Lab-created diamond popularity surges as debate rages on

Lab-created diamond popularity surges as debate rages on - Artificial Jewellery

Nearly half of couples married in the past year selected a lab-created diamond for their engagement ring, according to a recent survey of consumers in the US.

The research was conducted by The Knot, a technology company that offers wedding planning services. For its latest report on wedding and engagement trends, the company surveyed more than 9,000 couples.

The report found that 46 per cent of couples selected a lab-created diamond in 2023. That figure was just 12 per cent as recently as 2019.

The average size of a lab-created engagement ring was 1.8 carats, while natural diamond rings were 1.5 carats on average.

“Experts said the trend is being driven by couples wanting super-sized stones – made more accessible by the cheaper cost of the lab process,” writes Helena Kelly of The Daily Mail.

“And it has been accelerated by celebrities such as Meghan Markle and Gigi Hadid, who have all been pictured in man-made diamonds.”

This research supports similar findings in New Zealand, where jewellers detailed the increasing popularity of lab-created diamonds among young consumers.

While little seems to be slowing the momentum of lab-created diamond jewellery, industry expert Martin Rapaport recently warned the trade about the category’s future.

“The diamond and jewellery trade’s promotion of synthetic diamonds as a replacement for natural diamonds is driven by greed. Synthetic diamond dealers and jewellers were able to make windfall profits by unfairly comparing the value of synthetic diamonds to natural diamonds,” Rapaport said.

“Leading companies in the diamond trade, from De Beers to GIA to Signet Jewelers, supported synthetic diamonds as a replacement for natural diamonds even though they knew that the price of synthetics would crash due to unlimited supply.”

He continued: “The sharp drop in synthetic diamond prices will disappoint consumers who purchased synthetic diamonds at high prices. They will not trust the diamond trade again. There will be a consumer backlash. The diamond and jewellery trade will suffer reputational damage.”

Rapaport predicted a 30 per cent decline in short-to-medium-term natural diamond demand due to the negative impact of lab-created diamonds and warned that it would take years for this demand to recover.

More reading
Lightbox to experiment with reduced prices for lab-created diamonds
Lab-created diamonds: Increasingly popular with young consumers
Greenwashing: Lab-created diamond claims questioned
Fresh allegations of lab-created diamond fraud emerge
Was 2023 the year of the lab-created diamond?


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