07 Dec 2022
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IS THE INDIAN CONSUMER READY FOR LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS?
Lab-Grown Diamonds On The Go!
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 4 2022 3:25PM
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Reference: 26550  

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The Indian consumer is ready for LGDs as this is a product that is environment friendly, conflict free, looks and is the same as a mined diamond, but is also available at an attractive pricing! A lot of our natural clients have converted into lab grown and my business is pretty much 100% lab grown now. There is enough demand for me to make an independent business of it on my own.”-SHIVIKA POONGLIA PATEL Partner, Itara JewelryLab Grown Diamonds (LGDs) are slowly, but steadily, making their way into retail stores, but are Indian consumers ready to accept LGDs wholeheartedly, and treat them on par with mined diamonds? Kamakshi VF endeavours to find out some answers

Lab Grown Diamonds (LGDs) are slowly making inroads into the Indian market, but it remains to be seen as to whether Indian consumers are ready to accept them as real diamonds. Globally, they have gained acceptance in a big way, particularly in the US. However, here in India, the going has not been so easy for LGDs.

LGDs were introduced in India in 2004, and have evolved from being only yellow stones to clear white and now available in all fancy colours. According to GJEPC, India accounts for about 15% of the global production of LGDs; exports of polished lab-grown diamonds stood at $1.3 billion this year, nearly double compared to $636.25 million in FY 2020-21. In the domestic market, the major buyers are space, research and industrial equipment industries, with jewellery manufacturers accounting for only about 2% of the pie.

As per a WiseGuy Survey Report, globally, the LGD jewellery market is growing at the rate of 28% annually, while the LGD segment of the Indian gem and jewellery industry is growing at the rate of 105% annually. GJEPC has estimated that the LGD segment has the potential to grow to Rs 40,000 crore, from the current Rs 10,000 crore in the next five years.

HOW READY I S THE INDIAN CONSUMER?
LGDs came into India in 2004, when Fiona Diamonds was founded. The company started its business in LGDs in the year 2007, and opened its first outlet in 2013 in Mumbai. Parag Agarwal, Founder & CEO Fiona Diamonds, says that in his experience “the Indian consumer is not yet aware about LGDs, so acceptance will come after awareness.” Ishu Datwani, Founder, Anmol Jewellers, describes the psyche of the consumer

when he says, “In my opinion, people who prefer real diamonds prefer them for their rarity and timelessness. Real is rare, and therefore precious. This segment is going to stay loyal to the real diamonds as they won't consider LGDs as real diamonds. However, there is also a segment that will buy LGDs. This category is the one that wants to enjoy wearing diamonds but either doesn’t have the taste for, or the budget for real diamonds. The value of LGDs has been depreciating over the past five to seven years, whereas real diamonds have always gradually appreciated. Both categories cater to two different markets. As far as Anmol is concerned, we believe real is rare and will always cater to the consumers of real diamonds. If one had to make a comparison, it’s like some consumers would only buy real, original and authentic high-end branded bags and then others who would buy the first copies.” According to Shivika Poonglia Patel of Itara Jewelry, Mumbai, “The educated Indian consumer is evolving and on par with the western consumer in this aspect. So, definitely, they are looking for products that are newer, more in line with environmental concerns and on price points. Millennial consumers are aware and conscious of their purchase like never before, and have reached a point where decisions are based on modern global values of environment suitability and cost effectiveness. The Indian consumer is ready for LGDs, as this is a product that is environment-friendly and conflict-free, looks and is the same as a mined diamond, but is also available at an attractive price.”

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