Will it be dearth or glut for the di­a­mond in­dus­try? The in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of syn­thetic stones, cou­pled with the ris­ing trend of sell­ing fam­ily heir­looms, has some spec­u­lat­ing that an over­sup­ply of di­a­monds is in the off­ing. Oth­ers ar­gue that the suppl

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for decades De Beers sold di­a­monds on the ba­sis of their eter­nal and unique ap­peal. Both these char­ac­ter­is­tics, how­ever, are be­ing un­seated by a new gen­er­a­tion of con­sumer that doesn’t ob­ject to syn­thetic di­a­monds and has fewer qualms about sell­ing pieces of di­a­mond jewellery handed down as heir­looms.

More­over, these two fac­tors are in­form­ing opinion about the fu­ture sup­ply of di­a­monds. In fact, they are chang­ing an­other long­stand­ing theme in the sec­tor that, even­tu­ally, the dearth of new di­a­mond dis­cov­er­ies will ma­te­ri­alise in a sim­ply enor­mous sup­ply deficit. Not so, say mar­ket com­men­ta­tors.

The tech­nol­ogy be­hind syn­thetic di­a­monds has grown leaps and bounds since the days when De Beers’ ex­ec­u­tives sucked their teeth when asked about the threat it poses. Mak­ing a di­a­mond in a lab­o­ra­tory was, quite frankly, a sac­ri­lege, given that a di­a­mond’s al­lure is heav­ily linked to its prove­nance.

The De Beers syn­thetic di­a­mond com­pany – El­e­ment Six – was cre­ated to con­tain fraud in the syn­thetic di­a­mond mar­ket, rather than ex­ploit it. These days, di­a­monds grown in the lab are is­sued with cer­tifi­cates mak­ing their con­sump­tion above board and, prop­erly branded, ac­cept­able. They are be­com­ing an ac­cepted part of sup­ply.

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