Would you purchase a lab-grown diamond that’s priced at only a fraction of the worth of a pure diamond? It’s visually alike, chemically related and produced extra sustainably than a mined diamond. Solely, it isn’t as uncommon.
Through the years, the ecological and economical attract of lab-grown diamonds (LGDs) has attracted dazzling investments from main jewelry manufacturers internationally. LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton), the father or mother firm of luxurious manufacturers Bulgari, Tiffany & Co and Hublot, lately joined different buyers in pumping US$ 90M in an Israeli LGD producer — Lusix, that makes use of solely photo voltaic power in its diamond labs.
Curiously, De Beers group, the worldwide main participant in mined diamonds, was one of many first main manufacturers to launch a whole jewelry line of LGDs known as Lightbox in 2018 with an funding of US$ 100M. Moreover, De Beers has arrange its very personal diamond synthesis lab in Portland, which might generate 2,00,00zero stones a 12 months. One carat of LGD at Lightbox is priced at US$ 800 — practically 60-80% lower than a natural-mined diamond of the identical weight!
The ‘greener’ selection?
LGDs are cheaper and greener than pure diamonds. A report by the Diamond Producers Affiliation and S&P International states that the greenhouse gasoline footprint per one carat of polished pure diamond is 160kg. An LGD, grown and polished, has a carbon footprint of solely 8.17 kg CO2e per carat, in accordance with Pandora, a number one world jewelry model that lately introduced it now not makes use of mined diamonds.
Artificial diamonds like cubic zirconia, moissanite or crystals have been round for many years. “What units LGDs other than different varieties of artificial diamonds is that they’re grown by simulating the situations of a pure diamond’s development. Carbon, assorted ranges of stress, and temperatures are utilized on a diamond seed or diamond substrate to develop it right into a desired sort of diamond that’s chemically, bodily and optically much like a pure diamond”, explains Shashikant Dalichand Shah, chairperson, Lab-Grown Diamond and Jewelry Promotion Council (LGDJPC).
Mined diamonds type naturally beneath the floor of the earth, over a number of years, whereas LGDs might be created in a lab over a interval of just a few weeks via two processes: Excessive Strain-Excessive Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Shashikant explains, “LGDs and pure diamonds include pure carbon in the identical crystalline type. An professional can distinguish between the 2 with assistance from a high-tech machine, however not with the bare eye.”
Pure vs artificial debate
Earlier this 12 months, Titan firm (Tanishq & Caratlane.com) made an fairness funding of US $20 million in Clear Origin, an American retailer of LGDs and LGD jewelry, via its wholly-owned subsidiary TCL North America, Inc. ‘Are lab-grown diamonds actual? The reply is 100% sure!’ states Clear Origin’s web site.
LGDs are at the moment perceived as a definite territory within the jewelry market and never a direct competitors to mined-natural diamonds. ”They’re an awesome place to begin for shoppers aspiring to personal diamond jewelry”, says Smit Patel, Convener, Lab-Grown Diamond Panel, Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). “In response to estimates, the pure diamond pipeline is valued at about $80 billion by way of diamond jewelry on the retail degree”, he provides. However, the LGD market share appears to be rising steadily and is anticipated to account for 10% (estimated at 19.2 million carats) of your complete worldwide diamond market by 2030, in accordance with statistics by GJEPC.
“We consider that diamonds aren’t solely endlessly, however for everybody”, explains Mads Twomey-Madsen, Vice President, world communications and sustainability at Pandora, which sells jewelry in additional than 100 nations via 6,800 factors of sale. “For example, we see that lots of our clients wish to purchase a diamond ring for themselves to mark an essential milestone of their lives, which is able to take diamonds past the classical engagement and marriage ceremony events”, he provides.
“Lab-grown artificial diamonds are flawless! Pure diamonds however, could have some impurities — although invisible to the bare eye — it’s this pure distinction that helps in figuring out them. That is additionally why pure diamonds are perceived to have a better intrinsic worth, and proceed to be in larger demand,” says Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Government Director, Kalyan Jewellers, including that via each classes can “co-exist individually,” Kalyan focuses on “all-natural, licensed diamonds.”
Thus far, “only a few Indian jewellers are retailing lab-grown diamonds,” says Smit, including that almost all of lower and polished LGDs are exported to the US. India, nonetheless, is choosing up tempo within the manufacturing and exports of LGDs.
“India produces 30 lakh tough LGDs, per 12 months”, says Shashikant Dalichand Shah of LGDJPC. India exported USD 1.three billion value of CVD lab grown diamonds in 2021-22. “By way of acceptance of LGDs there isn’t a drawback however there isn’t sufficient consciousness,” says Parag Agarwal, CEO of Fiona Diamonds, which sells LGDs on to clients, on-line in India. He provides, “We cater principally to professionals, self-purchasing ladies who don’t understand jewelry as an funding.”