Indians yet to warm up to lab-grown diamonds, says Titan
Unlike in markets like the US, for Indians, diamonds are as much an investment as jewellery, and this makes them averse to lab-grown rocks, said Titan
Lab-grown diamonds are inarguably shiny, environment-friendly, inexpensive and possess practically every quality of their natural cousins, but still have failed to win the hearts of Indian consumers, going by the experience of India’s largest jewellery chain. According to Ajoy Chawla, CEO of Jewellery Division, Titan Co, lab-grown diamonds have not taken off in India because, for Indians, a diamond is as much an ornament as an investment.
The romantic tension between Indians and the natural stones comes as no shock as they stand strong in the motto ‘Diamonds are forever’ and see the stones as an investment option rather than a mere ornament or a fashion statement.
And for obvious reasons, lab-grown diamonds, though they ape the natural stones right from their texture to their chemical composition, have failed to fulfil the high standards of the Indian family. This is contrary to the US market wherein lab-grown diamonds now account for 20% of their market share.
“In India, at least, we are not seeing any demand [for lab-grown diamonds]. We have not heard of anything in any of our stores across all our brands that people come seeking for lab,” said Ajoy Chawla, CEO of Jewellery Division.
The company, which operates chains and outlets like Mia, and Tanishq, during an investors meeting, said it is now more keen on sourcing the natural stones of the best quality and has no plans of foraying into the lab-grown market shortly.
“People want certification: Can you please ensure that you also add to your guarantee that our products are natural?” said the company adding it will keep a close watch on how things change in the future.
“So, in the future, what will happen, how it will happen, we are watching and we will figure out how things play out,” it added.
“We are keeping a close watch. And we will, what options we want to explore as we go forward, we see that there is a big impact. But right now we are not seeing and we will keep a close watch,” it added.
However, the jewellery brand did take into account the impact of the increase in volume of the lab-grown diamonds but cast doubt on this having any impact on the pricing of the natural stones.
The company also noted the growing popularity of lab-grown diamonds which now hold 20% of the US market share.
It however limited the craze around diamonds to just engagement rings and said diamond penetrations in US households are not a common phenomenon, unlike the Indian consumers.
“In India, the solitaire is being bought not for young brides, but it is being bought for milestones. And a large part of solitaire is also investment led,” said the jewellery brand.