Diamond business fights again towards the lab-grown risk

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World miners enlist one of many world’s largest jewellers to advertise pure stones
The diamond mining business has joined forces with China’s largest jeweller to assist it promote pure stones, as issues rise concerning the risk from lab-grown diamonds. Hong Kong-listed Chow Tai Fook, which has greater than 4,452 shops in mainland China, mentioned it had signed a “strategic partnership” with the business foyer group the Pure Diamond Council to advertise mined diamonds in China. “The partnership goals to convey the worth of pure diamonds to Chinese language shoppers and improve their confidence and need for pure diamonds,” Chow Tai Fook mentioned. It added that the council was aiming to “absolutely reveal the core values and emotional significance of pure diamonds underlined by their preciousness, rarity, and uniqueness”.
The transfer is a part of a rising advertising push by the diamond mining business to counteract rising gross sales of lab-grown stones, that are chemically similar to mined diamonds. Danish jeweller Pandora mentioned this month it could solely promote lab-grown diamonds, a transfer that was condemned by the NDC and 4 different business teams. The NDC counts amongst its members the world’s largest miners together with De Beers, Alrosa, and Rio Tinto. It was launched final yr as a rebrand of the Diamond Producers Affiliation.
De Beers suffered its worst yr of diamond gross sales in nearly a decade in 2020 because the coronavirus pandemic led to a collapse in demand. Each the lab-grown and mined business need to seize shoppers as the worldwide financial restoration sparks a rebound in luxurious demand. Within the first quarter of this yr, Chow Tai Fook reported its same-store gross sales in mainland China had risen 141 % from a yr earlier.

There are two major strategies of manufacturing lab-grown diamonds: mimicking their pure formation utilizing excessive stress and excessive warmth, or through a course of referred to as chemical vapour deposition by which a single-crystal diamond “seed” grows by means of contact with a carbon-containing gasoline. Manufacturing of lab-grown diamonds rose from about 2m carats in 2018 to 6m-7m carats final yr, in keeping with consultancy Bain. The availability of mined diamonds has fallen from 152m carats in 2017 to 111m carats final yr. Greater than half of lab-grown diamonds are made in China, in keeping with Bain.

China is the world’s largest marketplace for diamond jewelry after the US. The NDC has been stepping up its pushback towards lab-grown diamonds. It complained this yr to the US Nationwide Promoting Division concerning the advertising of Silicon Valley lab-grown producer Diamond Foundry.
In response, the NAD really helpful Diamond Foundry modify its promoting by “clearly and conspicuously disclosing the origin” of its diamonds. However the physique final month additionally rebuked the NDC, saying it ought to “discontinue sure promoting claims evaluating mined diamonds with man-made diamonds” — together with that mined diamonds had decrease carbon emissions. Diamond
Foundry, whose backers embrace Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, final month chalked up a $1.8bn valuation after a $200m funding by Constancy.
Supply: Monetary Occasions

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