Why lab diamonds are sparkling during a crisis
SummaryIndia with just 9% market share compared to China’s 50% is looking for a bigger slice of the lab-grown diamond market
Surat/Chennai: During his State visit to the US in June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried a unique gift for First Lady Jill Biden. It was a 7.5-carat diamond, neatly packed in an exquisite Kashmiri papier-mache box. It was not a diamond that had been mined from deep under the earth; instead, it had been grown in a laboratory in Surat, mimicking the conditions that create natural diamonds. It was conflict free and produced without any exploitative labour practices or damage to the environment. The ‘green’ diamond, produced entirely using renewable energy, emitted just 0.028 grams of carbon per carat during production. A similarly sized mined diamond would have emitted 100,000 times more. It took just 100 odd days to produce (natural diamonds take millions of years to form). Certified by the International Gemological Institute, it had the same properties, colour and purity as the famed Kohinoor Diamond. By choosing such a gift, India sent out a message that it is keen on making the country a leading player in the world of lab-grown diamonds, which are fast gaining acceptance among consumers.