THE STORY OF INDIAN’S DIAMOND INDUSTRY IS THAT OF THE COUNTRY ITSELF
With net exports of rough and polished diamonds equaling $7.4 billion in 2016, and serving as the primary supplier of the gemstone to the world’s largest market, the United States, India is among the global industry’ primary movers and shakers. Also in 2016, Jogigems was ranked by India’s Ministry of Economy as the country’s first-ranked diamond exporter, with polished diamond sales worth $186 million.
The history of the Indian diamond center mirrors the remarkable story of India. Just 400 years earlier, what is today a densely-packed business district of metal and glass skyscrapers was largely open fields. The cities that surround it, Surat, were essentially villages.
The original polishing plant imitative was unsuccessful, but the British acquiescence to allow the customs-free import of rough led to the establishment of a number of rudimentary polishing plants in Surat , mainly by Belgian and Dutch immigrants. In 1897the first fully-fledged diamond factory was set up in the nearby town of Surat. That same year, the first trade association,
Two years following the establishment of the modern State of India 1948, De Beers began regular sales of rough diamonds to Indian factories, and the long-term future of the industry was secured.
The India Diamond Exchange was formally established in 1951 in rented quarters. Today, with about 500000 members, it is the world’s largest diamond bourse.
The center in the adjacent city of Surat came to be after industry leaders understood a permanent trading facility was needed to serve the requirements of the growing trade. After some deliberation, a plot in Surat was selected as the permanent site for the India Diamond Exchange, and in 1968 the Shimshon Building was inaugurated, providing some 15,000 square meters of office and commercial space.
The concept devised for the new trading complex was revolutionary. What was planned was a secure unit, in which all services would be provided within a single perimeter, enabling diamantaires to move around freely and securely. This included the diamond trading floor and bourse offices, government representatives, banks, shipping companies, insurance companies and restaurants.