Beware of Fake Diamond Exporter’s Licenses in Sierra Leone & Elsewhere

In the Diamond Business, scammers are everywhere, from fake African Sellers to Western Brokers acting as hot shot Diamond Buyers all over the internet, fake rough diamond manifests are flying all over the internet like an Airbus 380 goes around the world, and than are being sanitized by brokers afraid to be circumvented on their commissions, which is even funnier.

These low life will act and pretend to be someone they aren’t, fake seller’s (mostly in Africa) will send you fake export licenses, manifests for astronomical amounts of diamonds, ranging from 10,000 CTS to 500,000 CTS, claiming to be able to supply such quantities monthly (LOL). 99% of these are fake, in order to be able to supply such quantities, you have to be a company like Alrosa or De Beers, and believe me when I tell you that these large mining companies do not send out such manifests through brokers on the internet.

Here are some examples of fake licenses from Sesay Moses of Global Mining Company S/L Limited, John E. Cole (CEO of Fashion Mining and Company SL Limited), and Fasally Tarawally from Amadex SL Limited, these scammers and crooks can be very creative, will promise you the world and the story will change as they go on.

IMG_3377Moses Export LicenseIMG_3157

Scams can go from a request for Buyers to issue an SBLC, seller would provide a fake POP, once the Letter of Credit is open (few banks these days would still let you fall for these scams by the way), they would “take you hostage for ransom” and request a lump sum in order for their bank to release the instrument.

Others will simply set you up with corrupted local cops, get your parcel confiscated and get a cut back from the bribe. There are a million ways for these crooks to scam you over the internet, or on the ground.

The most important thing is never to pay anything up front, never to open any kind of instruments, and always transact at the government offices where the stones will be evaluated by a professional gemologist before paying any money.

GGDO Export Licenses

The GGDO, The Government Gold and Diamond Office in Freetown Sierra Leone is the government agency in charge of issuing all export licenses for Gold and Diamonds if you want to export these commodities out of the country.

Such licenses can cost up to $45,000 per year, and without purchasing a license, or being able to use someone else’s, you will not be able to get your Kimberley Process Certificate to take the diamonds out of the country.

As of today, there are only 21 Companies with current Diamond Exporter’s Licenses, 40 with Diamond Exporter’s Agent Licenses, and 47 with Diamond Exporter’s Agent Certificate.

Most people will show you a fake license, and purchasing from these scammers can land you straight to prison, not to mention the fact that you will most likely lose your money. You will also need a Diamond Dealer’s License if you decide to purchase rough diamonds on your own.

If you decide to purchase rough diamonds in Sierra Leone, Madnox can save you lots of time, money and headaches with our operations on the ground in Freetown. Feel free to contact us at or call us for consulting services at +1-305-600-1018

Rough Diamond Value is Falling Since Mid 2014

Rough Rapport index has been falling since mid 2014. Many of the large diamond players such as Debeers and Petra had to lower their prices by 10%, Alrosa, the largest diamonds producer in the world lowered their prices by 16% in September.

This fall in prices comes primarily from a slowing Asian market, pressure from Indian buyers, and first and foremost from over production from mine to market by these large mining companies.


Regardless of the falling market, we anticipate prices to stabilize within the next 2 quarters, ultimately, the rough diamonds market will recover, and investments in rough diamonds or any precious commodities are still much safer than stocks, which are only backed up by useless paper.

Gold has been picking up steam recently, due to the volatile stock markets in Asia, and will most certainly keep climbing as the Chinese real estate markets slowly implodes in the near future.

12 Carat Blue Moon May Become the Most Expensive Diamond Ever

An extremely rare 12 carat, flawless blue diamond, named the Blue Moon, will be sold at a Sotheby’s auction on November 11th in Geneva, and is expected to become the world’s most expensive diamond ever sold. Sotheby’s expects the Blue Moon to fetch up to $55 Million.

This blue diamond may become the most expensive gem ever sold in auction

The Cullinan Mine has produced some of the world’s largest diamonds in the past and is one of Petra’s largest pit mines. Petra Diamonds is the largest rough diamonds producer is South Africa. Petra has seen a 33% drop in sales from the same period last year.

The Blue Moon’s original size was 29.62 CTS and was purchased, cut and polished by Cora International, a New York Cutting House, who took 6 months to polished the stones, and will be selling it in Geneva. Current world record is being held by The Graff Pink which went for $46.2 million in 2010.

Zimbabwe Marange Fields Production is Falling

Manicaland Province Marange Fields have been known to be some of the largest source of diamonds in the world in the past few years. In 2015, Zimbabwe’s diamond production is expected to drop from 5.9 Million CTS to 3.5 Million.

Three new mines started operations last year in the Marange Fields, however, the increase in supply has not been steady, as these mining operations are expected to have a lesser impact, due to the fact that these are not alluvial mines.

Zimbabwe had a tremendous supply of alluvial diamonds, however, these alluvial diamonds have been mined extensively, and alluvial supply is running short. Therefore minors now have to dig for rough stones underground instead, making it more difficult and more expensive to mine for rough diamonds.

This is the number one reason for the decrease in production in the Marange Fields. In order to optimize the management and production of these mines, the Government is in the process of merging five mining companies into one large corporation.

