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Published
Jun 16, 2022
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Diamond workers turn to lab-grown diamonds amid shortage of roughs

Published
Jun 16, 2022

As the supply of natural diamonds from Russia to India continues to experience blockages due to the Ukraine conflict, some diamond businesses are turning to lab-grown diamonds to continue operations. 

Lab grown diamond exports are swiftly increasing from India - Diamond Producers Association- Facebook


Many diamond workers in polishing hub Surat faced reduced working hours as shipments of rough diamonds from Russia slowed down but many are partially converting to working with lab-grown diamonds to stay afloat. Natural diamond cutting and polishing businesses have converted around 20% of their inventory to lab-grown diamonds, ET Bureau reported.  

“The situation has improved a bit in Surat,” president of the Diamond Workers Union in Gujarat Ramesh Zilariya told the Economic Times. “Alongside the natural diamond cutting and polishing, a lot of lab-grown diamond manufacturing has picked up. Some of the units that are into natural diamond cutting and polishing have converted 20-30% of their production into lab-grown diamonds. This is generating jobs for the diamond workers in Surat.” 

Lab-grown diamond use in India had been steadily rising long before the Ukraine conflict began this year. In the 2022 financial year, Indian lab-grown diamond exports increased by 108.27% year-on-year compared to the 2021 fiscal, according to Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council figures.   

The GJEPC has held information sessions on lab-grown diamonds for businesses in the industry and has stated that the industry is expected to continue to grow and could be a major employment generator in the country in the coming years, especially with government support. For this reason, the GJEPC is asking the government to include lab-grown diamonds in the production linked incentive scheme. 

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