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RapNet not to provide trading platform for lab diamonds

Synthetic or lab-grown diamonds are the new rival for natural diamonds.

, ET Bureau|
Jun 06, 2019, 11.20 AM IST
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RapNet, the Rapaport Network, was created by Martin Rapaport in 1980 to provide a platform for electronic diamond trading.
Kolkata: Indian diamond trade, which started the financial year on a bleak note following a 17.64 per cent drop in exports of cut and polished diamonds in April, heaved a sigh of relief as Martin Rapaport’s RapNet, the world’s largest and most trusted diamond trading network, will not provide a trading platform for synthetic diamonds.

Synthetic or lab-grown diamonds are the new rival for natural diamonds. RapNet, the Rapaport Network, was created by Martin Rapaport in 1980 to provide a platform for electronic diamond trading.

RapNet will stay away from publishing any price list for synthetic diamonds. RapNet currently provides daily diamond listings of 9,30,000 natural diamonds worth over $6.2 billion dollars. It has over 7,000 members of the diamond trade in 80 countries.

Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) received a communication from the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) stating Martin Rapaport sent a proposal asking clients on what was their take on starting a price list for synthetic stones and secondly, what does the industry feels about creating a “natural diamond organisation.”

In the communication to GJEPC, WFDB said that Rapaport should refrain from publishing any price list for synthetic diamonds, and or any listing of synthetics on Rap-Net. WFDB added that the creation of “natural diamond organisation” will become a source of confusion that would not serve our members and the industry in any way. WFDB also advised its members from taking part in the poll to vote “no” to both questions.

“The overwhelming rejection of a price list for lab-grown diamonds by the industry had put pressure on Mr Rapaport not to publish one. Mr Rapaport also reiterated at the recently concluded JCK Las Vegas show that industry should do whatever was required to protect the natural diamond industry for the sheer number of jobs it creates and the positive impact it has on the society,” said Colin Shah, vice-chairman, GJEPC said. Industry executives say that around 5 million carats of synthetic diamonds are produced globally.

India is the biggest hub of cutting and polishing of natural rough diamonds. India exports 93 per cent of the world’s polished diamonds worth $23 billion. It is said that 14 out of 15 diamonds set in jewellery worldwide are processed in India and about one billion stones are polished every year here.

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