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DMCC hosts inaugural Lab-Grown Diamond Symposium to shape industry's future

11 july 2023

On Monday, the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) hosted the world’s first Lab-Grown Diamond Symposium, during which participants discussed opportunities and challenges to shape the long-term future and prosperity of the industry.

The Symposium, held under the theme 'Building Lab-Grown Diamonds’ Own Bright Future' welcomed over 230 stakeholders and industry experts including growers, manufacturers, retailers and financial institutions.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC welcomed the delegates and said: "The LGD Symposium is a first-of-its-kind and timely gathering looking critically at the issues facing this nascent, technology-driven industry. With over USD 1.5 billion of lab-grown diamonds traded through Dubai last year – a year-on-year increase of 126% –, we are witnessing first-hand the rapid rise of LGDs and their applications, from fine jewellery to semiconductors and heat sinks. This Symposium is a pivotal moment in the growth trajectory of LGD, firmly establishing a platform for dialogue among the global industry movers in order to secure the longevity and prosperity of this unique technology in the coming years."

The role of marketing and branding were addressed to ensure sustained demand for lab-grown diamonds; the ways in which sustainability and reputation contribute to the long-term reputational strength of lab-grown diamonds; and industry economics to improve the long-term fundamentals and profitability of the industry and meet supply chain funding requirements.

During the technology session, discussions were on how innovations such as more efficient reactors are making production more cost and energy efficient, as well as how the tech sector is more bankable than jewellery, giving rise to a broader range of opportunities for tech applications of LGDs. Finally, the session concluded that the price accessibility of LGDs means that they are not constrained to traditional jewellery designs, but should be marketed with wider applications.

Keynote speakers at the Symposium were Diamond Foundry’s Toby Cruse, who stated that the volume of natural and lab-grown products sold in the United States is nearly equal; Dr Ramachandra Rao from the Indian Institute of Technology; and industry veteran Tom Chatham, who shared some key learnings from across his family’s 85 years in the lab-grown industry.

DMCC has been a driving force in establishing the emirate as a leading global hub for the diamond trade by establishing an ecosystem that supports every aspect of the diamond trade. In 2021, the UAE became the top rough diamond hub in the world. The Lab-Grown Diamond Symposium will further contribute to the UAE’s position as a global trade hub and a world leader within the technology and precious stones industries.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished