Russian diamond miner Alrosa does not want to follow its main rival De Beers and enter the lab-grown diamonds segment, despite its growing share in the global market, Asian Age reports.
Alrosa finds that lab-grown diamonds can co-exist with natural diamonds if they are properly declared, the report says. The company 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. According to analysts, in the coming years, the annual supply of natural diamonds may decline and the gap may be filled by lab-grown diamonds.
“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 of Alrosa’s Indian office, told the country’s media.
“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 percent 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 jewelry stores around the globe. Only 20 percent of these diamonds are officially declared, but these declared stones account for three percent of the diamond market.
“Lab-grown diamonds have already their own niche. It can freely co-exist with the natural diamonds market if declared as jewelry with lab-grown diamonds. It is necessary to give the customer a clear understanding of the product he/she buys,” said Vimadalal.