The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is in the USA for a three-day State visit. In the second leg of his tour, he met US President Joe Biden and the first lady in Washington on Wednesday. It is then that Mr. Modi presented a ‘Made in India diamond to Jill Biden.
The Prime Minister’s Office says it is a ‘Lab Grown 7.5 carat Green Diamond’. It is crafted with care and precision using state-of-the-art technology. The diamond bears all the hallmarks of excellence which are the 4C’s to perfection: Cut, Color, Carat, and Clarity.
About lab grown diamonds
The lab-grown diamond’s optical, physical, and chemical properties mimic that of earth-mined diamonds. It is made using wind and solar energy thereby making the diamond eco-friendly as well.
Certified by the gemological lab, IGI, it is said to emit only 0.028 grams of carbon per carat. The PMO released a statement saying, “It is a beacon of responsible luxury that symbolises India’s 75 years of freedom and sustainable International relations.” About the kar-e-kalamdani ‘papier mâché’ box made by artisans of Kashmir in which the diamond is housed, the PMO said, “It is indeed, an embodiment of India’s vibrant cultural tapestry.”
Proposal during the Union Budget of India
During the Union Budget 2023-24, tax relief on Lab Grown Diamonds was proposed to promote it. This industry has a huge potential to grow with high employability.
In her budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “To encourage indigenous production of LGD seeds and machines and to reduce import dependency, a research and development grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years. To reduce the cost of production, there is a proposal to review the custom duty rate on LGD seeds.”
Reasons of Popularity
Lab-grown diamonds are gaining huge popularity primarily because of their cheaper price than mined diamonds while both are identical in all aspects. With inflation, it makes sense to be money conscious regarding luxury goods.
Moreover, Millennials and Gen Z have an eco-conscious mindset and ethical concerns. Lab-grown diamonds have the potential to curb the influx of blood diamonds or conflict diamonds into the market as well.
For the uninitiated, blood diamonds are those that are mined in areas controlled by illegitimate forces and not an internationally recognized government of a nation. Such diamonds are sold to accumulate funds for radical groups to fight against the genuine or legal authorities of the country.