Surat: Auctioning of rough diamonds worth Rs 125 crore was launched here by a Mumbai-based private company, which said the event was aimed at making the city a trading hub for rough precious stones.

The organisers, Arjav Diamonds, expect over 150 buyers to take part in the auction that will continue till August 11.

Apan Mehta of Arjav Diamonds said Surat was already a diamond polishing and cutting hub. Now it was time to make it a hub for rough diamond trading, he said.

This was the second auction by the company in the city in as many months. The previous auction was held in June this year.

As per an RBI report, diamond industry in Gujarat accounts for 72 per cent of the world's processed diamonds and 80 per cent of India's diamond exports.

The market size of diamond industry in India is pegged close to Rs 90,000 crore.