Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a ‘Made in India’ diamond to US first lady Jill Biden.

Modi met US President Joe Biden and the first lady after reaching Washington on Wednesday (EST) as part of second leg of his three-day State visit of US.

According to the Prime Minister’s office, the gift is a ‘Lab Grown 7.5 carat Green Diamond’. It is sculpted with precision and care using cutting-edge technology. It emits only 0.028 grams of carbon per carat and is certified by the Gemological lab, IGI.

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It bears the hallmarks of excellence through the 4C’s: Cut, Colour, Carat and Clarity. “It is a beacon of responsible luxury that symbolises India’s 75 years of freedom and sustainable International relations,” a statement from the Prime Minister Office said.

‘Papier mâché’ is the box in which the Green Diamond is placed. Known as kar-e-kalamdani, Kashmir’s exquisite Papier mâché involves sakthsazi or meticulous preparation of paper pulp and naqqashi, where skilled artisans paint elaborate designs.  A confluence of timeless tradition and craftsmanship, it excludes opulence and intricate motifs and graceful simplicity, which makes every piece of this timeless craft, a masterpiece. “It is indeed, an embodiment of India’s vibrant cultural tapestry,” added the statement.

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The diamond reflects earth-mined diamonds’ chemical and optical properties. It is also eco-friendly, as eco-diversified resources like Solar and wind power were used in its making.

Budget grant for LGD

The Union Budget 2023-24 proposed tax relief to promote Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD). This is a technology-and innovation-driven emerging sector with high employment potential. These environment-friendly diamonds have the same properties as natural diamonds optically and chemically.

“To encourage indigenous production of LGD seeds and machines and to reduce import dependency, a research and development grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years. To reduce the cost of production, there is a proposal to review the custom duty rate on LGD seeds,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech.