Interview at Diamonds.net
Alrosa is on track to increase its polished-diamond sales to approximately $125 million in 2017 as it raises its branding and marketing activity, according to Pavel Vinikhin, director of the company’s Diamonds Alrosa unit.
Last year, the miner had polished sales of $122.3 million. And while that may seem small next to the $4.4 billion it earned from rough sales — the company’s core business — Alrosa evidently sees value in its polished division, which it notes is one of Russia’s largest diamond manufacturers.
Vinikhin (pictured), who was appointed head of the division in July, told Rapaport News in a recent interview that Alrosa was focused on boosting its production of large and fancy color polished diamonds, both of which it manufactures at its factory in Moscow. A second polishing facility in Barnaul, Russia, handles the company’s commercial-quality goods.
To highlight its large-stone activity, Alrosa is currently showcasing the Dynasty collection — five diamonds cut from a single 179-carat rough known as The Romanovs. Each of the five polished stones is similarly named for a Russian family that played a role in developing the country’s diamond and jewelry trade. The collection’s centerpiece (pictured above) — a round, 51.38-carat, D-color, VVS1-clarity stone called The Dynasty — is expected to be the most expensive diamond Alrosa has ever polished.
“All of our diamonds have a story to tell,” Vinikhin explained in the interview during a visit to Israel. “We can add value to our diamonds by creating a legend around the collection and showing the traceability of our goods.”
Meanwhile, the company is planning marketing campaigns for other collections it is assembling. Overall, Alrosa is aiming to raise its profile among its polished-diamond clients, as well as at the consumer level, Vinikhin added.
His comments are in line with a decision the company’s Strategic Planning Committee approved last year, to improve its polished sales capabilities, according to its 2016 annual report.
One of the miner’s stated goals is to increase its cooperation with jewelry companies through long-term contracts. That includes developing programs to promote the Alrosa Diamonds brand in key markets, as well as forming a positive image of its products among end consumers, the company explained in the report.
In addition, Alrosa has developed an online platform for its diamond auctions, including for large and investment-grade stones. The first online auction will be the sale of the Dynasty Collection on November 29. The platform will then be adjusted to sell larger volumes, and will officially launch in the first half of 2018, a company spokesperson confirmed.
The Dynasty is the first polished collection that Alrosa is marketing on such a global scale, Vinikhin added.
To drum up interest, he has taken the collection on the road, having so far presented it in Russia, Hong Kong and Israel. Vinikhin will travel to New York next week, where the Rapaport Group will host viewings of the collection from November 8 to 17, and Alrosa will hold a high-profile event at Carnegie Hall on November 14.
“Our polished division has existed for 15 years now, but it’s time that people understand our capabilities better,” Vinikhin said. “We want everyone to know that we manufacture very good polished diamonds.”