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  Business   In Other News  13 Jan 2020  Russia’s Alrosa to steer clear of lab-grown stones

Russia’s Alrosa to steer clear of lab-grown stones

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANGEETHA G
Published : Jan 13, 2020, 2:30 am IST
Updated : Jan 13, 2020, 2:30 am IST

Alrosa accepts that lab-grown diamonds are increasingly flooding diamond markets, including India.

Despite the growing share of lab-grown diamonds, Russian miner Alrosa does not want to go the De Beers way and enter the segment.
 Despite the growing share of lab-grown diamonds, Russian miner Alrosa does not want to go the De Beers way and enter the segment.

Chennai: Despite the growing share of lab-grown diamonds, Russian miner Alrosa does not want to go the De Beers way and enter the segment. However, Alrosa finds that lab-grown diamonds can co-exist with natural diamonds if they are properly declared.  

Alrosa accepts that lab-grown diamonds are increasingly flooding diamond markets, including India. With improved technology, new companies will create larger stones faster and of better quality than before. In the coming years the annual supply of natural diamonds may decline and the gap may be filled by lab-grown diamonds.

However unlike De Beers, Alrosa does not want to enter the segment.  “Alrosa is committed to natural diamonds only and does not have any plans to go into the synthetics business. The company will remain the largest miner of natural diamonds with a proven origin,’ Jim Vimadalal, director-Indian Represen-tative Office, Alrosa told Financial Chronicle.

“We believe that high-quality natural diamonds, which arguably fall into a completely different product category than lab-created diamonds, could perform well as consumers in China and India, the industry’s fastest-growing markets, do not perceive man-made diamonds as a substitute for natural,’ he added.

Lab-grown diamonds are 40–50 per cent cheaper than natural diamonds and their prices have halved in the past two years. The prices are expected to further dip as production efficiencies increase.

According to Vimadalal, there have been cases where lab-grown diamonds are mixed in with the batches of natural diamonds, finally ending up in the jewellery stores around the globe.  Only 20 per cent of these diamonds are officially declared, but these declared stones account for three per cent of the diamond market.

Lab-grown diamonds can freely co-exist with natural diamonds if the stones are declared to be synthetic. “Lab-grown diamonds have already their own niche. It can freely co-exist with natural diamonds market if declared as jewelry with lab-grown diamonds. It is necessary to give customer a clear understanding of the product he/she buys,” said Vimadalal.

Tags: de beers, diamonds