MUMBAI, March 2015 – Solitaire Gem Labs (SGL), which has 9 diamond-grading labs in India and a facility in London’s Hatton Garden diamond district, is now expanding in the Gulf Middle East to capture growing diamond and jewellery certification demand in the region.
SGL expects to open a lab in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with the support of the Saudi authorities, around the first week of April, SGL director Chirag Soni said.
SGL Riyadh will be established as a state-of-the-art lab with scientific instruments that help identify CVD and other simulants as well as diamond and gemstone treatments.
Saudi Arabia is the largest diamond jewellery retail market in the GCC region.
“It is a huge market to tap into and a great opportunity for us,” Soni said.
“The Middle East is a good consumer market because of high income levels and a strong taste for diamond jewellery.”
The lab, which will open in the Akaria Mall in Olaya district and target retailers and manufacturers, will harness the skills of highly trained gemmologists, and fills a gap for a certification lab in Saudi Arabia, Soni said.
SGL recently opened a lab and a take-in window in Dubai, which had immediate success.
Dubai is a leading hub for diamond trade.
A number of jewellery trade fairs, both business-to-business and consumer-facing, take place throughout the year in the Gulf Middle East, including Dubai and Qatar.