India’s lab-made diamonds
August 23, 2022 - India is ramping up sales of laboratory-grown diamonds as global demand surges. Exports could double in the current financial year from $1.3 billion in 2021-22.
The demand for lab-grown diamonds continues to grow, with companies in India cutting or polishing about 90% of the diamonds sold worldwide, becoming key players in the market.
According to Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, global lab-grown diamond sales hit $5.9 billion last year, making up around eight per cent of the market.
Zimnisky estimates global lab-grown diamond jewellery sales could top $8 billion in 2022, approaching 10 per cent of the total diamond jewellery market, and head towards $10 billion by 2023, driven by demand and acceptability in the U.S., Britain and Australia.
Lab-made diamonds grow from a diamond seed placed in a plasma chamber and superheated into a glowing ball of ionised gas. The process creates pure carbon atoms that crystallise into diamonds in weeks.
There are now about 25 diamond labs in India with an estimated 2,500 active reactors making diamonds. A typical chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) reactor can grow 125 carats monthly. The country contributes about 20% of the global production of lab-grown diamonds, producing 1.5 million carats, according to global consultancy firm Bain & Company.
Bain predicts that global lab-grown output will reach 19.2 million carats by 2030.