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World Diamond Cutting Center Shifts to Dual Output

The world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing center exists in Surat, the second largest city in India’s Gujarat province.  There are well over 5,000 cutting and polishing factories, ranging from family run businesses to many of the diamond industry’s biggest players. If you wear diamonds cut during the past few decades there’s a good chance they passed through Surat.

Temple in Surat
Credit: Wikipedia

Dual Output

Long associated with the natural diamond trade, the popularity of lab grown diamonds is changing the reputation of India’s ‘Diamond City.’

By the second half of 2022 an estimated 30% of Surat’s factories had added lab grown diamonds to their exports. Today it’s reported that 99 of the top 100 diamond producers in Surat have shifted to a dual model, producing lab grown diamonds along with natural, and a notable percentage of factories have started focusing on lab grown diamonds only. According to the GJEPC, between April 2022 and January 2023 the total gross export of polished lab grown diamonds from Surat climbed 37% to $1.43 billion.

Diamond polishers
Credit: The Daily Guardian

Government Stimulus

In 2023 the Indian government has eliminated a 5% customs charge they had been collecting on seeds used to produce rough lab grown diamonds. The government of Gujarat has announced a 15% reduction on the cost of electricity for factories producing lab grown diamonds. And the commerce ministry has approved the establishment of the India Centre for Lab-Grown Diamonds (InCent-LGD) to encourage indigenous production of machinery, seeds and recipes. Over the next few years India’s lab grown diamond output is predicted to surpass that of China.

Question: ‘Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real?’

Yes. They are not simulants like CZ or Moissanite, which are made to simulate diamonds. Aside from subtle carbon distinctions they are optically, physically and chemically identical to natural diamonds. The technical difference is that they’re not billions of years old. They are grown using sophisticated methods of chemical synthesis over a period of weeks. Once grown, they are polished with the same tools and brought to market in the same manner as natural diamonds. Learn more.

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