Diamonds In The Dust: Russia War Cuts Work For Gujarat

Photo by Bas van den Eijkhof on Unsplash

The Russia-Ukraine war has not spared even the diamond polishers of Surat in Gujarat. Large diamond factories across Surat have curtailed the workweek to 3-4 days, while smaller ones have downed shutters for now. The shortage of raw diamonds from Russia’s mines has left little to do for these polishing units. 

Silenced Bazaar

Surat is one of the world’s largest polishing hubs. However, workers are now sitting idle and grumbling as the weight of the War is being felt. 

Imports of new stones are down, and prices are falling. Everybody is complaining about US sanctions against Russia that have put exporters into a tough spot. 

Powerhouse

Russian mining giant Alrosa PJSC supplies about 1/3rd of the world’s raw gems.

The wedding season is around the corner in America, and more than half the diamonds are sourced from India. The industry is panic-stricken as American companies like Tiffany & Co. and Signet Jewelers have announced plans to suspend sales of Russian diamonds, and sanctions remain on hold.

To battle it out, India has been seeking delegations desperately for workarounds to sustain its position as the world’s largest exporter that cuts and polishes 9 of 10 stones.

Speaking Volumes

Russian raw diamonds, usually small, make up 40% of India’s diamond trade volume. The war with Ukraine has now hit this $18-billion trade. 

Too long? Here’s a one-liner: US sanctions on Russia’s diamonds take a toll on Surat’s diamond polishers; supply of raw diamonds has stopped to the diamond bazaar.

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