Executive Chairman of South Africa’s De Beers Consolidated Mines, Barend Peterson has called for concerted efforts to prevent synthetic diamonds from infiltrating the market for genuine diamonds if the diamond industry is to be sustained.
The global synthetic diamond market continues to grow, threatening countries like Botswana that trade in genuine diamonds. “For the diamond industry to be sustainable, we should make sure that synthetic diamonds don’t find their way into our market,” said Peterson at the Diamond conference held in Gaborone this week.
According to the Research and Markets the global synthetic diamond market was valued at USD 16.83 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 23.8 billion by 2021, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.14% during the forecast period, 2016-2021.
The synthetic diamond market is driven by its low-cost as compared to the normal diamond and some natural diamond producers are gradually shifting to synthetic diamonds. The other driving factor is the increase in its demand in various end-user applications, since it can be modified as per the requirements of end-user industries.
Peterson said players in the industry should come together and find a common goal to ensure the sustainability of the diamond industry. Diamond Producers Association Jean-Marc Leiberherrr said there is need to be consistent in the diamond industry and be able to win the hearts of consumers especially new ones.
“There is need for alignment of what we are saying and what we are doing because these young consumers are looking or consistency. If they see that what we are saying is not aligned to what we are doing it will create a huge perception gap that can be very costly for us in the future,” he said.
Recently, Head of De Beers Global Sightholder Sales Corporate Affairs and Government Relations Pat Dambe, said they are not losing sleep over the threat posed by the synthetic diamond industry as they acquired technology to detect fake and synthetic diamonds from natural diamonds.
She said De Beers is focused on making sure that synthetic diamonds don’t infiltrate their market. The company has an innovation technological centre that has several different experts who understand synthetics. De Beers is one of the best diamonds producing company in the world for the past 50 years.