Diamond mining behemoth De Beers has shown the beginnings of a return to normal in its rough diamond sales this month as the world opens back up.

Provisional sales for its fifth sales cycle of the year suggest the company has sold $470 million (£337 million) of rough diamonds in the period 7-22 June.

This is up $85 million (£61 million) from the previous sales in early May of this year.

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Interestingly, it is also up on the company’s fifth sales cycle of 2019, pre-pandemic, which saw $390 million (£279 million) in sales though down from the $581 million (£416 million) of rough diamond sales in the same period in 2018.

It is worth noting, however, that De Beers has extended the length of its sales cycles during the pandemic from one week to more than two weeks. This could positively impact sales figures.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “With demand for diamond jewellery in the key consumer markets of the US and China continuing to be positive, and midstream capacity in India returning, we have seen strong demand for rough diamonds during the fifth sales cycle.

“Overall sentiment is increasingly optimistic as we move towards the second half of the year and, while risks as a result of the global pandemic persist, we have been encouraged by the condition of the market.”

Read more below on De Beers’ troubling Q1 performance:

De Beers rough diamond sales take a hit heading into Q2