India has already had a vibrant lab-grown diamond market for many years. The number of man-made diamond labs, diamond cutting and polishing factories, and diamond experts is proof of it. The sector also generates a considerable level of employment.
However, now, the lab-created diamond industry is set to move towards unprecedented growth, thanks to government initiatives. In this blog, we look at some key government initiatives and how they make a difference to India’s overall lab diamond market.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gift to the USA’s First Lady, Jill Biden, a 7.5-carat lab-grown diamond created in India, prepares us for years to come.
India is home to Surat, known as the world’s diamond polishing capital.
It is estimated that nine out of 10 of the world’s diamonds are polished in Surat.
India produces around three million lab-grown diamonds per year, accounting for 15% of global production.
Now the government has joined hands with the lab diamond industry to make India a key player in the lab-grown diamond industry.
Recent changes by the Indian government have given lab-grown rough diamonds their own import categorization code, making it easier for businesses to identify them and keep track of their inventory than in the past, when all kinds were tagged as synthetic.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Gemological Institute of India (GIA) banned the use of the term "synthetic" in reference to lab created diamonds. Because lab diamonds share the same optical, physical, thermal, and chemical characteristics as natural diamonds, these two institutions now designate them as such. According to the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the government has divided the Indian Trade Clarification (ITC) code for rough synthetic gemstones into diamonds and non-diamonds. This move will help organizations like the GJEPC track the precise quantities of lab-grown diamonds entering the market.
Previously, whether they were man-made diamonds or natural stones, all raw synthetic gemstones imported into India had the same import code: 71042000. But now, rough lab-grown diamonds are classified as 71042010, while other rough synthetic stones are given the designation 71042090. This will help track and monitor the two types of diamonds.
The Indian government has given a grant of Rs. 242 crore to the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras to study lab-created diamonds. The production of lab diamonds locally will increase domestic manufacturing and lessen reliance on imports as demand for them rises in India. The government has approved the investment, which would be made over five years. Developments in 5G and 6G, magnetometry, thermal management, sensors, and quantum technologies will all benefit from research on lab-grown diamonds.
The allocation of grants to IIT Madras intends to establish a lab-grown diamond production environment. Due to their similar and uniform features to natural diamonds, lab diamonds are a rapidly expanding market. The diamonds are gaining consumer acceptance all over the world for prices that are 50–60% less than those of natural diamonds.
The government has eliminated the 5% customs duty formerly applied to the seeds used to create rough lab-made diamonds. Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, made the declaration during her address on the budget for 2023 on February 1.
With all these changes in policies, initiatives, and support from the government, the lab-grown diamond industry in India is poised for growth. Whether it is for the B2B or B2C markets, personal or industrial use, lab diamonds are shining bright!
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