Diamond business in India


India has been associated with diamond business since times immemorial and has been trading in diamonds, taxing them and exporting them from at least the 4th century BC. At one time India was the only source of diamonds in the world. They traded with Rome in ancient times via the Port of Barygaza (Bharuch) and in medieval times with the Portuguese via the port of Goa.

India’s diamond industry, which is estimated to grow by an average 10 to 15 percent each year in the next five years, accounts for 70 - 75 percent of total diamond exports in the world and employs 850,000 people, making it the largest cutting hub by value and number of employees. The cutting and polishing of diamonds occur mainly in the city of Surat, which is also known as 'Diamond City'. The cutting and polishing units in Surat vary from large firms employing several thousands of diamond cutting and polishing workers to very small informal enterprises having a few workers. The larger Cutting and Polishing of Diamonds (CPD) units have relatively better work and employment conditions and even provide for elaborate benefits.


India is one of the earliest known sources of diamonds. Indian Diamond Industry is a pioneer in the gem industry and a world leader in the manufacturing of cut and refined diamonds. Diamonds today nine out of every ten come from India which is used in jewellery worldwide. Indian Diamond Industry is mainly involved with cutting, polishing and exporting diamonds. Three decades ago, the Indian diamond industry was a scattered cottage industry. Today it has gradually evolved into modern, mechanized and large scale operation. As India has the art laser machines and lathes, most of the medium and large-sized diamond factories are well operational.