALROSA prepaid $600 mln of bank loans received from VTB Bank in 2012 and extended in 2014 until October 2018.

The bank loans were repaid with cash from the Company’s operations. As a result, ALROSA reduced its loans and borrowings from $2.3 bln to $1.7 bln, while its average interest rate decreased from 6.6% to 6.3%.

ALROSA believes that the established long-term partnership with the companies of VTB Group (cooperation on the raising of debt financing can be cited as just one example thereof) will continue going forward.

“As part of the conservative liquidity management policy, ALROSA prepaid long-term bank loans in the total amount of $600 million, which allowed us to reduce the average cost of debt and ensure a comfortable debt repayment schedule”, – commented Igor Kulichik, CFO, Vice President of Alrosa

alrosa

Directory of Diamond Education

Chinese Group Buys Italian Luxury Jeweler

Chinese Group Buys Italian Luxury Jeweler

Chinese conglomerate Gangtai Group agreed to acquire an 85 percent stake in high-end jeweler Buccellati from Italian equity firm Clessidra, Reuters reported.

The deal valued the Milan-based jeweler at $282 million (EUR 270 million), or 6.6 times its revenues, Reuters cited a source as saying. The Buccellati family, who founded the company in 1919, will retain 15 percent, the report said.

Clessidra previously held talks to sell a controlling stake in Buccellati to Richemont, the owner of Cartier, but was unable to reach an agreement, according to Reuters. Buccellati has stores in the fashion capitals, including Milan, London, New York and Paris, and has seen revenue rise 60 percent since Clessidra took a majority stake in 2013, the source added.

Gangtai specializes in the consumer, culture, finance and health industries, according to Forbes. Its subsidiary, Gangsu Gangtai Holding (Group) Co. Ltd, is a leading internet jewelry retailer in China and a major distributor of gold jewelry, the magazine said.

Image: Moonik

Giant, uncut diamond goes on display at Smithsonian

Giant, uncut Foxfire diamond goes on display at Smithsonian museum of natural history

One of the biggest diamonds ever found is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

The Foxfire diamond is the largest uncut, gem-quality diamond ever mined in North America. It weighs 187 carats, or 1.3 ounces.

uncut

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE

The Foxfire diamond was found just last year at a diamond mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Before it was discovered, only much smaller diamonds were believed to exist in the area.

Such a large stone might easily have been crushed by mining equipment, but it survived because of its unusually flattened shape.

Learn more about uncut diamonds..More

 

Dennis Van Kerrebroeck high-profile battle over a US$3.5-million diamond is still fighting for justice.

Dennis Van Kerrebroeck high-profile battle over a US$3.5-million diamond is still fighting for justice.

More than two years after he was released from a South African jail, a Waterloo man accused of fraud in a high-profile battle over a US$3.5-million diamond is still fighting for justice.

Dennis Van Kerrebroeck, a former standout rugby player who graduated from St. David Catholic Secondary School, spent 28 months in a Johannesburg detention centre before he was deported back to Canada.

Van Kerrebroeck’s saga reads like an international thriller. A Canadian-born mining entrepreneur, he was arrested — he calls it a “kidnapping” — in an affluent Johannesburg suburb in February 2011 without a warrant, and held in a notorious, violent and overcrowded prison.

While he sat behind bars awaiting a trial that never came, arguing he was the victim of a diamond insurance scam and a corrupt legal system, he says Canada’s foreign affairs department did little to intervene.

His troubles revolve around his connection to a rare 143-carat diamond that was the subject of a federal court battle in New York. That precious stone, sold at auction by Christie’s for almost US$3.2 million, was discovered by the Higgs Diamond mining company in 2008 in a diamond field outside of Hopetown, South Africa.

us-vs

How Van Kerrebroeck, 37, wound up in a South African jail, accused of trying to swindle the owners of this rare, flawless diamond, is a complicated, twisted and bizarre tale.

Diamond deal goes sour

In September 2009, Van Kerrebroeck and his company Belgo-Nevada offered to buy the diamond for $3.3 million, according to court records. With experience exporting gold through a Belgium-based business, he said a contact in South Africa told him about the diamond and “begged” him to help sell it.

His accusers claimed the Canadian produced a Proof of Funds letter that said he had $4 million in an escrow account in the United States. The letter was signed by an escrow agent named Jennifer Hunt — who investigators later learned was not a real person.

Accompanied by Adrianus Vriend, a man who was supposedly a representative of Higgs, Van Kerrebroeck flew the diamond from Geneva to New York. That’s where things get complicated.

Prosecutors alleged the Waterloo man, who has dual Canadian-Belgian citizenship, tried to defraud Higgs by claiming the diamond was held up by customs paperwork. Instead, court records alleged he took the diamond to a different New York dealer, Taly Diamonds, where he sold it for $1 million.

