Laboratory and natural mines "on an equal footing": is the spring of China's gem grade diamond cultivation coming?
Recently, the international authoritative jewelry appraisal and grading organization GIA (American Gem Institute) announced that it will adopt a new version of the certificate from July, no longer using the title of synthetic diamond, but renamed lab grown diamond. This is in response to the action of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) last year: the description of "synthetic" is no longer recommended for non naturally mined diamonds.
In May 2018, diamond giant De Beers announced high-profile that it would enter the field of diamond cultivation jewelry and launch a new brand called Lightbox, which immediately aroused heated discussion in the industry and believed that the outlet for gem grade diamond cultivation had come. In fact, China has always been a large producer of diamonds cultivated in the laboratory. According to the Research Report on the development status and prospects of synthetic diamonds launched in 2016, China's synthetic diamond output accounts for more than 90% of the global total.
Henan has always been a major diamond producing province cultivated by laboratories. The above report lists 8 major domestic synthetic diamond manufacturers, of which 5 are located in Henan and distributed in Zhengzhou, Xuchang and other places. These enterprises mainly produce cultivated diamonds for industrial fields, but they are also slowly transforming in recent years and trying to cultivate gem grade diamonds.
In fact, the cost of cultivating diamonds is not low. High investment is required in the initial plant, equipment and later R & D. From the perspective of upstream suppliers, the technology gap between major domestic manufacturers is not particularly large. Even if some manufacturers are technologically advanced and can make two or three carats of cultivated diamonds, with the maturity of the industry, everyone will develop to the level of two or three carats of diamonds, which is already the upper limit of the mainstream consumer market. It is meaningless to develop to five or six carats or even greater, because consumers will not buy such large diamonds. Therefore, the future competition is not in technology, but in cost control. At that time, the raw material end will become a price war. In the long run, the added value of selling raw materials is not high, and it is easy to be affected by the market.
Not only the rise of domestic enterprises, foreign brands also see the Chinese market. At the end of last year, diamond foundry, a laboratory cultivation diamond enterprise established in California, USA, announced that it would enter the Chinese diamond market and set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Shanghai and a diamond grinding factory in Xi'an. In terms of jewelry retail, the price of cultivated diamonds is significantly lower than that of natural diamonds, but brands with different positioning also have their own differences. It is understood that the price of one carat of pink diamond, blue diamond and white diamond of Lightbox is $800; Caraxy's single diamond ring, 50 minutes in size, costs between 5000 and 8000 yuan, and one carat costs more than 10000 to 20000 yuan; Diamond foundry's single diamond ring, 50 minutes in size, sells for about 7000 yuan, while customized diamonds with more than 1.5 carats sell for more than 10000 to more than 30000 yuan; Although multicolor produces and distributes 0.01 to 3 carats of diamonds and cultivates panchromatic color diamonds, its micro store and Jingdong flagship store mainly focus on smaller carats of multi diamond jewelry, with prices ranging from more than 1000 to more than 9000 yuan.
At present, domestic gem grade cultivated diamonds are mainly produced in Henan, because the basis for cultivating gem grade diamonds and industrial grade diamonds is the same, and Henan itself is the production center of industrial diamonds all over the world; Jewelry processing is mainly in Shenzhen, Panyu and other places in Guangdong. However, with the development of the market, the situation may also change. In fact, there are production plants in the northeast, Xi'an, Shanghai, Beijing and other places, but the largest is Henan, where the sales of several companies specializing in industrial diamond cultivation can reach tens of billions. In the future, the gem grade cultivation diamond market will become more and more mature, and it does not rule out that Henan will develop supporting jewelry industries, such as jewelry processing, diamond cutting, etc.