About Global Sightholder Sales
De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company, with unrivalled expertise across the diamond value chain. De Beers has been a leader in the exploration, mining, sale and marketing of diamonds since 1888.
The company sells its rough diamonds through two channels: Global Sightholder Sales (GSS) and Auction Sales.
GSS sells around 90% of De Beers’ rough diamonds, by value, via term contracts to customers known as Sightholders, at events called Sights. These customers are among the world’s leading diamantaires and are active in the major diamond centres.
Sights are held 10 times a year in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, where customers will inspect their rough diamond allocations before deciding whether to purchase them.
Various business types are represented in the GSS customer community, from large global manufacturers and niche specialists, to vertically integrated businesses with retail operations. The majority of GSS’s rough diamonds are sold from Gaborone in Botswana to customers that will then, typically, export them to international markets for processing.
De Beers is committed to working with its diamond-producing country partners to help them meet their economic and social objectives. GSS, therefore, also sells rough diamonds for ‘beneficiation’ purposes in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Beneficiation is the process of adding value within producer countries and is the way De Beers works with its government partners to ensure that, beyond mining, as many of the diamond processing stages as possible take place in the producer country. Diamonds cut and polished in-country help to support the development of downstream diamond industries in these countries. The sale of Canadian rough diamonds for beneficiation purposes also take place from the GSS office in Botswana before the diamonds are exported to Canada for cutting and polishing.
As demand for GSS’s rough diamonds exceeds availability, only those businesses that demonstrate sufficient demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds qualify as Sightholders, with the accompanying opportunity to purchase diamonds on a term contract basis. Diamond businesses that have not demonstrated sufficient demand for De Beers’ rough diamonds may qualify as Accredited Buyers.
The current GSS contract began in March 2015 and will end in March 2018.