Skip to content

Russian Diamond Exports Increased During Ukraine’s Invasion, According To Statistics

According to Kimberley Process (KP) figures for the first half of 2022, despite US sanctions, Russian diamond sales increased once the Ukraine war began.
Diamond Ring

Despite U.S. sanctions, Russian diamond sales rose after the Ukraine war began, according to Kimberley Process (KP) statistics for the first half of 2022. Russia sharply increased diamond exports to the European Union, Armenia and Belarus. Exports to other countries dropped—and in some cases, like the United States, they ceased entirely.


The figures, which have yet to be made public, show that during the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russia increased diamond exports to the European Union (which includes Antwerp, Belgium) as well as two allies, Armenia and Belarus. Exports to other countries fell, and in some cases, such as the United States, they halted completely.

Russian rough diamond exports were $1.11 billion in the second quarter of 2022 (April through June), up from $1.01 billion in the first quarter of 2022 and $1.09 billion in the second quarter of 2021. These figures include both precious and industrial diamonds.

There was no data available for the third and fourth quarters of 2022, however early third-quarter figures show an increase, according to a source.

Russia’s increases were all in terms of value, not volume. The country exported much less carats (9.4 million) in the second quarter of 2022 than it did in the second quarter of 2021. (11.9 million). Nonetheless, the average per-carat price of those shipments grew to $119 in the second quarter of 2022, up from $91 in the same period of 2021, according to the statistics.

According to diamond analyst Edahn Golan, this may be due to more selective sales: “Instead of selling items by the parcel, they are just selling the goods individuals need.”


Russian Diamond Exports Increased During Ukraine’s Invasion

He observes that Russia’s increases were significantly lower than those of other producers: De Beers’ revenues increased 24% year on year in the first half of 2022, but its average per-carat price increased 58%.

Nonetheless, statistics reveal that “the United States did not cease the desire for Russian commodities,” according to Golan. “The money is simply being diverted.”

The KP data demonstrates this. The European Union was Russia’s top export destination in the second quarter of 2022, receiving $669.5 million in goods, up from $439 million in the first quarter. The vast bulk of them were very certainly transported to Antwerp.

Russian diamond shipments to Armenia increased to $6.9 million in the second quarter of 2022, up from $20,740 in the first quarter. Exports to Belarus, another Russian ally, totaled $2.8 million in the first quarter and $12.4 million in the second quarter.

“That’s pretty strange,” Golan says. “There isn’t much industry in Belarus, but there is in Armenia. Belarus appears to be a transit country.”

The United Arab Emirates bought $241.6 million in Russian rough in the second quarter, followed by India with $182.4 million and China with $1.2 million. All of those figures are down from the first quarter.

Other markets had to close their doors. Russia provided the US $7.8 million in rough in the first quarter of 2022. That figure will be zero by the second quarter of 2022. (Sanctions imposed by the US shortly after the invasion prohibit US corporations from interacting directly with Russian diamond merchants.)

In the second quarter, there were no direct Russian diamond exports to Israel, Singapore, or Switzerland. In the first, all three received exports.

According to the data, Russian diamond production increased somewhat in the first half of 2022. The country generated 20.3 million carats worth $1.7 billion over that time span. It generated 20.1 million carats worth $1.3 billion in the first half of 2021.

Diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky warns that KP data aren’t always accurate, but he’d rather have them than not.

Overall, the figures are “not a positive sign for the worldwide jewellery industry’s reputation or for the larger cause of democracy in Ukraine,” according to Sara Yood, deputy general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

“I’m delighted to see some direct representation of the impact of the US prohibition, but it appears that those carats were transferred elsewhere, including a substantial jump to the European Union. If I were the United States or the European Union, I would be quite concerned and driven to work on eliminating the significant transformative workaround pipeline that allows Russian Federation diamonds to access the U.S. market.”


Simultaneously, the Russian rough diamond is regarded as the best diamond in terms of quality, structure, and substance. This is why two diamonds with the same perfect cut and proportions will have a better polish and shine than the other Ideal Cut Diamond.

At Truoosh, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Truoosh may earn commission.