Brussels organisation to release $200m of diamonds

Antwerp Diamond Centre is to release a stalled shipment of gems worth $200 million.

Some $200 million (£128.5 million) worth of diamonds has been released by a regulatory body in Belgium after a trading organisation lost its license.

According to Israeli Diamond Industry, the shipment of rough diamonds was seized because Brink, the organisation managing the transfer, had to commence bankruptcy proceedings for its Cash in Transit company earlier in November, with its license to trade revoked as a result.

The stones were held at Zaventem Airport under the authority of the Antwerp Diamond Centre (AWDC), an international regulatory body for the industry, after it raised financial concerns over the issue.

An open letter from the AWDC stated that the stalled shipment paralysed the distribution chain of rough gems, causing a great deal of damage to the sector, adding "Antwerp cannot be held hostage in this conflict any longer."

Last week, two rough diamonds mined in Lesotho, southern Africa were sold for $22.7 million, while a 4.68-carat rough blue diamond went for $4155,000 per carat – a record value for a gemstone from that site.