Demand in US leads to 40% jump in lab-grown diamond exports in Aug


TNN | Sep 27, 2020, 04.00 AM IST

Surat: It seems the coronavirus pandemic has not dimmed the liking of the diamond connoisseurs in Uncle Sam’s land. At a time when the export of polished diamonds from India has dipped phenomenally, the exports of lab-grown polished diamonds has continued its growth trajectory in the range of 22-40% between June and August as compared to the same period the previous year.
Industry sources said about 95% of the lab-grown diamonds manufactured in Surat, the world largest lab-grown polishing centre, are exported to US, considered as the biggest market for the lab-grown diamond jewellery. The reason why the lab-grown gems have become favourite among the US consumer is the fact that they are 60% cheaper than the natural diamonds.

Lab-grown Diamond and Jewellery Promotion Council (LGDJPC) chairman Shashikant Shah told TOI, “Even though the lab-grown diamond export are minuscule compared to the natural diamonds, but they are gaining huge popularity among the US consumers given their cheaper prices compared to natural diamonds.”

According to Shah, the growth of lab-grown diamond exports was in double digits during the Covid-19 pandemic compared to natural diamonds which saw a sharp dip.

“There are over 2,000 small and medium units in Surat manufacturing lab-grown diamonds. After unlock-1, the lab-grown diamond units are working in full capacity due to increased demand. These diamonds are studded in gold and bling jewellery in US,” added Shah.

Export figures provided by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) show that August recorded the highest export of lab-grown diamonds at Rs 373 crore against Rs 266 crore during the same month in the previous year, registering an increase of 40%.

According to the latest Global Diamond Report-2019 by Bain & Company, most of the lab-grown diamonds are purchased in the US, but produced in China and India. While China accounts for nearly 50% of the lab-grown gems’ global production, India produces 20%.

Diamond industry analyst, Aniruddha Lidbide said, “Many natural diamond manufacturers have shifted to lab-grown manufacturing post-Covid. Reason being that the rough diamond prices have appreciated by 15% in the local market and the demand for natural diamonds has decreased.”