The first Belarusian diamond is 50 years old

№ 4, 2022

Job title: General Director of JSC "Gomel MA "Kristall" – managing company of the holding company "KRISTALL-HOLDING"

Mr.Sorokovoy, on December 27, 1972, Gomel jewelers cut the first Belarusian diamond. How did the formation of the Belarusian jewelry industry and the Gomel "Kristall" proceed from that moment?

The Gomel "Kristall" was included in the official register of existing factories in early 1973, but the first Belarusian diamond was indeed cut on December 27, 1972. This date (and it should be noted that the cutting of the first Belarusian diamond was timed to the 50th anniversary of the USSR) can be referred to as the birthday not only of "Kristall", but also of the whole jewelry industry in Belarus.

The 50-year work of the enterprise embraces five decades of the company's eventful history, including the professional development of the employees, the formation of labor dynasties. Surely, each year had its own unique facets of economic and social development. At the same time, the history of the company can be divided into two periods almost equal in time but fundamentally different in business conditions.

The first 20 years were characterized by the relatively stable and predictable production and economic develop­ment of the enterprise through the Soviet Union's planned economy. The second period was one of diversification and development of new product lines; it was also a time of intense competition in the market. While in the first twenty years of its work Gomel "Kristall" was one of the largest diamond-processing enterprises in the USSR, today's JSC "Gomel MA "Kristall" is the leading manufacturer of jewelry and natural diamonds in the Republic of Belarus.


Another significant event in your half-century history is the creation of the jewel­ry holding 10 years ago. What was the purpose of this association? And what results has it contributed to?

You're absolutely right to note the importance of this event. Created in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the jewelry holding was designed to solve the problem of increasing the share of domestic jewelry in the domestic market on the basis of an agreed production and marketing policy of the participants, as well as to increase the investment attractiveness of the holding as a state asset. To solve the set tasks, the fact that Gomel "Kristall" was chosen as the management company was of great importance.

If we talk about the results of the holding, the following figures will be indicative. If until 2012 the share of domestic jewelry in the retail turn over of Belyuvelirtorg JSC (the second member of the holding, a commodi­ty distribution network) was between 20 and 30 percent, now this figure is ­70–80 percent. Over the ten year period of the holding's operation, the number of jewelry retail facilities in the country has increased by 30 percent, and currently the network includes 70 stores.

What path does a Belarusian diamond take from diamond mining to the distribution network and an end buyer? Who are the main suppliers of your precious raw materials?

The stable operation of Kristall's diamond processing facility is facilitated by contractual relations with a world's largest diamond producer, ALROSA (the Russian Federation). Over the past ten years, our plant has been included in the list of preferred clients of the Russian manufacturer with the right to conclude long-term (three-year) contracts for the purchase of rough diamonds of an agreed range. Only about 40–50 specialized participants in the world market receive such a status following strict qualification procedures. This January, ALROSA confirmed the Kristall's preferred client status, and an agreement was concluded for the supply of rough diamonds until 2025.

Own diamond processing, supported by a reliable raw materials source, allows the company to develop a specialized niche in jewelry production, successfully competing with foreign manufacturers. While the share of Gomel "Kristall" in the total retail jewelry market is about 20 percent, the share of the diamond jewelry produced by the company in the corresponding segment of the domestic jewelry market is no less than 60 percent.

What are the distinctive features of the products by Gomel jewelers? What unique technologies are you proud of?

Over three decades of the jewelry production development, Gomel jewelers have formed their own style, which is noted by buyers at international jewelry exhibitions in which MA "Kristall" participates (China, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Russia). Keeping track of the ever-changing jewelry fashion trends, artists and designers provide a distinct and special flavor to jewelry design. The collections "Charaunitsa"  and "Tayamnicy Belarusi" may be an example, with the motifs of Belarusian nature being traced in them.kristall_2994.jpg

I would especially note the limited unique collections of jewelry with rough diamonds, which are produced by just a few jewelry houses in Italy and the USA. Wearing jewelry with a rough diamond created by nature 1–2 billion (!) years ago is the prerogative of special connoisseurs of beauty, jewelry gourmets. Therefore, the Kristall's jewelry collections with natural diamonds ­("Alexandria", "Vizantiya") arouse genuine interest among sophisticated buyers in the world's jewelry centers (the UAE, Hong Kong, and other countries).

