Through a communication addressed to GJEPC, De-Beers informed it’s foray into synthetic diamond business with the launch of a new line of fashion jewellery in September, 2018. Simultaneously on Tuesday i.e. on 29th May 2018, De Beers through a press statement introduced Lightbox, a label selling fashion jewellery at lower prices than existing lab grown diamond offerings.
GJEPC expects that with the introduction of branded, synthetic diamonds De Beers will drive clear differentiation and categorisation in the Diamond product category amongst the consumers. Customers and owners of real diamonds across the world will be able to differentiate the synthetic diamonds from the Naturals. Synthetic or laboratory grown diamonds are a completely different product and can't be compared to natural diamonds which derive their value from being natural, being precious, and being rare. A natural diamond stands for the most precious emotions and is a luxury product with a timeless appeal. It is expected that this will also position the Real Natural Diamonds as Unique, Premium and Luxury.
Synthetic or Lab grown diamonds are not new with De Beers. This technology has existed with De Beers through their subsidiary Element Six. They have been conducting research on and producing synthetic diamonds for the past 40+ years.
Introduction of the Lab created Diamond jewellery by Lightbox will position synthetics appropriately – “non-precious accessories”, which is a small and distinct market. Branded synthetic diamonds have been used in non precious jewellery by brands such as Swarovski and are sold as a non-precious fashion product.
The Indian Diamond industry believes will have no impact on the demand, appeal and value of natural diamonds. The strength of the Indian industry has been built on the natural diamond industry. 90% of the world's diamonds are polished in India and substantial value of precious jewellery is manufactured in India. Today we are the key hub in the diamond industry. This is a very strong and vibrant industry with very large players with deep capabilities and a global presence. We enjoy the confidence of the topmost jewellery retailers across the world who come to India to source diamonds and jewellery.
Synthetic diamonds have been around for a long time and they have had no impact on the industry. Presently production of Synthetics is estimated to be only 2 per cent of natural diamonds.
The industry has also been very proactive in preventing any risk of illicit mixing of synthetics with natural diamonds and players in the industry have protocols and processes in place to prevent any such risk. Our customers are aware of the measures Indian Diamond trade has undertaken to ensure customer and consumer confidence. The industry is on a very sound platform to capitalise on the growing disposable income across the world.
Indian industry has always stressed on the need to do generic promotion of diamonds. The industry believes that diamond mining companies need to invest more money into promotion of diamonds, and expects that De Beers, ALROSA, Rio Tinto and other miners will continue to put more resources into marketing this unique and rare product.