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Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Latest Victims of China’s Power Crisis

  • Production of jewelry-grade gems falls by as much as 15%
  • Nearly half of all synthetic diamonds are produced in China

Photographer: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

The lab-grown diamond industry is the latest sector to feel the effects of China’s energy crisis -- and if the situation gets worse, consumers may find that special Christmas gift is suddenly a lot more expensive.

Output of jewelry-grade gems has dropped by about 10% to 15% for the past month or so, said Liu Houxiang, a consultant at the National Gemstone Testing Center, in a telephone interview. Roughly 7 million carats of jewelry-quality synthetic diamonds are produced globally each year, according to Liu, of which 3 million come from China.