New Diamond Focus for Rio Tinto: India's Affordable Jewelry Sector

26/09/2016 07:32

Mining company Rio Tinto, a leading producer of smaller rough diamonds for the Indian market, aims to focus on the affordable diamond jewelry sector in India, according to a company official. "Affordable diamond jewelry has an average ticket price of Rs. 35,000 ($520)," said Vikram Merchant, director of Rio Tinto's India representative office. "This segment roughly constitutes 50 percent of the diamond jewelry industry in India."

The Australian diamond miner owns the Argyle mine in Western Australia and 60 percent of the Diavik mine in Canada and has a strong market share in India. Rio Tinto introduced the Nazrana brand in India several years ago, and is keen to expand in the affordable diamond jewelry sector which it believes has good growth potential. "Fifty percent of the diamond jewelry sales is wedding related. But the balance is the affordable jewelry segment, where the growth is expected to happen," Merchant said.

Young consumers in India have reasonable disposable income, and affordable diamond jewelry is gaining popularity in this segment. "In India, the diamond jewelry industry had been growing at 15 percent year-on-year for the last five years. However, growth in the last financial year had been somewhat muted due to the slowdown", he said.