Sustainable and affordable are the watchwords for Syndiora’s lab-grown diamonds, which are taking the Indian jewellery market by storm
“I wanted to come up with something that was more sustainable,” says Ankita Gupta, founder of Syndiora, the luxury lab-grown jewellery brand that is based in Mumbai. “Other jewellers in India weren’t aware of lab-grown diamonds. They did not know what value they hold,” she explains while discussing the transformative shift that has begun in India’s diamond industry.
In recent years, concerns about worker exploitation and environmental damage have led many consumers to seek alternatives to mined diamonds, opting for “lab-grown” jewels that replicate a real diamond’s chemical, physical and optical properties. Indeed, lab-grown diamonds are gaining an increasing share of the global diamond market each year. In India alone, three million of these diamonds are produced each year, comprising 15 per cent of global production – a surge that has seen the Indian government’s announcement in 2023 of new measures to facilitate the growth of lab-grown diamonds in the country.
For Ankita, who founded her sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly business in 2017, lots of self-belief was needed from the get-go. Not everyone was supportive. “They weren’t keen to accept how lab-grown had come to replace natural diamonds – even the thought was scary for the natural diamond industry,” she says. The challenge was to come up with a product that was sustainable, but also had value. To achieve this, “first of all we had to educate our clients about what we were selling: that there’s no difference between lab-grown diamonds and a test-tube baby – only the process is different.”
As soon as Ankita started cultivating this new way of thinking, customers were increasingly hooked. Many Indian women love diamonds but cannot afford them. Syndiora’s handcrafted gems are making this possible for a new eco-conscious generation. “I wanted to give the diamond experience to someone who had always dreamed of having one,” says Ankita. “Why not opt for lab-grown diamonds when they’re much more affordable?”
For jewellery aficionados on a budget, these diamonds are not just holding their own – they are changing the game. “The look and feel of a lab-grown diamond is no different to a natural one. Even gemologists with 50 years of experience can’t tell the difference.”