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Major India Trade Body Adds Lab-Grown Membership

Dec 27, 2020 5:55 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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RAPAPORT... India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has introduced a new membership category for lab-grown diamond traders.

GJEPC members can now opt to identify themselves as lab-grown diamond businesses, enabling others to know that they are active in this area, the organization told Rapaport News Friday. The move would help the sector expand, and followed requests from members, it added.

All of the council’s roughly 7,000 members sign up for a specific category, known as a “panel.” These include diamonds, gold jewelry, silver jewelry and colored stones. Previously, lab-grown diamond companies enrolled through a broad category covering all types of synthetic stones.

“As an export promotion council, we represent all verticals of the gem and jewelry industry,” a GJEPC spokesperson said. “Lab-grown diamonds is a new vertical that has potential for growth, and an exclusive panel would further help and support this segment to grow.”

The GJEPC first revealed it was considering the new category last year, arguing that the extra transparency would provide more clarity about the number of companies dealing in synthetic diamonds. It’s still too early to say how many council members are active in the sector, the spokesperson noted Friday.

As of the 2018-19 financial year, 43 companies were members of the synthetic-stones panel, compared with 2,581 in the natural-diamond category, according to data on the GJEPC website. Total membership of the council numbered 7,012.

The lab-grown diamond trade has burgeoned since then, with polished exports out of India jumping 54% year on year to $276.1 million in the eight months from April to November 2020, according to figures the GJEPC released last week.

Meanwhile, members of the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai are due to vote this Monday on whether to lift a 2015 ban on lab-grown trading, as first reported by Rapaport News last week. The board of the exchange has recommended the rule change, arguing that detection has improved.

Image: A rough lab-grown diamond. (Lightbox)
Tags: BDB, Bharat Diamond Bourse, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, GJEPC, India, Joshua Freedman, lab-grown diamonds, mumbai, Rapaport News, Synthetic diamonds, Synthetics
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