During the last five years, jewellery industry welcomed lab-grown diamonds, as socially responsible, environment conscious innovation and new high-quality gemstones.
From the business prospective, lab-grown diamonds tends to create new jewellery alternative for the generation of millennials, as well as for the socially and environmentally conscious customers.
Besides, lab-grown diamonds can bring new business opportunities for progressive jewellers, as well as jewellery designers and retailers. They already changed the future of the jewellery market as they have distinctive advantages to move forward and create profit.
1. High Quality
Lab-grown or lab-created diamonds and natural or mined diamonds are identical. Their optical, physical and chemical characteristics are totally the same. The only difference is the origin: one is extracted from the ground (mined diamond), the other is created above the ground (lab-grown diamond).
You can compare it to ice that occurs in nature when temperature drops below zero, and ice that occurs in our freezer at home. The ice is the same, only the place of origin is different.
Therefore, the Federal Trade Commission updated in July 2018 its guidelines for diamonds and jewellery. A diamond is no longer natural. A diamond is mined or lab created.
There are two processes which laboratories use to grow diamonds: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These production technologies improve production economics and thus further push up the volumes of the lab-created diamond industry as well as fashion jewellery industry.
Nowadays, the 3 major international diamond grading laboratories GIA, HRD and IGI provide diamond grading reports for lab-created diamonds but the most popular is the International Gemological Institute (IGI) certificate. All certified lab created diamonds have a double laser inscription on the girdle of the diamond which mention the origin lab-grown and the certificate number.
2. Affordable Price
Lab-grown diamonds present affordable price, delighting conscious consumers. The price of colourless lab-grown diamonds is 40-50% less than colourless mined diamonds. Coloured lab-grown diamonds have a much more interesting price point, as they sell at a fraction of the price of their natural counterpart. These diamonds are popular among the consumer who is seeking for self-expression and individuality.
3. Production Potential
Although high quality lab-created diamonds production is still at its early stage, this particular industry looks very interesting for investors. New emerging producers focus on production capabilities improvement as well as on volumes. As a result, we can expect proactive step forward the diamond industry development.
4. Social Responsibility
Lab-grown diamonds are creating a more socially responsible diamond option and target new generations of customers. For instance, millennials have very different relationship to marriage and money compared to other generations. Although they blamed to demise many industries, lab-grown diamond market brings new values for them, due to their social responsibility, eco friendly side and innovations. Millennials love technologies, care about labour conditions and environment protection. Therefore, for them, lab-grown diamonds are an evident choice.
“The younger, millennial consumer that loves products that are technologically forward and have a story to tell. Lab-grown diamonds are the perfect marriage between modern technology and social values” said Thierry Silber founder of Madestones, the largest European lab-grown diamond distributor.
Leonardo DiCaprio announced on November 11, 2015 that he invested in a start-up producing laboratory grown diamonds because he was concerned about ethical and environmental issues. This is in line with today’s millennials values.
Additionally, according to De Beer’s latest Diamond Insight Report, more and more women are now buying jewellery for themselves. Independent women are becoming a very important group of consumers who prefer to buy for the budget of a 0.50ct mined diamond a much bigger 1ct lab grown diamond.
New business challenges require new approaches, creativity, better price and care about environment. Therefore, laboratory-grown diamonds meet new generation expectations and create new affordable luxury.