Lab-grown diamonds made it into another headline, when Jill Biden received the unique man-made stone as a gift from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the White House at the end of June. The stone, while unique and gorgeous on its own, is also a symbol of India's progress as an independent country.
The 7.5 carat Round diamond was certified by IGI, and has Ideal cut grade, along with F color grade and VVS2 clarity grades. Moreover, it displays the hearts and arrows pattern, which indicates the highest standards of cutting. However, it’s not only the size and high quality of the stone that makes it valuable. Grown in celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, it symbolizes how far the country has come after the decolonization from the British Empire.
Value of man-made diamonds coming from India saw an unprecedented spike from $274 million in 2018 to $1.29 billion in 2021. And this figure continues to rise. Currently, around 15% of all lab-grown diamonds come from India, according to its Ministry of Commerce. As the lab-grown diamonds get more and more attention from the public, so do they from India’s government. Earlier this year, the country’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the government’s five-year grants for research and development within the industry of lab-created diamonds.
While about 90% of all world’s diamonds - both mined and lab-grown - are polished in India, the country is currently set to become the world’s leading producer. It still has a lot to do to come even close to China, that currently accounts for around 50% of the global market of lab-created stones. However, the intent is certainly there, according to the diamond analyst Edahn Golan.
Lab-grown diamonds are in a unique place right now. Not only as a product, but as a symbol also. The gifted diamond is a symbol of the potential that the lab-grown diamond industry has. It is also a symbol of progress in general, moving towards sustainability. According to India Today, the growing process produced over 100 000 times less Co2 emissions than the production of a similar mined diamond would. The stone is also a symbol of India’s craftsmanship. Even the packaging of the gift, both papier mache filling and the box, were created by Indian artisans through the unique Indian production methods.
Lab-created diamonds as gifts bring the value that the person put into them. The emotional and symbolic value that can be far greater than any financial value they can have. Thus, they are in a unique place - to be the perfect gift for anyone, even for the First Lady.