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Laboratory-made gems are becoming increasingly accepted in other markets as demand from the US surges and India cuts or polishes 90% of the diamonds sold in the world.

Exports of polished lab-grown diamonds may double in the current financial year from $1.3 billion in the previous year, according to Vipul Shah, vice chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council. “We have a huge potential to grow exports to $7 billion-$8 billion in the next few years on the back of US demand and acceptability in the UK and Australia,” he said.

“It is going to be treated as fashionable jewelry, which is affordable to the youngsters, and that’s the way the market is going to shift,” Shah said.

The market for polished diamonds mined naturally last year was nearly $24 billion, and diamonds grown in labs represented a small portion of that. In spite of the lower price, the synthetic variety continues to grow in popularity since it has the same physical characteristics and chemical makeup as mined gemstones. Experts need a machine to differentiate between mined and synthetic gems.

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