Sourcing

Diamond Manufacturing: The Long-Term India Story Remains Intact

SourcingMar 16, 2022

Diamond Manufacturing: The Long-Term India Story Remains Intact

Investment in infrastructure, technology and talent help India consolidate its leadership in the global diamond industry.

SRK Exports embarked on its path to sustainability way back in 2011. Both of its factories are certified green buildings.
The Indian diamond industry’s transformation from a low-cost producer of star melee diamonds to an innovative, hi-tech global leader in 25 years has been phenomenal. Use of automated polishers, imaging machines, 3D digital printers, AI and cloud-based big data analytical tools have increased transparency, efficiency and productivity.
 
“Our investment in technology paid off during the pandemic. Buyers could access our online inventory and place orders. We in turn could buy rough from the miners by looking at their 3D scans”, says Rahul Jauhari, Sr. VP Global Sales & Marketing, Star Rays and core committee member of young Diamantaires.
“Understanding buyers’ needs helped us launch our own ISO certified diamond grading system. Our 360-degree HD video patented feature, Digiplot helps buyers determine a diamond’s depth and map out inclusions. The footprints that trace their diamonds’ journey from mine to market are also made available on an excel sheet,” says Shreyans Dholakia, Brand Custodian at SRK Exports.

The Indian diamond industry scores high on the Employee Experience Index as compared to the fast fashion industry. Unlike the dilapidated sweat shops of Thailand and Bangladesh with utter disregard to human lives, the diamond factories in Surat are built to last. In the closely knit diamond industry, good business practices are emulated and become accepted norms. 

“Providing free wholesome healthy food during lunch to our 5,000 employees has resulted in increased morale and productivity. Technology is an enabler that has provided a level playing field. Motivated and committed workforce is our strength in this competitive industry,” he adds.
 
More and more manufacturing companies are becoming environmentally conscious, responsible corporate citizens. Kinjal Shah, Regional Director (India & Middle East), Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC) shares that the RJC membership in India has increased by 20% during the last two years. Out of its 160 members, 60% are diamond manufacturers and 30% are jewelers. 
 
SRK Empire was inaugurated in 2011 (long before sustainability became a buzzword), achieved the LEED Gold rating in 2015, and then got enhanced to Platinum Certification status from US Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2018 – making it the “first manufacturing facility in India and the Asia region,” and also the first in the gem and jewelry sector across the world to be awarded the Platinum rating by USGBC.

SRK’s second 225,000 sq. ft. diamond crafting facility SRK House was also awarded the LEED Platinum certification by USGBC in 2020. 

As a part of its beneficiation initiative Star Rays have set up a factory in Botswana employing women in key roles.
As a part of its beneficiation initiative Star Rays have set up a factory in Botswana employing women in key roles.
 
Star Rays is working towards becoming India’s first carbon-neutral diamond company, highlighting its commitment to sustainable business practices. The company is participating in the World Jewellery Confederation’s (CIBJO) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Measuring and Offsetting Initiative to ensure that its carbon emissions and removals are measured in accordance with international standards. 

The company is spreading its wings and has set up a state-of-the-art factory in Gaborone, Botswana, hiring female employees at all possible levels to promote women empowerment.
 
Diamonds in fancy shapes contribute to 50% of SRK Exports’ production.
Diamonds in fancy shapes contribute to 50% of SRK Exports’ production.
 
The top two trends prevailing in the diamond industry are:

1. Manufacturing of small diamonds (star melee) is being consolidated into the hands of a few large players due to the disruption caused by undisclosed mixing of LGDs by unethical traders. It has now become imperative for manufacturers to install synthetic detecting machines and get their goods certified. This has imposed additional costs and increased their woes as every diamond needs to be checked. The production of star melees therefore is no longer lucrative. Shreyans feels that the I1 I2 segment that is huge in the US in all probability will be replaced by the LGDs. Rather than buying diamonds of inferior clarity and color, customers would prefer to buy cleaner goods. 

Rahul however, is of the opinion that smaller, natural diamonds would retain their appeal to first-time buyers due to emotional reasons. The demand for diamond studded luxury watches is also on the rise.  The fact that prices of small diamonds have witnessed the highest rise indicates their growing demand.
 
There is also a growing demand for diamonds with fancy shapes. Rahul says that the pear and oval shapes are moving fast. Shreyans opines that the first-time buyers prefer a round diamond. However, for their subsequent purchases, they are inclined towards fancy shapes due to the novelty factor. The fact that they can buy a larger diamond at the same price adds to its allure.
 
2. With demand at an all-time high, diamond manufacturers are on a roll. Whatever is being produced today is being sold. There is a shortage of polished diamonds and the prices of rough are up by 20%. 

With economies and travel opening up, consumers now have new avenues to spend money, this may reduce diamonds’ wallet share. Consumer backlash against Russia may also prove a dampener as Alrosa’s contribution in the diamond pipeline is 30%.  

Manufacturers therefore are cautiously optimistic and hope the geopolitical tensions ease soon as war is not in anyone’s interest.

