On the second day of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) Premiere 2017, chairman Praveenshankar Pandya announced renewed efforts on the part of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to eliminate mixing synthetic diamonds with natural diamonds.
Along with 12 countries, GJEPC has formed an international diamond monitoring committee to deal with the heretofore accepted norm of a small percentage of synthetics expected in the purchase of natural diamonds.
While not rejecting the synthetic diamond industry by any means, Pandya instead called for a separate and distinct footprint for both enterprises to build consumer confidence worldwide. To that end, the GJEPC is subsidizing India’s diamond purveyors by paying 50 percent of the cost of machines that can easily detect whether a diamond is natural or lab-grown.
“All who want to deal in synthetic diamonds are welcome to deal in synthetic diamonds and if they can market their synthetic diamonds, all the best to them,” says Pandya. “But if they cannot market their synthetic diamonds, and they want to broaden their market through natural diamonds, that is what we do not want. Synthetic will have to go its own way on its own back. It cannot go on the back of natural diamonds which has taken 40 to 50 years to reach what it is today.”
Meanwhile, the GJEPC is projecting a whopping 45 percent increase in handcrafted jewelry exports within the time of five years, soaring from $43 billion this year to $60 billion in 2022.
As for the 34th annual IIJS show thus far, Pandya is upbeat. “My exhibitors and the customers are quite happy as of today,” he says. “I think that’s the general feeling. I’m getting calls from everybody, even large customers, and I see that there is very good business. We cannot say how it has compared to last year but, thus far, foot traffic is much higher than last year.”
[Top: Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) chairman Praveenshankar Pandya.]