Gujarat: Surat's Lab-Grown Diamond Industry Faces Heat After Terminology Ban In France

Gujarat: Surat's Lab-Grown Diamond Industry Faces Heat After Terminology Ban In France

Surat, a major diamond hub in India, has a vested interest in this development as it caters to international markets, including France.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 07:32 PM IST
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Surat: In a move that could potentially impact the global lab-grown diamond market, the French Ministry of Economy and Finance has banned the use of all terminology other than "synthetic" for non-natural diamonds. This decision means that terms like "lab-grown" or "cultivated diamonds" will no longer be legally used in France, potentially impacting consumer perception and industry practices.

Surat, a major diamond hub in India, has a vested interest in this development as it caters to international markets, including France. The recent decision has raised concerns about the future of lab-grown diamonds, which have seen rapid adoption in recent years, with the market exceeding millions in the past five years.

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), representing natural diamond bourses worldwide, applauded the French Ministry's decision. WFDB President Yoram Dvash stated, "This is an important step in confirming the inherent value of natural diamonds and enhancing consumer confidence."

The WFDB also commended De Beers' marketing campaign for natural diamonds and its partnership with the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) to support the industry's growth. These actions highlight the natural diamond industry's efforts to maintain its position in the face of growing competition from lab-grown alternatives.

However, the industry surrounding lab-grown diamonds has challenged the French decision's validity. Dinesh Navdia, former chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Promotion Council, argues that the French government cannot unilaterally define lab-grown diamonds as synthetic. He emphasises the distinct nature of lab-grown diamonds compared to synthetic ones, highlighting their different production processes and increasing global acceptance.

Navdia further criticises the Natural Diamond Council's role in influencing the French decision, suggesting it was motivated by concerns about the growing lab-grown diamond trade. He believes the French government's action is based on "bad mentality" and will not significantly impact the industry's overall growth.

The French ban on specific terminology for lab-grown diamonds raises questions about its wider implications. While it might affect consumer perception and marketing practices within France, its impact on the global market remains to be seen. The lab-grown diamond industry is expected to continue its growth trajectory, driven by factors like affordability, ethical considerations, and technological advancements.

“The French decision serves as a reminder of the ongoing debate surrounding lab-grown diamonds. As the industry evolves, navigating consumer preferences, regulatory frameworks, and industry competition will be crucial for both natural and lab-grown diamond sectors to thrive in the future” said a diamond industry analyst.

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