India, which cuts or polishes about 90% of the world’s diamonds sold, is increasing sales of man-made gemstones as demand from the United States surges and they become more acceptable in other markets.

Vipul Shah, vice-president of the Gem & Jewelery Export Promotion Council, said in an interview that exports of polished lab-grown diamonds, which began on April 1, are up from $1.3 billion in the previous year. He said it could double. “There is great potential to grow exports from $7 billion to $8 billion in the next few years against the backdrop of US demand and acceptance in the UK and Australia,” he said.

“It’s becoming more of an affordable and fashionable piece of jewelry for young people, and that’s how the market is changing,” Shah said.

Lab-grown diamonds currently represent only a small portion of the market. India shipped nearly $24 billion in naturally mined polished diamonds last year. Still, much cheaper varieties have the same physical properties and chemical composition as the mined stone, so they’re gaining its share, and experts say the machines that distinguish between synthetic and mined gemstones are making their mark. is needed.

Lab-grown diamonds are developed from carbon seeds placed in a microwave chamber and heated into glowing plasma balls. This process creates particles that crystallize into diamond in a matter of weeks.

Exports of polished lab-grown diamonds from India surged about 70% to $622.7 million in the April-July period, while cut and polished mined diamonds exports fell by about 3% to $8.2 billion over the same period, GJEPC data showed.

One of the benefits of man-made gemstones is that they have a tracking system that monitors the supply chain and helps maintain consumer confidence in gemstones.

“Commercial gem-quality earth-mined diamonds have been completely replaced by lab-grown diamonds,” said one of the first global lab-grown brands to set up business in India. One ALTR director, Ritesh Shah, said: , size and quality are big draws for buyers, and the U.S. is at the forefront of changing consumer behavior, he said.

He said there are now about 25 such growers in India, going from a handful of companies growing diamonds in laboratories in the mid-2000s. According to GJEPC, the country accounts for about 15% of the world’s production of lab-grown diamonds.

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