The world is about to reach peak diamond with supply set to sparkle before entering a deficit after 2019

Francesca Washtell
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De Beers Haute Joallerie Presentation at Rue de La Paix - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2016-2017
Forget buying up gold, bling lovers will want to start stocking up on ice now (Source: Getty)

Forget peak oil, the world is about to reach peak diamond – and it's coming soon.

Global rough diamond production will reach a pinnacle in three years before entering into a supply deficit by 2020, according to research from consulting group GlobalData.

Rough diamond production is set to rise from 127m carats last year to 134.5m carats by 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 2.1 per cent.

However, output will begin to decline after 2019 as a result of depleting reserves at three key mines that accounted for around 18 per cent of global production this year.

Read more: Petra Diamonds unearths 121 carat white diamond

The three mines that diamond supply will hinge on are Rio Tinto's Argyle mine in Australia and its Canadian Diavik mine, and Dominion Diamond Corporation's Ekati mine also in Canada.

Cliff Smee, GlobalData's head of research and analysts for mining, said:

Global demand for diamond jewellery is expected to record a compound annual growth rate of 6.4 per cent, with China and India together expected to consume around 50 per cent of the global consumption, while global supply of polished diamond is expected to grow at an average of 4 per cent per year over the next four years to 163m carats in 2019, resulting in a demand-supply gap of around five to six per cent post-2019.

And in more bad news for bling-lovers, the supply deficit could also be exacerbated by the fact that 47 per cent of global diamond production comes from countries with high levels of political risk, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Russia.

Read more: Petra Diamonds sparkles in the first quarter

Supply could fall "well below projected levels" if political disruption affects projects in these countries.

Last month, sales at Anglo American's diamond unit De Beers had a slightly unseasonal dip ahead of Diwali, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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