Several diamantaires have put Surat's reputation as the world's biggest polishing centre at stake by mixing lab-grown diamonds with natural ones.
Most synthetic diamonds are mixed with the stars and
melees which are diamonds below seven cents. Out of 10 jewellery
articles sold globally, nine are studded with parcels of stars and
melees processed in Surat, Bhavnagar or Amreli.
cost barely a tenth of natural diamonds. Stars and melees cost between
Rs 40,000 and Rs 60,000 per carat and diamantaires earn a huge profit by
mixing these cheap synthetic diamonds valued at Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000
per carat with the natural ones.
According to market estimates,
Rs 500 crore to Rs 1,000 crore worth of synthetic diamonds imported
from China are mixed with the natural diamond parcels every month from
Surat and sold in markets.
"Selling synthetic diamonds is not a
crime, but they should come with proper disclosure. Some industry
players are indulging in illegal practices to make quick bucks," said an
office-bearer of Surat Diamond Association.
The problem has touched alarming proportions forcing the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to form a special committee to look into the issue.
GJEPC chairman Vipul Shah said, "Few who are putting the industry's
reputation at stake. It is suggested that consumer confidence be
maintained through segregation of the natural and man-made diamonds
value chain and disclosures be made at every step."