Note: This story was completed for publication in the special India Diamond Report newsletter prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s subsequent ban on Russian diamonds on March 11.
Anil PrabhakarAnil Prabhakar is an industry analyst, journalist and consultant associated with the Jewelry and watch industries.

The Latest

EditorsMay 25, 2022
7 Standout Tiaras in Sotheby’s Platinum Jubilee Exhibition

Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator chooses the pieces she’d most want to see in person.

MajorsMay 25, 2022
Anne Hathaway Is Bulgari’s Newest Ambassador

The actress joins Zendaya and others in a new advertising campaign.

IndependentsMay 25, 2022
The Mexican Shack to Close After 47 Years

Owner Steve Delzio shares his thoughts on retirement after nearly five decades in the jewelry industry.

Brought to you by
Dive into GIA’s Pearl Expertise

When it comes to knowing the identity and quality of your pearls, count on GIA as your independent pearl experts.

IndependentsMay 25, 2022
Designer Theo Fennell Has Written a Memoir

“I Fear for This Boy” takes readers through the ups and downs of his business and is available for pre-order now.

Weekly QuizMay 19, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
IndependentsMay 25, 2022
MVEye, Wedding Report Partner on New Jewelry Research Platform

“Today’s Wedding Jewelry Consumer” shares data about engagement ring market size, lab-grown and natural diamonds, and more.

ColumnistsMay 24, 2022
The PR Adviser: 10 Questions to Contemplate

Columnist Lilian Raji wants to walk you through the customer journey. But first, she’d like you to answer a few questions.

Brought to you by
A.I. Grading is Changing Conversations at the Retail Counter

Advanced technology levels the playing field, helping jewelers give customers what they want.

Events & AwardsMay 24, 2022
8 Gold Jewelry Designers Unveil New Platinum Designs

Several Couture brands have partnered with Platinum Guild International ahead of the jewelry trade show.

Lab-GrownMay 24, 2022
Kendra Scott Unveils Lab-Grown Engagement Ring Collection

The jewelry company is moving into bridal just a month after branching out into the watch world.

Events & AwardsMay 24, 2022
WJA to Host Diversity Keynote at New Las Vegas Breakfast Event

The Generating Community Impact fundraiser on June 11 will feature Karine Bah Tahé of Blue Level Training.

WatchesMay 23, 2022
Steven Kaiser, Watch Industry Veteran and Beloved Mentor, Dies at 68

Kaiser, whose illustrious career spanned decades, died suddenly on Friday.

IndependentsMay 23, 2022
Long’s Jewelers to Open New Location

The family-owned jeweler is relocating its Braintree, Massachusetts, store to a new space.

IndependentsMay 23, 2022
Luxury Goods Veteran Olivier Stip Joins Chicago Jeweler CD Peacock

He will step into the retailer’s newly created role of chief development officer.

GradingMay 23, 2022
Gem-A Launches Digital Entry-Level Gemology Course

GemIntro is meant to give a broad introduction to gems and gemology.

Recorded WebinarsMay 20, 2022
Watch: Responsible Sourcing and the Gold Supply Chain

Three industry experts discuss “recycled” gold vs. mined, their challenges and benefits, and how jewelers can navigate the area.

FinancialsMay 20, 2022
Richemont’s 2022 Jewelry Sales in the Americas Nearly Double

Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Buccellati put on stellar performances.

AuctionsMay 20, 2022
Piece of the Week: ‘Birds in Flight’ by Oscar Heyman

The New York jeweler made this incredible, colorful Art Deco bracelet featuring tropical birds in 1927.

SurveysMay 19, 2022
5 Predictions for Jewelry Retail in the Second Half of 2022

From a slowdown in sales growth to rising costs, Fruchtman Marketing outlines its expectations for the second half of the year.

MajorsMay 19, 2022
As It Nears 75, Here’s How Grandview Klein Stays Competitive

Once a part of Julius Klein Group, the diamond company combines its direct supply and cutting expertise with a keen eye to the future.

CollectionsMay 19, 2022
Brilliant Earth Collaborates with Jade Trau

The two have partnered on a capsule collection.

MajorsMay 19, 2022
Jewelers Mutual Adds 2 Industry Veterans to Its Board

John A. Green of retailer Lux Bond & Green and Niveet Nagpal of Omi Privé have joined the board of directors as of May 18.

FinancialsMay 18, 2022
Watches of Switzerland’s Jewelry Sales More Than Doubled in Q4

The retailer also said demand for Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet watches continues to exceed its supply.

AuctionsMay 18, 2022
Jewels from Bette Midler Are Headed to Bonhams

The auction house’s upcoming sale also includes collections from American heiresses.

IndependentsMay 18, 2022
Jeweler Lewis Baribault Celebrates 50th Work Anniversary

The Connecticut jeweler reflected on five decades in the industry and what the future holds for the family business.

Events & AwardsMay 18, 2022
Visit A Mine in New Jersey With WJA New York Metro

The chapter has organized a day trip to the Sterling Hill Mine and Museum in Ogdensburg on Saturday, May 21.

SourcingMay 17, 2022
A New Source in Tanzania Is Producing Cobalt-Blue Spinel

The stones come from a deposit close to Mahenge and have been on the market for several months.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy