The Diamond Industry at Present

30Not much is said about the diamond industry in mainstream and even in online media. Many love diamonds but not many care about the industry behind it. There are interesting things about it worth knowing about, though.

In the eyes of a diamantaire

Diamantaire Patrick Saada has interesting insights on the ever-changing diamond industry. He started his career in the diamond trade in the early 1990s, working as a trader in the rough diamond market. He worked for Belgium’s Steinmetz Diamond Group. Within a few years, he was promoted to company director, taking responsibility for the management of all aspects of the Steinmetz group’s Antwerp operations.

More than a decade later, Saada mastered every nook and cranny of the diamond industry including the manufacturing aspect, rough classification, international sourcing, and marketing. It goes without saying that he has a lot of sensible insights to share.

Reduced roles of middlemen

The diamond industry at present has seen the diminished involvement of middlemen. This is something Saada can attest to. He says that the parties in the diamond supply pipeline have changed. Before, brokers and dealers played a major part in the distribution of rough diamonds. Now, they are slowly being taken out of the picture.

This may be considered as a welcome development as it somewhat makes the diamond distribution pipeline more efficient. This is particularly good in light of the prevalence of the internet and the digitalization happening in industries worldwide.


Shift in manufacturing centres

Another notable change in the diamond industry is demonstrated by what’s happening with the manufacturing centres. Israel and Belgium are regarded as traditional manufacturing centres, but they have almost completely lost their standing as they faced competition from Indian manufacturers as well as the government-supported centres in South Africa, Botswana, and other parts of southern Africa.

Competition from synthetic diamonds

Moreover, it’s worth pointing out that synthetic diamonds are becoming more popular and are affecting the demand for natural diamonds. While the percentage of lab-grown diamonds in the market, at around 3%, is not that high yet, it is clearly posing a threat. Saada sees synthetic diamonds continuing their growth in the years to come, at an exponential rate.


Saada, however, considers compliance as the biggest change in the diamond industry. For him, compliance is becoming more and more important. Compliance affects not only the mining of diamonds, but also its sourcing, purchasing, and manufacture (cutting and production of jewellery). Compliance is seen to become more crucial across the many aspects of the diamond trade.

Changes in the diamond industry are inevitable. Diamond producers can do nothing but to adapt. It’s important to be in tune with the times not only when it comes to crafting techniques and designs but also when it comes to the economic and compliance aspects.