Many diamond cutters are barely staying alive, imperiling the entire industry, according to a speech by Maxim Shkadov, president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, at the June 15 opening of the 36th World Diamond Congress in Antwerp, Belgium.
“Diamond manufacturers worldwide are fighting for their survival,” said Shkadov, who is also director and CEO of Kristall Smolensk, the Russian manufacturer. “They are caught between—and battered by—the proverbial hammer, a rough-diamond supply system that is foul and faulty, and the anvil, a vertically integrated financial structure that basically continues to bleed them.”
He finished by warning that, if the diamond-manufacturing segment fails, it will take the rest of the industry with it.
“The players in the entire diamond-supply pipeline—from rough producers and distributors to manufacturing and retail jewelers—must realize that without us, the diamond cutters and polishers, i.e., the beating heart of the diamond trade, the whole industry body will collapse and die,” he said.