De Beers' Price Cut Fails To Ignite Surat Diamond Industry That's Reeling From Post-Christmas Slump

De Beers' Price Cut Fails To Ignite Surat Diamond Industry That's Reeling From Post-Christmas Slump

The Surat diamond industry, already reeling from a post-Christmas slump and the growing popularity of lab-grown diamonds, had pinned its hopes on a drastic price cut

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 02:53 PM IST
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De Beers' Price Cut Fails To Ignite Surat Diamond Industry That's Reeling From Post-Christmas Slump | Representative image

A glimmer of hope flickered in the heart of Surat, the world's largest diamond cutting and polishing center, when De Beers, the industry titan, announced a 10-15% reduction in rough diamond prices. But the cheers quickly turned to murmurs of disappointment as industry experts declared the move a mere Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

The Surat diamond industry, already reeling from a post-Christmas slump and the growing popularity of lab-grown diamonds, had pinned its hopes on a drastic price cut. While De Beers delivered, the reduction fell short of expectations, leaving many sight holders, authorized buyers of rough diamonds, unimpressed. "It's a drop in the ocean," sighed Navin Shah, a diamond exporter. "De Beers' prices are still higher than those of auctions, and for many manufacturers, the profit margin is non-existent."

Experts predict lukewarm response at De Beers sales sight

Industry insiders predict a lukewarm response at the De Beers sales sight this week, with projected sales hovering around $300 million. This pales in comparison to previous years, reflecting the industry's precarious state. The culprit, according to many, is the meteoric rise of lab-grown diamonds. These man-made gems offer near-identical brilliance at a fraction of the price, captivating the hearts of cost-conscious consumers, particularly in the US market. "People are buying 1-carat lab-grown rings for 70% less than natural diamonds," explained Shah. "Who can resist that kind of deal?"

The owner of a leading diamond jewelry company in Surat lamented the shift in consumer preferences. "Leading jewelers around the world are embracing lab-grown diamonds, leaving natural diamonds in the dust. De Beers' price cut simply doesn't address the core issue." The diamond industry in Surat, once a beacon of prosperity, now faces a critical crossroads. De Beers' meager price adjustment offers a temporary reprieve, but a long-term solution demands a more comprehensive strategy. Embracing technological advancements, exploring niche markets, and addressing ethical concerns surrounding lab-grown diamonds are just a few steps towards reclaiming the industry's lost sparkle.

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