Can’t decide whether to stay with natural diamonds or embrace lab grown? Go to the source and see for yourself! India, with 95% of the world’s gem cutters, currently delivers 90% of the world’s cut and polished diamonds, according to the Indian government’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
The traditional hub of its diamond industry is Mumbai, where the world famous Diamond Bourse (trading center) is located. The newly emerging center of the lab grown diamond industry is 185 miles away in Surat, with vast tracts of new factories emerging seemingly overnight, strongly supported by the Indian government. Offering an unprecedented scale and quality of production in a single, centralized location, Indian manufacturers leverage ancient jewelry traditions dating back 5000 years with up to the minute cutting-edge technology.
The Indian Government’s GJEPC generously offers hosted, expense paid trips for qualified buyers from around the world to come to India, meet some of its key suppliers (it has 8000 members), view their products and generate relationships with suppliers of loose diamonds, finished diamond jewelry and jewelry manufacturers. You can find suppliers with ready-made collections, as well as manufacturers for your “white label” or custom lines.
There are no buying requirements on these trips. The trips are Deluxe packages, including 5 star hotels, all meals and entertainment, and a generous travel allowance. Shows include visits to the local factories, including the Mumbai Diamond Bourse and the vast emerging lab created diamond industry in Surat.
I’ve been on several of these trips myself, enjoyed them tremendously, and found great gem, jewelry and manufacturing contacts. Hosted jewelers range from some of the largest, most prominent major US jewelry companies, to mid majors, independents, as well as jewelry wholesalers, designers, manufacturers and gem/diamond dealers. Those attending offer rave reviews, and many continue to return to find new suppliers and develop ongoing relationships with existing suppliers. Retailers often use these colorful trips to generate buzz for their clientele. “I’m going to India in a couple months and can hand pick an incredible diamond or custom made piece of jewelry for you – directly from the source. Put in your orders now!”
The next trip to Mumbai is September 29-30, with an October 1 visit to factories. For those wishing to continue to Surat, GJEPC will fly you from Mumbai to Surat on October 2. The Surat show is October 3-5, including visits to factories.