De Beers insists demand for rough diamonds is as sparkly as ever

Emma Haslett
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Ice, ice, baby: Sales of rough diamonds rose, said De Beers (Source: Getty)

It seems the demise of diamond sales has been greatly exaggerated, after De Beers published figures showing it made $660m (£463m) in its last sales "cycle".

The figures are part of a new drive for transparency at the world's largest diamond producer, which began publishing figures on its 10 annual sales cycles in February in response to speculation its sales had fallen.

The cycles, or viewings which last several days, at which customers buy boxes of rough diamonds, had previously taken place in secrecy.

Read more: Should you buy diamonds as an investment?

But in a statement today, De Beers said it made $660m in its third cycle this year, up from $617m at the second cycle.

It added that stability in sales and prices of polished diamonds at the wholesale level had supported a "reasonably positive environment" for rough diamond sale.

“So far, 2016 has seen significantly stronger rough diamond demand than that experienced at the end of 2015 as the actions taken by the industry continue to have a positive effect," said Philippe Mellier, the company's chief executive.

“However, we are now moving into a part of the year where rough diamond demand has historically been lower as a result of seasonality, so we continue to adopt a prudent mind-set.”