While the overall market price for lab-grown diamonds is in the process of adjusting, we can see some divide between the higher-quality diamonds from the upscale producers and faster-produced goods. Cultivated stones from easy-to-find categories, such as standard 1 to 3 carat Round Brilliant stones, have become the most affordable they’ve ever been in terms of prices. Still, there is a huge amount of premium products on the lab-grown market that don’t come cheap.
Most brands and fine jewelry stores have seen a significant increase in their revenue from the lab-grown diamond category over the past few years. Customers are mostly driven by lower price points. However, the more precise cutting and the overall quality and variety of manufactured gems have also become significant factors for many shoppers. Some high-end brands, such as LVMH or Jean Dousset, have already tipped their toes into the lab diamond industry, and for the regular customers of these companies, price is not the only deciding factor.
The choice could come down not only to whether it’s mined or lab-grown. The quality and uniqueness of a stone is something that the customers are considering more and more. According to Jean Dousset’s surveys, around 75% of their customers want jewelry with lab-created diamonds. Most of this share comes from the bridal segment. Some of the demand emerges not from the price difference, but from celebrity endorsements and unique status of the product. More Hollywood and music stars, such as Justin and Heiley Bieber, opt for wearing man-made gems on the red carpets and during their tours. More ecological and socially beneficial choice of jewelry is what they strive to promote. However, the brand recognition doesn’t allow for this jewelry to be considered mass-produced cheap collections. The design of a finished piece and brand name can significantly increase the price making a lab-grown diamond jewelry into a truly premium piece.
As lab-grown diamonds become best-sellers for more and more jewelry stores and companies, it’s important to remember that they’re not all the same. There are still some growing companies who want to cut their production costs by growing their goods as fast as possible. Whether it’s HPHT or CVD process, such practice can negatively impact the overall quality of the finished gem (e.g. grayish or brownish tint, or cloudy effect). The cutting is also highly important, and the higher standards of work require higher-paid professionals. So it’s no wonder that better quality diamonds can have a higher price due to the increased production cost, and their attractiveness to the customers. It’s not a surprise that such diamonds are also usually the ones that are used for the most exquisite pieces. And this category isn’t likely to get cheaper any time soon.
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