China Set To Becoming Biggest Supplier Of Man-Made Diamonds In Booming Jewelry Market

Synthetic Diamond Supply
Jewels are seen in a Pandora jewellery shop in downtown Rome, Italy (Photo: Reuters)

China is one of the biggest consumers of mined diamonds in the world. The increasing middle-class and the boom in different industries have created an insatiable appetite for expensive jewelry in the country over the past few years. Now, analysts are revealing that China may be on track to becoming one of the largest suppliers of man-made diamonds and gems to the world market.

Naturally occurring diamonds are still the preferred material for jewelry. However, there is a huge market for synthetic diamonds in different industrial sectors. Man-made diamonds, created through a controlled process that involves extremely high pressures and temperatures, are still made from the same materials as real diamonds. This makes them equal to real diamonds in terms of strength and other properties such as thermal conductivity. Due to this fact, synthetic diamonds have become a cheaper alternative to industrial applications. This includes the use of these materials for cutting and machining tools, optical systems, electronics, and as thermal conductors.

Synthetic diamonds are also much easier to produce and are made in just a matter of weeks. Real diamonds, on the other hand, take billions of years. Different companies in China have mastered the technology to make these diamonds in bulk and with ample support; the country could become the biggest supplier of man-made diamonds in the world. Over the past decade, China has been a big producer of diamonds, making over 10 billion carats according to industry experts.

As of the moment, synthetic diamonds account for only 3 to 5 percent of the entire consumer diamond trade. However, with the improvement in diamond manufacturing, diamonds coming out of China are now starting to be upgraded into jewelry-quality materials. Experts predict the use of synthetic diamonds in jewelry may increase by as much as 22 percent in the coming years. Large diamond manufacturers in China, such as Sino-Crystal, have begun shifting their exports from industrial applications to jewelry. A number of other companies are following suit and are upgrading their production methods to produce higher quality diamonds that are fit to be used in jewelry.

Jewelry-quality diamonds are much more difficult to produce than regular synthetic diamonds used in industrial applications. However, they are much cheaper than natural diamonds and are indistinguishable from the real thing. With more Chinese companies now getting into the jewelry-quality diamonds manufacturing business, China may soon be directly competing with the current largest diamond producer, De Beers. 

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