The Big Sightholder D-Day (With SEVENTH Update)

Sterling NOT on list, NY survives.
New post here

Well, the big sightholder announcement day is finally here. It’s just like Christmas Day, except all the children won’t be receiving their presents. 

It is, in fact, looking like a bloodbath. The DTC announcement says that there are now 75 sightholders for DTC International and South Africa, and 79 total internationally, counting DTC Botswana and Namibia. The DTC just confirmed to me that six new companies were added. That would mean 24 dropped, since there are 93 on the list now. (Which puts Polishedprices right on the money.) So about one in four sightholders got their walking papers.

The official roster won’t be out until March, and Rapaport has probably the best list. Anyone with information is welcome to write Bookmark this page; I’ll be updating it throughout the day.

(UPDATE 7):  One observation: I spoke to some sightholders who were pretty happy that Sterling did not get their sight. They didn’t like the idea of the DTC selling to someone they were doing a business with. It certainly is a sign that the DTC is moving beyond the “downstream” bandwagon.

Part of me thinks this is the last selection round; I don’t think anybody wants to go through this again, and this can’t be the only system the EU will bless. Was the old system — annual reviews, with one or two sightholders taken off, a few others let on — really so terrible?

I’m knocking off for today, but in closing, let me share with you the words of a wise industry veteran about this whole process:  “Three years ago I thought the DTC would not get to this round. But we always underestimate how masochistic the trade can be.” 

(UPDATE 6): OK, I’m hearing some pretty big names in Israel and Antwerp didn’t make the cut … but, they are, I stress, mostly rumors. Overall, it seems a pretty bad go-round for Antwerp. India also didn’t do as well as expected. Right now, there are a number of big Indian names that are unaccounted for. Israel has lost some, but also gained two new sightholders.

I should also add that whatever happens to Almod as far as being a DTC International sightholder, they do have a sight in Namibia. So it’s certainly not a bad day for New York, at least compared to what people expected.

One thing: I am surprised by how many companies, both on and off the list, seem unprepared for when I call them with these questions. Given the build-up this has received, one would think a company would have a communications strategy to deal with these questions, even if it’s just saying “no comment.” Sorry to rant, but it really shouldn’t be this way, especially with companies that are considered the industry’s “elite.”

Anyway, back to talking about companies that do operate professionally, Premier and Stuller just sent out statements that they are back on the list.

(UPDATE 5):  Werdiger is still on; just talked to them. Way to go, New York! Still missing: Almod and Dynamic.

By the way, Rapaport’s doing a bang-up job with its list, but it would be nice if they could tell us, a) how many they have listed so far, and b) which ones they added with their updates. It seems they are just about done.

Also, I may be wrong, but Dharmanandam, listed on Rap’s list but not on the old DTC list, seems to be a new sightholder.

(UPDATE 4): Just heard from Hasenfeld, which has been dropped … Somewhat surprising, considering they are a well-respected company, and very decent people …

Spokesman Steven Feldman notes that only 25% of its product is DTC product. “We have anticipated this for some time,” he says. “75% of our business is out-sourced anyway. It’s business as usual and we don’t expect this to have any impact on our business going forward. Our relationship with the DTC has always been and remains excellent.”

Very menschy statement.

Little surprised to see LID on Rapaport’s list, considering the problems their New York division has been through …

I haven’t heard much about who the six new sightholders are. The only one listed on Rapaport’s list is Arslanian Cutting Works – NWT, a Northwest Territories factory. Perhaps the DTC is gearing up for the arrival of Snap Lake.

(UPDATE 3): OK … here’s a shock. Sterling/Signet did NOT receive a sight. Most people thought they were a lock. Spokesman David Bouffard says: “A sight was not essential to the development of our rough diamond initiative” and they are “confident” they will find alternative sources.

(UPDATE 2): Premier Gem is on! So is Rand, in conjunction with Tiffany.

And according to Rap’s list, New York’s own Louis Glick is on. I’m surprised since the person there was a little hostile when I called …

We can safely say that New York has not been entirely decimated … Still waiting to hear from the other local companies (at this point, we haven’t heard from Almod, Werdiger and Dynamic.)

(UPDATE 1): Two scores for America! Julius Klein and Stuller are both still on! Julius Klein is also on the Namibia list.

Eurostar’s release is here. And I just got one from Dimexon.

Stay tuned …

JCK News Director