One means by which the diamond industry has coped with restrictions on international travel is to route sales of unpolished goods through online auctions, partly assisted by the mechanised way in which diamonds are now able to be valued.
However, that is not an option for emeralds and rubies, the coloured gemstones that are mined and marketed by JSE-listed Gemfields, a company that barely escaped the last 12 months with its corporate shirt attached.
The company reported a net loss of R1.4bn for the 12 months ended December. Compared with the previous year’s R566m profit, that’s a reversal in fortune year-on-year of roughly R2bn.
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