That dealer cut and polished the rough diamond into a 68-carat gem, while court records allege Van Kerrebroeck left for Toronto. Higgs Diamond claims that’s when it began to realize the contract it had from Van Kerrebroeck was not going to be honoured.

The Waterloo man, meanwhile, offers a very different account of what happened.

“I did nothing wrong,” he said in an email. “I’m an innocent.”

Van Kerrebroeck, vigorously fighting these accusations, says he learned the diamond was illegally exported to Switzerland before he became involved — making him an unknowing scapegoat in a scheme to claim an insurance payout for a “stolen” diamond.

He alleges the men behind the scam used him to get the rough diamond to the U.S., get it cut to increase its value, and planned to collect on the insurance money after they contacted the authorities. He says he was seeing dollar signs and didn’t realize until it was too late he was being used as a fall-guy for the whole scheme.

Van Kerrebroeck said Vriend, the man he thought was a representative of Higgs, actually came with him to the New York dealer, and then joined him in travelling to Toronto. Higgs, meanwhile, denied in court filings it even knew Vriend was acting on their behalf.

The story grows murkier from there. Investigators in Nevada soon discovered the company that provided the Proof of Funds letter had provided the forged documents, a regular practice for their clients.

A legal battle over the ownership of the diamond erupted, with Higgs, Taly Diamonds and Van Kerrebroeck all laying claim to the precious stone. In March 2010, U.S. customs officers seized the diamond as the courts tried to settle the dispute.

Van Kerrebroeck said he now wishes he’d never seen the diamond in the first place.

“I thought I could make some money. But if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” he said.

A ‘kidnapping’

Van Kerrebroeck travelled back to South Africa nine times after the diamond deal fell apart. In February 2011, while pursuing a gold mining venture in the country, he was suddenly arrested, and charged with theft and fraud.

He says his arrest came just days after a falling out with Sandile Zungu, a wealthy South African businessman with ties to the mining sector. He says he believes police, in a country where corruption is widespread, were acting on orders to punish the Canadian.

“I was kidnapped at gunpoint, and then beaten for the passwords to my phones and computers,” Van Kerrebroeck said in an email.

He says investigators built a “fabricated and fictitious” case against him, while the men who he alleges orchestrated the real diamond scam back in 2009 walked free.

After sitting in jail for 28 months, Van Kerrebroeck signed a plea deal in 2013. His signature meant he was convicted of fraudulently creating documents and forging signatures in the diamond deal. An earlier theft charge against him was dropped.

“I only signed the document to escape South Africa’s corrupt kangaroo courts with my life,” he said. “This entire case made by these South Africans is a fraud. They are liars, thieves and criminals.”

He provided documents that appeared to prove the diamond was exported illegally. His former lawyer, Nardus Grove, argued his arrest was unlawful and said South Africa never had any jurisdiction over the case, since the sale happened in the U.S.

Grove argued it was Van Kerrebroeck himself who was being defrauded.

“Evidence has been obtained that indicates that the police responsible acted in a corrupt and unlawful manner,” Grove said in a letter from May 2012. “The Complainant fraudulently entered into an agreement with Mr. van Kerrebroeck to sell the diamond. The Complainant was not authorized to do so.”

Denied bail because he was a foreigner, Van Kerrebroeck remained in custody for almost 2 ½ years while he awaited his release. He says the investigating officer, a man named Colonel Fernando Luis, suggested he should bribe his way out of the problem.

Van Kerrebroeck says that same officer, working for a special anti-corruption unit, was actually a paid enforcer for South Africa’s diamond cartels.

Andre Austin, a retired Lieutenant-Colonel with 32 years of service in the South African Police Service, backs up Van Kerrebroeck’s story. He was working as a private investigator when he was contacted by the Canadian to help prepare his defence.

“It’s clear to me that Dennis did not commit a crime,” Austin said by phone from Pretoria. “The only thing the police had to do was an investigation. Base your ‘facts’ on facts. Get something.”

Instead, much of the case against Van Kerrebroeck’s release came from the statements of another inmate, who gained his freedom in exchange for giving false information against the Canadian, he said.

Austin says his involvement in the case has cost him dearly. He was arrested two days after meeting Van Kerrebroeck at the detention centre, accused of stealing a case file — which he strongly denies — and lost a subsequent civil suit against the Minister of Police and several high-ranking officers.

He was ordered to pay the police service’s legal fees, and worries he’ll lose his house as a result.

“They’ve ruined me. I’m astonished with what has happened,” Austin said. “I really think Dennis did not think a police official in South Africa would act the way they did.”

A plea deal for freedom

Back in Canada, meanwhile, Van Kerrebroeck’s family started a Facebook campaign to push for his release. They lobbied the foreign affairs department to intervene on his behalf, and its staff in Pretoria raised the issue with South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

But nothing happened.

Van Kerrebroeck says he spent his days behind bars reading the Bible, and crafting his own legal defence on an old BlackBerry phone that was smuggled into jail.

