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De Beers to allow buyers to reject, sell back diamonds at next sale

De Beers SA will allow buyers to reject more diamonds offered at an upcoming sale amid stagnant demand, weak prices and oversupply issues in the smaller stones market, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 14, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Anglo American PLC unit usually requires buyers to accept the price and quantities they are offered. The quality of diamonds is agreed with the buyer in an annual allocation.

Buyers at a sale next week in Botswana will be allowed to reject half of the stones on offer that are under three-quarters of a carat, the people said.

De Beers will also allow buyers to sell back 20% of the diamonds on favorable terms.

According to Bloomberg, the buyers are unhappy with the cost of De Beers' rough diamonds due to a drop in prices for polished gems amid stagnant demand from the jewelry market.

The unit's provisional revenue from rough-diamond sales in its sixth sales cycle plummeted to US$250 million, from sales of US$533 million a year ago, as customers were given an option to defer some of their rough-diamond allocations to later in the year.