De Beers has revealed that its December rough diamond sales are up on the same period in 2019.

Its tenth sales cycle of the year, representing the period 7-16 December 2020, saw takings of $16 million (£11.9 million) more than the same timeframe last year.

Cycle 10 of 2020 saw provisional takings of $440 million (£326 million), while Cycle 10 in 2019 saw $426 million (£316 million).

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The Cycle 10 2020 figure is, however, down on Cycle 9 2020, which topped out at $462 million (£342 million).

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “Positive consumer demand for diamond jewellery as we enter the holiday season is supporting the continuation of retail orders for polished diamonds from the diamond industry’s midstream sector.

“This in turn supported steady demand for De Beers rough diamonds at our final sales cycle of 2020.

“While the diamond industry ends the year on a positive note, we must recognise the risks that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic presents to sector recovery both for the rest of this year and as we head into 2021.”