Indian industry leaders say low chances of large-scale entry of synthetics into market

Some leading members of the Indian diamond industry believe the chances of the large-scale entry of synthetic diamonds into the market is low.

Synthetic diamonds are for the most part made for industrial needs for which they are best-suited, thus making them a lesser threat to the diamond jewelry industry, diamantaires told The Times of India.

Manufacturers of synthetic diamonds can adjust the stones for specific uses because they are able control their properties of hardness, thermal conductivity and electron mobility.

Just 5 percent of synthetics, usually made to a weight of one carat or less, find their way to the gem-diamond market. The remainder are used in many industrial and high-tech applications.

Sanghavi Exports Director Aagam Sanghavi said, "Synthetic diamonds no longer pose a challenge to the [Indian] diamond manufacturing centre. They may pose some challenge at the trading level, but can be dealt with [by] disclosure, detection and differentiation.

"The production of synthetic diamonds is less than one percent of that of the global production of natural diamonds annually. All the manufacturers of synthetic diamonds are doing legal business. The synthetic or cultured diamonds are 30 percent cheaper than the natural stones," Sanghavi added.

Meanwhile, Surat Diamond Association President Dinesh Navadia said, "I don't think synthetic diamonds are a threat. The diamond companies should join hands in the promotion of natural diamonds in the country, like the 'A diamond is forever' campaign of De Beers."

Diamond Intelligence Briefs publisher Chaim Even-Zohar told the US/International Diamond Week at the Israel Diamond Exchange on March 20 that around $500 million of polished synthetic diamonds have entered the diamond pipeline in 2012 out of a total of $22 billion of polished goods.

"You have not heard about this because nobody is telling you about it," he said. "The synthetic diamond manufacturers have substantially increased their production with the use of hundreds of diamond-growing machines.

"A 'perfect' system has been developed where diamonds are produced using the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and then the color is improved using the High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) system, he explained. "According to estimates, in Surat in India, 5-7 percent of diamonds produced that are less than one point in weight are synthetics."