Experts are asserting that 2019 and the following years are the period during which the growing diamond industry will enter its growth stage. Up until now, several situations and conditions had kept lab-grown diamond producers and consumers hesitant about man-made diamonds. The looming question was, ‘Are lab-grown diamonds real diamonds?’ But the industry is way into the transition phase now, from from mined diamonds to lab-produced diamonds.
The reasons are many: increased awareness among consumers that laboratory-created diamonds are real diamonds; an increase in the number of well-known brands and celebrities supporting buying man-made diamonds over mined diamonds; and the fact that natural diamond reserves are running out. Reports reveal that some of the biggest mines will run dry by 2030 (From a report by Bain and Co.).
Brands, designers, diamond-producing giants, retailers, and diamond dealers - everyone is making a sudden shift to lab-grown diamonds. Here are a few observations we made:
With increased acceptance among diamond jewelry makers, diamond dealers, retailers, and consumers, new reports show that 51% of consumers are now aware of lab-grown diamonds, compared to only 9% in 2010. (International Grown Diamond Association Report)
The Diamond Sector Report proclaims 2019 and the years ahead, as the time when the grown diamond industry will enter a growth stage, from the stage of uncertainty.
Quite recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States changed the definition of diamonds in its jewelry guidelines by removing the word ‘natural’. This further reinforces the position of lab-produced diamonds as real diamonds, a claim that was being questioned, mocked, and debated in the diamond industry.
The lab diamond industry has particularly gained awareness due to well-known diamond companies joining the industry. De Beers, a company that has always vouched for real mined diamonds, launched a lab-grown fashion jewelry brand called Lightbox Jewelry.
New Diamond Technology LLC, a Russian company, announced that it has produced 103.50 carats of lab-grown diamonds for sale, the largest ever lab-grown diamond.
As grown diamonds vie for a more dominant position in the consumers’ jewelry boxes, celebrities and personalities continue to do their bit to ensure sustainability. Noted celebrities and personalities have come forward to endorse and invest in grown diamonds.
Leonardo DiCaprio began the trend by endorsing man-made diamonds in an effort to raise awareness about blood diamonds.
Penelope Cruz has teamed up with Swarovski and launched a jewelry line created with lab-manufactured diamonds. Her collection is called Atelier Swarovski.
Among other celebs, Evan Williams and Andrew McCollum, founders of Twitter and Facebook, and Khaliah Ali, daughter of Mohammad Ali, have embraced man-made diamonds. Madonna, Kate Hudson, Gwen Stefani, Sharon Osborne, Cameron Diaz, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian have donned lab-grown diamonds at important red carpet-events.
According to a report by Forbes, lab-created diamonds could take 7.5 percent of the total diamond industry market share by 2020, which currently makes up only 1 percent.
The report states that, given a choice, millennials will always choose a bigger laboratory diamond at a cheaper price than a smaller mined diamond at a higher price. The reason? The new generation is a conscious set of consumers who want to purchase diamonds that do not have a negative impact on humans or the environment.
This is seconded by the Bain & Co. report, suggesting that millennials and Generation Z with increased spending power are more inclined to consider customer reviews and the opinions of influencers and lean towards environmentally and socially safe diamond alternatives. The report adds, “Many retailers are already strategizing how the shifts in preferences will change their approaches to marketing and operations.”
The lab-created diamond industry is being upgraded and advanced with new technological experiments and feats. Real man-made diamond producers, polishers, and jewelry designers are investing in research and development and finding new ways to meet the growing demands, increasing their competitive edge. The processes that cost $4000 per carat in 2008, today cost around $300 to $500 per carat to produce, as stated by the Bain & Co. report. Decreased production prices will be followed by lower retail prices, which will only lead to the growth of this industry.
With these vital factors in favour of loose lab-grown diamonds, it is safe to say that the future of the man-made diamond industry looks promising.
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