“It’s ironic that I’m a guy from Waterloo and it was a BlackBerry that basically saved my life,” he said.

The former professional rugby player was finally deported back to Canada in July 2013. He insists he was coerced into signing the plea deal by his lawyer. The lawyer, Grove, did not respond to requests for an interview.

Van Kerrebroeck alleges his lawyer told him his life was at risk if he remained in jail. Zungu, the prominent businessman, had already called him an “enemy of the state” in a newspaper interview.

The Canadian feared Luis, the investigating officer, was acting on orders from someone who wanted the diamond case pinned on him.

“I never pleaded guilty to anything, nor did such ever meet my mind. Nardus placed a document in front of me and said ‘sign this, and you can leave and go home,” Van Kerrebroeck said in an email.

“I said forget it … He then told me that if I did not sign it (they) will kill me … I signed the document without being allowed to read it.”

While he’s been portrayed as a scam artist, Van Kerrebroeck argues he’s the victim of a sophisticated diamond smuggling operation, aided by a corrupt legal system that he says extorted him for money.

While he sat in jail, his family back in Canada wired at least $500,000 in purported legal fees and protection money to keep him safe behind bars, according to his brother, Ian Van Kerrebroeck.

All that time in jail exhausted his mind and his body. The once-burly, six-foot-three rugby player had withered down to almost 180 pounds by the time he was free.

After his release, Van Kerrebroeck says he tried to bring legal action against those who put him in jail. But he insists rampant corruption among South Africa’s police and judicial services has protected those people.

“I opened many cases against all these criminals in South Africa. Nothing happened. The case file was stolen and never assigned an investigating officer,” he said.

Seeking justice

Today, Van Kerrebroeck is hesitant to talk publicly about his story. But he insists he’s seeking justice, and has filed a formal complaint with the South African law society against Grove.

Van Kerrebroeck, now living back home in Waterloo, is still angry about what happened to him. He hopes to convince American authorities to take a second look at the original diamond case, and wants a U.S. federal grand jury to examine what he calls fabricated evidence against him.

Canada’s federal government, he said, abandoned him while he sat in a foreign jail on questionable charges.

“The government doesn’t even listen to any of their own treaties. They don’t care, they don’t do anything. A bunch of corrupt people in a banana republic were extorting me for millions of dollars,” he said.

Jocelyn Sweet, a spokesperson for the now-renamed Global Affairs Canada, said the federal government is aware of Van Kerrebroeck’s case but declined to comment, citing privacy concerns.

Van Kerrebroeck first went to South Africa in 1998 to play as a flanker for the Durban Crusaders rugby club. After attending Western University, he later returned to the country hoping to find success in the mining business.

He admits he was initially caught up in the “gold rush” atmosphere of South Africa, but now regrets ever trying to make a buck there.

Today, his focus is on a new business venture developing technology to prevent credit card fraud. But he says he still can’t move on from the ordeal that stole 28 months of his life.

“I just want to see justice,” Van Kerrebroeck said. “I want to see these people pay for the crimes that they have committed. They need to be incarcerated.”

Article Courtesy  Greg Mercer : Waterloo Region Record. Follow on Twitter @mercerrecord

africa-diamond van-kerrebroeck-dennis

The diamond: 
    This is the gemstone  that sparked a five-year storm of desire, political intrigue and crime: it weighs in at 68 carats and, when held to the light, reveals only cloudless perfection, an oval stone with a flawless heart. It glows candy yellow—“fancy intense yellow,” – but its simple elegance belies a dark past. Last October, when Christie’s New York put the diamond up for auction at its American headquarters in Rockefeller Plaza, five bidders “duked it out until a tenacious U.S.–based dealer finally won,” reported Rapaport Magazine, the diamond industry organ, noting its final sale price of $3,162,500—“$46,000 per carat.”
    The diamond’s anonymous buyer very likely does not know of the stone’s criminal history – that U.S. federal court filings refer to it as the “Defendant Diamond”– nor of its association with the Belgian-Canadian businessman who first transported it to Manhattan, where he sold it to a Fifth Avenue jeweller for $1million.
http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/04/29/the-carat-and-the-stick/

Botswana, S&P Maintains Negative Outlook

Standard & Poor’s affirmed Botswana’s credit rating and gave the country a negative outlook, reflecting the risks over the next 12 to 18 months if the current diamond-sector slump proves more structural than cyclical in nature.

Courtesy Rapaport

The agency said it maintained its ‘A-­/A-­2’ long­ and short-­term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings for the country.

Even so, S&P forecast diamond prices will recover gradually in the medium term. It predicted 3 percent economic growth in real terms in 2016, taking into account the Botswana government’s Economic Stimulus Programme, which will boost spending mainly on water works and electricity to redress these constraints on growth.

The announcement comes as Botswana’s rough diamond exports have registered successive declines, with outbound shipments dropping 1.8 percent in the first half of 2015 and falling 5 percent in August.