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Report: De Beers implements 1st price hike since H2'14

De BeersSA raised its diamond prices by as much as 2% in an ongoing salethis week, which may be comparable in volume to the company's recent of roughdiamonds, Bloomberg News wrote April 6 citing three people familiar with theprocess.

The AngloAmerican Plc unit does not reveal details of its sales but one of thesources said the diamond miner last raised prices in the second half of 2014.

According to the report, the price hike may be a sign thatthe industry is recovering from a slump caused by slowing Chinese demand and anindustry-wide credit squeeze, which pushed De Beers to lower prices by about15% last year.

De Beers and rival PJSC ALROSA even tried to support the market by reducingsupply, but prices still fell a further 7% in January, Bloomberg added.

A spokesman for De Beers declined to comment on the report.

Meanwhile, Reuters wrote April 5 that De Beers' internallyflawless, vivid blue 10.10 carat oval diamond — known as the De BeersMillennium Jewel 4 — broke auction records after it sold for US$31.8 million atSotheby's, the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at auction in Asia.

"Very few gemstones have ever been sold for more thanthat, and it's setting the record price here in Asia for a gemstone inauction," Reuters quoted David Bennett, Sotheby's worldwide chairman ofthe international jewelry division, as saying.