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Glittering India

The Gems and Jewellery sector plays a significant role in the Indian economy, contributing around 7% of the country’s GDP. It also employs over 4.5 mn workers. One of the fastest growing sectors, it is extremely export oriented and labour intensive.

The industry has gained global popularity because of its talented craftsmen, its superior practices in cutting and polishing fine diamonds and precious stones and its cost-efficiencies.

Based on its potential for growth and value addition, the Government of India (GoI) has declared the gems and jewellery sector as a focus area for export promotion. The industry has generated USD 38.6 bn of revenue from exports in 2015-16, making it the second largest exporter after petrochemicals. Further, during April-December 2015, India also imported approx. USD 17.3 bn worth of raw material for gems and jewellery.

India is an attractive destination for diamond polishing and is a major importer of rough diamonds. The imports of rough diamonds have steadily increased from USD 9 bn in FY 2010 to USD 16.8 bn in FY 2015.

India is also one of the largest importers of gold, importing 968 tonnes of gold worth USD 31.8 bn in FY 2016. Total import of gold, precious metals, and rough diamonds in FY 2016 amounted to around USD 56.5 bn.

The sector is thus contributing enormously to the country's foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) and the GoI is seeing the sector as a thrust area for export promotion.

The GoI has permitted 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector under the automatic route. 
for more details refer FDI Policy 


  • India is the largest diamond processing centre in the world and accounts for 95% of world’s processed diamonds
  • Gems and jewellery sector is the second largest foreign exchange earner in the Indian economy; contributing ~15% to the total export earnings of the country
  • There are an estimated 250,000 small and large shops, 28,000 processing units, 6,000 offices and workforce of around 4.5 mn people

Industry Scenario

Gems & jewellery sector market size is about 7% of the country’s GDP.

Gems & jewellery industry in India has grown at a CAGR of over 14.8% over the last 50 years and is expected to provide employment opportunities to more than 8.2 mn persons by 2022.

Gems & Jewellery could be divided in the following subsectors:

  •   Diamonds
  •   Gemstones
  •   Pearl
  •   Gold, Silver & Platinum Jewellery


India is the world’s leader in cutting and polishing Diamonds due to its price competitiveness and willingness to work at lower margins. 14 out of every 15 diamonds are polished in India. India’s diamond industry has been contributing 60% of world’s supply in terms of value, 85% in terms of volume and 92% in terms of pieces. India is also the 3rd largest consumer of polished diamonds and consumes  8% of the global polished Diamonds.

Gold jewellery forms around 80% of the Indian jewellery market, with the balance comprising fabricated studded jewellery that includes diamond studded as well as gemstone studded jewellery.

Growth Drivers

  • Employment generation (skilled & semi-skilled)

    4.5 mn

  • Contribution to country's total commodity exports (FY15)


  • Industry CAGR (2014-19)


  • Contribution to GDP

    ~ 7%

Key policies

BIS Hallmarking Scheme

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has revised the standard on gold hallmarking in India from January 2018. The gold jewellery hallmark will now carry a BIS mark, purity in carat and fitness as well as the unit’s identification and the jeweller’s identification mark. The move is aimed at ensuring a quality check on gold jewellery.

Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20

Exporters of gems and Jewellery can import / procure duty free input for manufacture of export product.

The schemes are as follows:

(i) Advance Procurement / Replenishment of Precious Metals from Nominated Agencies;

(ii) Replenishment Authorisation for Gems;

(iii) Replenishment Authorisation for Consumables;

(iv) Advance Authorisation for Precious Metals.

Gold Monetisation Scheme

a) Mr Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, Government of India, launched the Gold Monetisation Scheme in November 2015. This scheme enables individuals, trusts and mutual funds to deposit gold with banks and earn interest on the same in return.
b) The designated banks accept gold deposits under the Short Term (1-3 Years) Bank Deposit as well as Medium (5-7 years) and long (12-15 years) Term Government Deposit Schemes.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) benefits to gems and jewellery


a) Rate of duty on cut and polished colored gemstones changed from 2.5% to 5%.

b) Rate of duty on diamonds including lab grown diamonds-semi processed, halfcut or broken; non-industrial diamonds including lab-grown diamonds (other than rough diamonds), including cut and polished diamonds changed from 2.5% to 5%.

c) Rate of duty on Imitation Jewellery changed from 15% to 20%.

Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

a) The Government of India launched the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme. This scheme enables the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue gold bonds denominated in grams of gold individuals in consultation with Ministry of Finance.
b) This scheme provides an alternative to owning physical gold. It is aimed at keeping a check on imports of gold.

FDI Facts

  • The cumulative FDI (USD) in diamond and gold ornaments between April 2000 and September 2017

  • FDI is permitted under the automatic route in this sector

  • CAGR for cumulative FDI in diamond and gold ornaments in India FY 2008-17

Recent Investments

  • January 2018 - De Beers Group invests USD 5 mn in Surat diamond grading unit. The facility, employing about 100 people, has the capacity to process diamonds worth over USD 500 mn every year.

  • February 2017 - London’s ultra-luxury jeweller for the super-rich, Faberge, owned by the world’s top emeralds and rubies-miner Gemfields Plc., has decided to enter India.

  • October 2017 - South India-based Kalyan Jewellers has lined up investment of about USD 21.2 mn to expand its footprint in the Uttar Pradesh market.

  • August 2017 - Jewellery major, Joyalukkas has decided to invest USD 94.4 mn in the current fiscal to expand its retail footprint in India, where it is expecting to increase its turnover by 18.9% in the current financial year to USD 1.3 bn.

Major Investors