Future’s Bright For Lab-Grown Diamonds

The second seminar session moderated by Sumesh Wadhera, Managing Director & Chief Editor, The Art of Jewellery, revolved around the increasing use of lab-grown diamonds (LGDs). The segment has witnessed skyrocketing sales growth of 60% in the last financial year and it has already achieved exports of Rs.2000 crore in just the last four months of the current financial year. Currently Australia and Europe are the fastest growing markets for the segment.

At the session, Ritesh Shah, President and CEO, ALTR said, “The comfort of wearing LGDs has come over a period of time. Initially customers were sceptical of nitrogen-filled diamonds, but now as time has changed, customers can get nitrogen-free diamonds too. It’s important to brand the product well to sell well. There is absolutely no difference between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds and lab-grown diamonds are the fastest growing jewels in the gem and jewellery segment.”

Panellist Pooja Sheth, MD and Founder of Limelight, noted, “The last financial year saw Rs.5000 crore-worth of exports in this segment, while it’s already achieved Rs.2000 crore exports in just the last four months of the current financial year. LGDs are preferred by the millennials as they are sustainable and less expensive as compared to mining natural diamonds.”

Prasad Kapre, CEO, Director, Style Quotient Jewelry Private Limited added, “Australia, Europe are growing markets for lab grown diamonds. However in India, the biggest challenge remains in buy-back schemes. In fact consumers are keen on buying lab-grown diamonds as they are aware of the difference between natural and LGDs, but it’s the retailers who must move ahead.”

Lab Created Diamond Association of India, a consortium of LGD manufacturers, creates awareness in the segment for consumers and retailers. LGDs have shown a 60% increase in sales and aim to reach an annual output of about 7 million carats by 2030. But the biggest challenge lies in the investment for procuring equipment for growing diamonds. It takes about 18 months to create diamonds in labs. The speakers noted that there are scarce resources and a dire need of experienced scientists to help achieve the target. They added that currently, we have just over 2000 machines to create the same, while for growth to happen we need 1,00,000 machines worldwide to make lab-grown diamonds.

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