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.

20220305_SRK Green.png
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. 

20220305_Botswana resized.png
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.
 
20220305_fancy.png
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

Stock image of a gavel
CrimeJun 14, 2024
2 Men Sentenced to Life in 2022 Murder of Detroit-Area Jeweler

In court, Daniel Hutchinson’s loved ones remembered the jeweler as a giver, a role model, and a leader.

Billie Bangle
CollectionsJun 14, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Trau’s ‘Billie’ Bangle

Take a walk along this bangle’s diamond “cobblestone” made from round-, pear-, and marquise-cut diamonds.

Graphic with headshots for My Next Question 2024 Las Vegas webinar
Recorded WebinarsJun 14, 2024
Watch: What Happened in Vegas in 2024

The National Jeweler editors discuss the hot topics, best jewels, and current trends that stood out during Jewelry Market Week.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Vera Wang Love True lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsJun 13, 2024
Signet Awaits Engagement Recovery as Q1 Sales Sink 9%

The company is expecting to see a 5 to 10 percent increase in engagements this year.

Weekly QuizJun 13, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
QVC HSN logo
MajorsJun 13, 2024
HSN, QVC Parent Company Faces Delisting

Qurate Retail is in the middle of a turnaround plan as it battles declining sales.

45.07-carat step cut fancy vivid yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 13, 2024
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction

Signed jewels and period pieces stood out at the sale.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Marie Lichtenberg Scapular necklace
TrendsJun 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: For the Fathers

Showcase your dad’s personal style with a piece of fine jewelry for Father’s Day.

The Eden Rose Diamond
AuctionsJun 12, 2024
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie’s

“The Eden Rose” is a fancy intense pink diamond that was appearing at auction for the first time.

Charles & Colvard moissanite ring
GradingJun 12, 2024
IGI to Grade Charles & Colvard Moissanite

The partnership follows the launch of the jewelry company’s B2B moissanite platform.

Edward Arthur Jewelers logo
IndependentsJun 11, 2024
Edward Arthur Jewelers to Close After 53 Years

Owner Randy Brooks, whose brother opened the Maryland jewelry store in 1971, is retiring.

Greenwich St jewelers pride raffle
IndependentsJun 11, 2024
Greenwich St. Jewelers Is Hosting a Pride Month Raffle

Tickets to win a ring are for sale until June 13, with proceeds going to a trans care nonprofit.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsJun 11, 2024
Vegas Musings: Equal Parts Noise and Inspiration

Fresh off Jewelry Market Week 2024, Peter Smith separates the positive—retail and product innovation—from the positively annoying.

Katherine Jetter CASE Award winning ring
Events & AwardsJun 11, 2024
The 2024 CASE Awards Are Open for Entries

Submissions will be accepted now through July 17.

Swarovski New York City flagship
IndependentsJun 10, 2024
State of Retail: 4 Retail Design Trends for 2024

From lighter color palettes to the integration of AR, experts offer inspiration for jewelers in need of an aesthetic refresh.

Van Cleef & Arpels 1929 tie necklace
AuctionsJun 10, 2024
Van Cleef & Arpels Necklace From 1929 Sells for $3.6M at Auction

The rare piece went home with a Sotheby’s executive.

Woman shopping
SurveysJun 10, 2024
Consumer Confidence Rises in May Despite Anxiety About the Future

Expectations of a recession rose for the second consecutive month.

Sotheby’s watch executives Sam Hines and Geoff Hess
WatchesJun 10, 2024
Sotheby’s Makes Changes at Top of Watch Division

Sam Hines returns to the auction house as chairman, watches, while Geoff Hess moves up to the role of global head of watches.

Elephants wading in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
SourcingJun 10, 2024
State of the Diamond Industry: Botswana Beyond Diamonds

From moringa to ecotourism in the Okavango Delta, the country and its leaders are exploring how Botswana can diversify its economy.

Seymour Holtzman
IndependentsJun 07, 2024
Seymour Holtzman of CD Peacock Dies at 88

He was remembered by loved ones as “an authentic, original American entrepreneur.”

45 carat yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 07, 2024
Phillips to Auction 45-Carat Yellow Diamond

The stone features rare step-cut faceting and is estimated to sell for up to $3.5 million.

Tabayer Oera ‘Unity’ Ring
CollectionsJun 07, 2024
Piece of the Week: Tabayer’s Oera ‘Unity’ Ring

Crafted in Fairmined gold with a rainbow of agate, the ring is a joyful symbol of inclusivity, diversity, and solidarity.

INS Show_NJ Supplier eBlast Banner.jpg
Supplier BulletinJun 06, 2024
Join INSTORE This August in Rosemont!

Grab Your Free Show Badge Today. Sponsored by INSTORE

Sarah Alden
IndependentsJun 06, 2024
GoFundMe Launched Following Jeweler’s Murder

Vintage jewelry seller Sarah Alden, 53, died after a brutal attack at the Venice Canals in Los Angeles.

Sylvester Stallone Sotheby’s watch
AuctionsJun 06, 2024
Sotheby’s Auction of Sylvester Stallone’s Watches Was a Knockout

The auction house sold all 11 watches from the “Rocky” star’s collection, with his Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime setting a new record.

Stock image of a gavel
CrimeJun 06, 2024
2 Men Found Guilty in 2022 Murder of Detroit-Area Jeweler

A jury convicted Marco Bisbikis and Roy Larry in the murder-for-hire plot targeting Daniel “Hutch” Hutchinson, owner of Hutch’s Jewelry.

×

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