This time last year, diamond market participants were predicting that the space would see continued stability in 2014. Unfortunately, that's not exactly what happened.
Summing up diamond price movement this past year, independent diamond industry analyst and consultant Paul Zimnisky told Diamond Investing News (DIN) that during the first half of the year rough diamond prices were mixed, while in the latter half of 2014 they were "decisively down." All in all, he sees prices ending 2014 down 3 to 5 percent. Zimnisky blames that decline partially on a 0.5-percent rise in diamond production volume, which he didn't expect heading into 2014. He identified "a reduction in credit available to rough buyers" as another culprit, along with "a weaker Indian market driven by politics and lower demand in China." He added that "global deflationary pressures" due to slowdowns in the EU and Japan were no help, nor were "sanctions affecting the Russian economy [and] weak oil and gold prices." Canada takes center stage Zimnisky's summary of 2014 is a little glum, but that's not to say the year brought no bright spots for the diamond industry. In fact, 2014, was notable for a jump in interest in Canada. Here's a brief overview of some of the diamond activity in the country during 2014: Saskatchewan: At the end of 2013, North Arrow Minerals (TSXV:NAR) made headlines with the news that it had returned high microdiamond counts from the PK 150 kimberlite at its Pikoo project in Saskatchewan. Diamond hopefuls took note, and by the beginning of 2014 were following the company to the province, hoping to get a taste of its success. Quebec: In April, Stornoway Diamond (TSX:SWY) made waves when it arranged a series of transactions aimed at funding its Quebec-based Renard project through to production. The funding ultimately came through in July, and the company now expects commercial production by 2017′s second quarter. Northwest Territories: Interest in the Northwest Territories also rose in the summer, in part because word had broken that diamond veteran Randy Turner, who's perhaps best known for his role in the discovery of the Snap Lake diamond mine, is hunting for diamonds there at the helm of Canterra Minerals (TSXV:CTM). Like North Arrow, Canterra is certainly not alone in the area; indeed, the fall brought even more interest in the area.