SURAT Export of polished lab-grown diamonds has seen an increase by 94 per cent between April and July 2019, pointing to the shift by diamantaires in the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat to manufacturing of lab-grown diamonds.
According to data published by Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the export of lab-grown polished diamonds between April and July 2019 stood at Rs850 crore compared to Rs450 during the same period in the previous year.
Industry sources said about 95% of the lab-grown diamonds are manufactured in the diamond factories located in Varachha and Katargam. These lab-grown diamonds are exported to the US, Dubai, Hong Kong and other cities of the world.
An estimated 10% of small and medium diamond units or over 600 units in Varachha and Katargam have shifted to manufacturing lab-grown diamonds, which are produced in huge quantity in China, Surat and Singapore. Also, these places in the city are fast becoming a centre for growing diamonds in laboratory.
Kirti Shah, diamond exporter, told TOI, “The demand for lab-grown diamonds is on the rise as diamond consumers have found cheap option to costly natural diamonds in fashion jewellery. The demand comes from millennial consumers in foreign countries, who want to show big by spending less. There are dozens of factories in Surat where the lab-grown diamonds are being manufactured.
Surat Diamond Association president Babu Kathiriya said, “Penetration of lab-grown diamonds is one of the reasons why the industry is facing recession.” Aniruddha Lidbide, diamond industry analyst, said, “The lab-grown diamond is predicted to grow at a very fast pace in the next few years. The lab-grown diamonds are more than 70% cheap compared to natural diamonds. This is the reason why the consumers want lab-grown diamonds, especially for bling and fashion jewellery.”