While rare stones such as blue diamonds are subject to sharp changes in their valuation, other diamonds could offer a more stable investment than precious metals, as their value tends to fluctuate by less than five percent a year.
Alrosa spokesman Aleksandr Tikhomirov told RBK that the company intends to offer futures contracts in near colorless or faint yellow diamonds, with a weight of 0.5 – 0.59 carats (5.2 mm diameter) or 1-1.49 carats (6.5-7.5 mm diameter).
Investors will be able to buy futures backed by 1/100 of a diamond of the various weights; for example, if a one carat diamond is worth around $8,000 and a 0.5 carat diamond around $2,500, futures in 1/100 of the former will cost about $80, and in the latter $25.
Mihail Orlenko, head of the commodities trading department of the Moscow Exchange, told RBK that the option could work if Alrosa is prepared to act as market maker, and maintain the liquidity of the instrument on the market.
The Alrosa Group operates in nine countries and across ten regions of Russia. It produced more than 38.3 million carats of diamonds (37.1 million tons) in 2015, accounting for more than a third of global rough diamond production.