Buyers need to be wary of lab-grown diamonds

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The Asian Age



Buyers need to be wary of lab-grown diamonds

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANGEETHA G

Published : Jan 27, 2020, 1:13 am IST

Updated : Jan 27, 2020, 1:13 am IST

As far as exports of polished lab-grown diamonds are concerned, a growth of 109 per cent was recorded in the month of December.

Chennai: Import of rough lab-grown diamonds and export of polished ones have more than doubled since April. However, higher imports compared to exports indicate lab-grown diamonds being sneaked into the domestic market in the guise of real diamonds.

Between April and December 2019, `1768 crore worth rough lab-grown diamonds were imported against `696 crore in the same period in the year ago period —  an increase of 153 per cent. In addition, polished lab-grown diamonds valued `523 crore were also imported during the period and this saw a growth of 42 per cent.  In the month of December itself, imports of lab-grown diamonds had gone up by 211 per cent.

As far as exports of polished lab-grown diamonds are concerned, a growth of 109 per cent was recorded in the month of December. Exports went up to `256 crore against `122 crore in the year-ago month. During April-December period, exports went up to `2,200 crore from `1,058 crore in the same period last year.

The import and export of lab-grown diamonds started sharply rising in FY19. It further shot up in FY20 as their demand has risen in recent times. Lab-grown diamonds are 40 to 50 per cent cheaper than real diamonds and this has helped them find a market among the value-conscious jewellery lovers. De Beers too has come up with a brand for lab-grown diamonds.

However, despite the value of polished diamonds being higher than the rough ones, the export value during April-December period is a tad lower than the import value, which indicates that increasingly lab-grown diamonds are being sneaked into the domestic market as real diamonds. Currently, no jeweller in India officially sells synthetic jewellery.

“Synthetic diamonds are often detected among real diamond parcels sent by jewellers. Mixing of synthetics with real loose diamonds is happening,” said Tehmasp Printer, managing director of IGI India . Mostly the mixing is done by suppliers of loose diamonds or manufacturers of jewellery. Some jewelers knowingly allow the synthetics to pass off as real.