Lab-Grown Diamonds Set to Fill Projected Deficit

Synthetic diamondsSingapore: Technological developments in the production of grown diamonds embody a significant opportunity as researchers predict demand will double in the next ten years, according to a report from Better Diamond Initiative.

Advances in the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology allow the creation of large synthetic stones of jewellery-quality colour and clarity, said the report published on the Better Diamond Initiative website on September 22, citing Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly.

Singapore-based grown-diamonds manufacturer IIa Technologies Pte Ltd told the Weekly the growth opportunity has arisen because the gems and jewelry industry absorbs almost all of the mined diamond output, which is already projected to decline. In addition, the unpredictable quality of excavated produce makes it difficult to use it in high-technology applications. Grown diamonds are also filling an important gap as a new source of raw material for the manufacturing and energy companies.

“The beauty of the IIa grown-diamond process is that we have developed this technology to culture only the rarest type-IIa diamonds, which are known to have the least amount of impurities and are extremely rare in the diamond industry,” IIa Technologies chief executive officer Vishal Mehta, said. Carbon emissions for mined diamonds are estimated at 57000g/ct, while those for grown diamonds pegged at 0.028g/ct, he added.

In a report published last year, Grown Diamond Impact 2050, consulting firm Frost & Sullivan said the global mined-diamond supply is estimated to plunge to 13-million carats in 2050, from a projected 133-million carats in 2014. It predicted a steady increase in demand was likely to lead to a shortage of about 248-million carats by 2050.

The report from last year estimated the scale of grown-diamond output at about 360 000 ct. It expected production to reach almost two-million carats by 2018 and more than 20 million carats by 2026. In the next 30 years, it predicted, grown diamonds will become a dominant player in high-technology applications.

This is great news for the grown-diamond industry as trends of accepting grown diamonds as a legitimate diamond product are emerging, Mehta said.