The long-held stigma hovering over lab grown diamonds are starting to dissipate as more and more young people turn their focus towards man-made gems due to a couple of reasons starting with the fact that manmade diamonds are far less costly compared to natural diamonds. According to jewellers one in every 10 pieces of jewellery sold these days are encrusted with lab grown diamonds and this is especially true when it comes to engagement rings.
Jewellers also see the opportunity within the scope of the economy of scale associated with manmade gems as they are able to sell more of these compared to wholesale natural diamonds. According to a source, more than 33% of all diamond encrusted engagement rings sold in 2022 (engagement rings encrusted with a single centre stone) were curated within the confines of a laboratory.
The fact that jewellers from big brands are also leaning towards lab grown diamonds has also helped things move along in the industry. Simply put, when a lab grown diamond sells for $1,000 and a natural diamond sells for $5,000 and both items are offering the same quality, beauty, size… it’s a ‘no brainer’. As a matter of fact, lab grown diamonds of the same size and carat are sometimes more appealing aesthetically.
Consumers have changed, they have not only become more informed thanks to the internet, consumers are also conscious about the environmental impact of mining activities on the environment and the association of unethical practices linked to natural diamonds. However, not all jewellers have come on board with the mind-set change among the younger consumer.
For instance, Cartier are standing by their loyalty towards mined diamonds when it comes to engagement rings, which are linked to the notion of ‘natural diamonds’ are a gift of eternity compared to the quick curation of lab diamonds.
On the other hand, the younger generation are aware of the negative elements that are associated within natural diamonds that range from pollution, to highly unethical practices and given the fact that the difference between natural and lab diamonds are negligible whereas the price difference cannot be ignored, lab diamonds are gaining momentum rapidly in the market.
At the current rate of consumer preference shift from natural to lab grown diamonds, within the next couple of years, it could be that nine out of ten diamond encrusted engagement rings will be sporting lab grown diamonds, not only because of price, but also due to variety and options.
This is due to the fact that lab grown stones could be created with specific characteristics compared to natural diamonds where ‘what you mine from the earth is what you get’.
Another point that the younger generation realise is the fact that they realise that ‘nobody will ever know’ if the diamond ring that they are wearing is lab grown or natural as even a gemmologist or an expert jeweller will not be able to tell the difference with his or her naked eye!