Jewelry items, especially with diamonds, are relevant at all times. At the same time, it cannot be said that the fashion for them does not change. How often do you introduce new collections? What is the overall range of products? Does it include luxury items only?

The range of Kristall includes the widest spectrum of jewelry demanded by customers. This also applies to the price – it ranges from 10 BYN for a silver pendant to unique expensive jewelry (including custom-made) with large high-quality diamonds, the price of which is measured in tens of thousands of Belarusian rubles. On average, three to four new collections are introduced to the market per year, and the range of manufactured jewelry items increases by 300–400 items every year.

Gomel "Kristall" was the first among the EAEU jewelry enterprises to introduce 100 percent marking of jewelry with the identification codes, established by state authorities, which is an additional guarantee of the quality of the purchased products for buyers.

The high technical and technological level allows Kristall to take on the production of complex and exclusive jewelry. Our significant and responsible direction is the production of state awards.

The Hockey Cup of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the passing crown of the winner of the Miss Belarus contest, the main prizes of the republican festivals "Dazhynki" – these are just a few of the many unique jewelry items produced by Gomel "Kristall".

The modernization of the jewelry production allowed us to successfully solve the problem of producing mea­sured gold bars, which were previously imported to Belarus from the countries of Western Europe and Russia.

What is the export geography of the brand?

While developing jewelry production, Kristall solves the tasks set by the strate­gy of the jewelry holding to strengthen positions in the domestic market. Nevertheless, it doesn't forget about export. Russia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, China, Hong Kong, India, the UAE are the countries in which the company's jewelry is sold under contracts or through participation in specialized exhibitions.


The enterprise's diamond-cutting production has a strong export orientation. Almost 100 percent of the produced diamonds, with the exception of those used in own jewelry production, are exported to traditional diamond trading centers in Belgium, Israel, India, Hong Kong and Russia. 

How have recent negative events affected your work? How do you ­manage to solve the difficulties you've encountered?

In the context of sanctions pressure on the economic entities of Russia and Belarus, Gomel MA "Kristall" has additionally increased the volume of rough diamonds purchases from ALROSA (with granting our company the trader status), and also restored cooperation with Smolensk "Kristall" (subsidiary diamond processing enterprise of ­ALROSA) after a five-year break.

Starting from 2021, the enterprise is actively expanding cooperation with Kazakhstani partners. Since the fourth quarter of last year, "Kristall" has made about three thousand pieces of jewelry out of several batches of customer-supplied gold with a total weight of 9 kg.

The expansion of business cooperation with partners in the EAEU, as well as the implementation of a set of counter-sanctions measures (substituting the supply of raw materials from alternative sources, searching for new logistics solutions for the delivery of products, new payment options, etc.) made it possible to ensure a stable load of existing production facilities and the development targets achievement, including positive exports dynamics.

Based on the results of work in 2022, Gomel MA "Kristall" will ensure an export growth rate of at least 120 percent compared to 2021.

How does Gomel MA "Kristall" co­operate with the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry? What would you wish the BelCCI on the occasion of its 70th anniversary?

JSC "Gomel MA "Kristall" – managing company of the holding company "KRISTALL-HOLDING" has been a member of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for many years.

The Company actively cooperates with the BelCCI in a wide range of ­areas, including in foreign economic activities. The Chamber carries out certification of the products manufactured by the enterprise, confirms the compliance of the manufactured industrial products with the requirements of production on the territory of the Republic of ­Belarus, as well as of own production, assesses all types of

Besides, Kristall applies to the International Arbitration Court at the BelCCI for legal support in foreign economic activity, participates in seminars, webinars and trainings organized by the BelCCI on the most relevant and popular topics, as well as in the exhibition events organized by the unitary enterprise "Belinterexpo", uses the services for translating technical texts into ­foreign languages.

The entire staff of the Gomel "Kristall" cordially congratulate the leadership and all employees of the Chamber on the 70th anniversary.

Let health be strong, energy – inexhaustible, well-being – stable, let goals be achieved, dreams – fulfilled, and good hopes – justified!

Noting our fruitful cooperation, I would like to wish further fruitful development, prosperity, innovative solutions and successful implementation of bold ideas.

May each next year bring brilliant prospects, and may the work and efforts contribute to strengthening the position of the Belarusian business in the international market.