In times when the global diamond industry had been challenged with declining natural diamond prices driven by decreased global consumption, geopolitical tensions, reduced financial aid from banking institutions, demonetisation struggles in India and a collective scale-back of production by the miners worldwide, lab grown diamonds have seem to emerge slowly as a ray of hope and establish a growing footprint in the gems and jewellery industry.
2019, particularly, was the year for lab-grown diamonds. India, alone, witnessed a sharp rise in LGD exports worth $443 million which were up by 102% y/y. Even at the start of 2020, lab-grown diamond exports in India were up by 60% y/y, while natural diamond exports were down by 41% y/y.
Whilst the lab-grown diamond industry had seen a significant price correction in recent years with the technology evolving and the cost of technology coming down, lab-grown diamond prices, particularly CVD diamonds, have now stabilized. In fact, CVD diamonds above 1ct saw a 29% price rise in the last quarter of 2019 driven by significant demand and limited supply.
Globally, estimated at INR 13,300 Cr currently, the lab-grown diamond jewellery market is expected to rapidly rise to INR 36,000 Cr by 2023 and exceed INR 1,00,000 Cr by 2035, says a recent report by renowned analyst, Paul Zimnisky.
These hefty numbers are not just what adds on to the prospect of diamonds created using the CVD technology, the major shift in consumer consumption patterns is a great contributor to the rise in demand for lab grown CVD diamonds.