Indian manufacturers focus on processing non-gem application diamonds

SURAT : Like the U.S, China, Japan, Taiwan and the EU, the companies into the manufacturing of lab grown diamonds have started investing in efforts to promote specialized cutters and polishers in India and exporting finished grown diamonds for non-gem application sectors including scientific research, precision engineering and next generation applications.

The US-based research and consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan, in its recent report on 'Diamond Growing Greenhouses' has stated that the potential for the traditional cutting and polishing industry looks promising as only 30 per cent of the grown diamond capacity would be utilized for gem quality diamonds and that the remaining 70 per cent would be used in alternative industries. This would, however, give a good hedge for existing cutters, as diversification would be possible in an industry that has, so far, heavily relied on a single product-gem quality diamonds.

The report further stated that the global grown diamond (polished) sales revenue will be 1.9 per cent of the global polished diamond sales revenue by 2018.

Following the reports on undisclosed grown diamonds being mixed with natural diamonds, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and other industry bodies had set up Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee (NDMC), assisted by A.T.Kearney and Bonas & Co to investigate the claims on the mixing of the undisclosed grown diamonds in the natural diamond parcels.

A report was submitted on June 6, 2014 stating that contrary to some previous publications, the research shows that with the current production technology, gem-quality synthetic rough diamond production is less than 3.5 lakh carats compared to over 125 million carats of natural gem-quality rough diamonds mined across the world.

Even the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) corroborated the fact stating that less than 0.2 per cent of diamonds traded around the world are lab grown and that they are not a threat to the global diamond industry.

In the past few years, few companies have made dedicated investments in training Indian vendors to broaden their skills to cut and polish grown diamonds for non-gem applications including industrial, scientifically and cutting-edge technology sectors. The companies import grown diamond from companies like IIa technologies and employ over 500 people in Surat.

"There is a huge potential in generating many jobs in the diamond industry by training diamond cutters and polishers into processing lab grown diamonds for the non-gem applications. Grown diamonds are the new source of raw material for the trade when the present natural sources are depleting" said an industry leader.