Rough Diamonds Global Production Charts for 2014


By Volume (cts) Total = 124,778,468.08

Other 20%

Russian Federation 31%

Australia 7%

Canada 10%

Congo, Democratic Republic of 12%

Botswana 20%

By Value (US $)
Total = $14,495,806,402.06

Other 18%

South Africa 8%

Angola 9%

Botswana 25%

Russian Federation 26%

Canada 14%

Source: Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

Rough Diamonds Production Per Country for 2014

Here is a summary of the Rough Diamonds Production in CTS per Country for 2014:

  1. Russia with 34,303,500 CTS Produced
  2. Botswana with 24,668,090.77 CTS Produced
  3. Democratic Republic of Congo with 15,652,014.63 CTS produced
  4. Canada with 12,011,619 CTS Produced
  5. Australia with 9,288,231.89 CTS Produced
  6. Angola with 8,791,340.01 CTS Produced
  7. South Africa with 7,430,955.94 CTS Produced
  8. Zimbabwe with 4,771,636.82 CTS Produced
  9. Namibia with 1,917,689.70 CTS Produced
  10. Sierra Leone with 620,181.11 CTS Produced
  11. Lesotho with 346,017.12 CTS  Produced
  12. Tanzania with 253,180.25 CTS Produced
  13. Ghana with 242,259.59 CTS Produced
  14. Guinea with 164,058.72 CTS Produced
  15. Guyana with 99,950.34 CTS Produced
  16. Liberia with 65,822.49 CTS Produced
  17. Brazil with 56,923.25 CTS Produced
  18. Republic of Congo with 53,162.70 Produced
  19. India with 37,024.72 CTS Produced
  20. Cameroon with 3,718.16 CTS Produced
  21. Cote d’ Ivoire with 1,074.15 CTS Produced
  22. Togo with 16.72 CTS Produced

The Total World Diamond Production for 2014 was 124,778,468.08 CTS

Source: Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

Antwerp Keeps Loosing Influence as Top Diamond Hub

There are many reasons why Antwerp is on a down slope in the diamond industry. The first reason, is that you must pay 33.33% entry tax on the value of the diamond parcel you are bringing in from outside the European Community, regardless of the fact that you already paid for KPC’s in the Country of origin, so if you purchased rough diamonds in Angola for example, who has a 31% KPC tax rate, and want to import your rough diamonds to Antwerp, you will pay a double tax equating to over 64% of the rough stones’ value.

This will turn out to be the number one reason why Antwerp will ultimately be over run by cities like Dubai, where you have no double taxation, but at the end of the day, the responsibility for the upcoming slide of Antwerp will fall on the Belgian Government for these poor strategic decisions.

Another large nail in the coffin came this week, with the National Bank of Fujairah, owned in parts by the governments of Fujairah and Dubai, two of the seven sheikhdoms in the U.A.E., whom entered the diamond financing market in Antwerp roughly six months ago in order to capitalize on the shift in trade, targeting loans between $5 million and $50 million. The Bank will stop its operations in Antwerp and will focus on the Dubai market, which serves India as its principal client.

Diamond buyers will face a lack of financing after Antwerp Diamond Bank, the lender serving the industry for about 80 years, winds up its operations, removing close to $1.5 billion in funding to the industry. ABN Amro Bank NV and Standard Chartered Plc also curbed funding to the industry in Antwerp.

The Challenges of The Rough Diamond Industry

Sellers and Buyers of Rough Diamond can often agree when negotiating a parcel of rough stones, that usually is the easy part, so what is the hard part?

The overwhelming majority of miners, located mostly on the African continent are mining rough diamonds and have stock piled these rough diamonds over the last few years, so lots of miners have stones, some nicer than others.

The issues are several folds, first, most miners have smaller productions in small villages, and do not know how to go about exporting to a foreign rough buyer, nor do they know any foreign rough buyers most of the time.

The second issue is that they do not have the cash flow to pay for the KPC’s all transport costs, tickets, hotels etc etc, so they can only sell the stones on an FOB basis and will not sell CIF.

The large wholesale buyers will tell you they have been around for too long to go and buy stones FOB, most of them will only purchase on a CIF basis in one of the major diamond hubs such as New York, Antwerp, Dubai, Geneva, Tel Aviv, Numbai or Hong Kong.

DRC Ministry of Mines Licenses

Latest updates from the DRC’s Ministry of Mines are as follows:

The Ministry of Mines has issued roughly 200 purchases & sales licenses, out of these 200 licenses issued in the DRC, only 15 to 20% of licensees have their licenses up to date.

The rest leases or sub lease other people’s license. There are only 30 to 40 companies in the DRC with up to date valid licenses, out of which 50% of these have export licenses, reducing the amount of licensees who can legally export diamonds from the DRC to 15 to 20 companies in the whole Country.

In our experience, the DRC is a very difficult place to do business and purchase diamonds, further more, we find DRC seller’s prices to be completely out of line with the rest of the African market, and fraud to be as high as it can get.

For these reasons, we have made the conscious decision to stay away from DRC Diamonds all together, doing business there is too challenging for our taste. If you decide to do business in the DRC, make sure you have proper security with you, and be ready to pay a premium price.