Lab-grown diamond industry has come a long way overcoming various hurdles thrown around by the traditional mined diamond sector. Vishal Mehta – CEO of Singapore-based IIa Technologies, a major lab-grown diamond producer, in a recent interview indicated that Lab-grown diamond companies worldwide are now “…well equipped to start pushing supply to the industry.” A Frost & Sullivan analysis estimated the global Lab-grown diamonds production at approximately 360,000 carats in 2014. However, IIa Technologies alone in 2015 grew around 350,000 carats of Lab-grown diamonds, which means that the global Lab-grown diamond production has grown leaps and bounds considering mushrooming of numerous smaller Lab-grown diamond producers around the world. This is in line with the Frost & Sullivan prediction of Lab-grown diamond production reaching around 2 million carats by 2017.
NDT grows 5.03 carat blue Lab-grown diamond
Several incorrect notion associating Lab-grown diamonds with melee sizes exist but St. Petersburg, Russia-based New Diamond Technology (NDT) have proved them wrong. NDT recently grew a 5.03 carat, VS1, blue Lab-grown diamond. The world’s largest blue color Lab-grown diamond is an emerald cut Type IIb stone, grown using HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) method and certified by International Gemological Institute (IGI). The 5 carat blue Lab-grown diamond, graded by GIA too, was showcased to public at the recently held BaselWorld 2016. Earlier, NDT had also grown a 10.02 carat, E color, VS1 stone cut from a 32.26 carat Lab-grown rough. Nikolay Khikhinashvili, Director at NDT mentioned that they had recently grown a 70 carat Lab-grown rough and suggested that even 100 carat Lab-grown diamonds may not be too far.
Stuller adds Lab-grown diamonds to its product mix
One of the largest jewelry manufacturers and suppliers in US – Stuller Inc. recently added Lab-grown diamonds to its product mix. According to Stanley Zane, VP – Diamond and Gemstones at Stuller, demand for Lab-grown diamonds has been ‘stronger than anticipated’ and the company is continually adding more Lab-grown diamonds to its inventory. All Lab-grown stones sold by Stuller are 50-60% cheaper than mined diamonds listed on RapNet, are accompanied by grading reports from Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL) and carry a unique inscription on the girdle. The company mentioned that the Lab-grown diamonds are stored and handled separately from its mined diamond inventory. Interestingly, Stuller has also given up its (De Beers’) Sightholder status.
Lab-grown diamond jewelry premieres at BaselWorld
Lab-grown diamond jewelry brand ‘The Promise’ collection premiered at BaselWorld 2016, after successful launches in UK and Germany. Madestones, owner of ‘The Promise’ brand and also the largest European producer of Lab-grown diamonds expects Lab-grown diamonds to be a ‘dominant player’ in the diamond jewelry industry, owing to Lab-grown diamonds’ social and environmental responsibility, affordability and declining mined diamonds supply.
According to Transparency Market Research, Lab-grown diamond industry is now worth around GBP 10 billion and is predicted to grow to around GBP 19 billion by 2023. Though no official figures about actual global Lab-grown diamond production are present, Lab-grown diamond industry is surely on a fast-track. But, it will still need to tackle challenges hurled by the pipeline used to being dictated by mined diamond sector for long. According to Nikolay though, the scenario is improving from 80% of industry being negative about Lab-grown diamonds 2 years ago to now maybe 40%!!