Synthetic Units in Gujarat under Scanner

Surat: The small diamond cutting and polishing pockets in Saurashtra and north Gujarat regions are under scanner following recovery of 110 synthetic polished diamonds from traders in Surat’s Mini Bazaar diamond market. It was found that these synthetic diamonds were cut and polished in Bhavnagar, reports The Times of India.

According to industry experts, along with natural diamonds, a large quantity of synthetic HPHT diamonds — around Rs 2,000 crore worth — are imported from China per annum. They have been finding their way to small diamond cutting units in Palitana, Visnagar, Visavadar, Gariyadhar, Gadhda, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Savarkundla and Bhavnagar. These units are mainly run from houses and residential societies.

There are around 4,000 small and medium diamond units in Saurashtra and north Gujarat that process the synthetic diamonds for the diamantaires in Surat and Mumbai.

Vitthal Mendapra, president, Bhavnagar Diamond Association (BDA) told TOI, “Bhavnagar is the trading centre for polished diamonds. We are trying to find out the links for synthetic diamonds, which has earned a bad name to Indian diamond industry.” He pointed out, “Big players could be involved in these illegal practice.”

Dinesh Navadia, president, SDA said, “The issue has been taken up by the Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee (NDMC) set up by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). They will now investigate these small units in Saurashtra and north Gujarat.”

Two days ago, the diamond traders from the city’s Mini Bazaar diamond market detected around 110 pieces of synthetic diamonds that were sourced from Bhavnagar.

Experts said that the synthetic HPHT diamonds are produced in laboratory and are very much identical to natural diamonds. “The synthetic white rough diamonds are cheap and are priced as low as Rs 1,500 per carat. Since the diamonds are small in size, one could get tiny diamonds below one cent after the final processing,” said a diamond merchant Shailesh Patel.

A technology expert from the leading diamond gemological laboratory told TOI, “Even for the diamond merchants who are into the business since many years, it is difficult to identify the synthetic polished diamonds. The magnetism technique to detect synthetic stones is not enough. There is a gemological process to detect these stones which is time consuming.”