Over the last couple of weeks lab-grown diamonds were a topic of quite a few conversations within the community of jewelers. Man-made gems were a big part of this year’s JCK show. Still, the biggest announcement came outside of the exhibition. LaBrilliante is here to dive deeper into the news.
Last weekend felt like a return to something normal. After a couple of COVID-stricken years, the JCK was packed with jewelry buyers and industry insiders. There were countless attendees, and some of them came specifically for the lab-grown gemstones. The main attraction was certainly the recently-certified largest manufactured diamonds. The 15.16ct pear shape, the 27.27ct marquise cut, and two emerald cuts - the 20.24ct and the record-breaking 30.18ct respectively - were all displayed in the lab-grown section.
The JCK attendees could also enjoy a Q&A session with Paul Zimnisky dedicated to lab-created diamonds. The famous analyst confirmed that the share of lab-grown diamond jewelry sales already accounts for 10% of global diamond jewelry sales, with the US market taking up about 70% of the total. He also stated that man-made stones didn’t affect the sales of the natural diamonds in any negative way. In fact, the presence of lab-grown diamonds could create the demand for the retailer that they wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Zimnisky added that he saw a partial future of lab-grown diamonds in unique luxury pieces, such as the recent Tag Heuer’s watch model.
This prediction may not be far from the truth, as the most significant story came not from the show, but from LVMH Group. LVMH Luxury Ventures, subsidiary of the giant of the luxury industry, invested $90 million in an Israel-based producer of lab-created diamonds. According to the founder of The MVEye and acclaimed research specialist Marty Hurwitz, LVMH’s investment is “a statement that lab-growns are going into luxury in a big way”. With the ever-increasing demand, this is a safe bet that the other brands owned by LVMH Group, such as Tiffany & Co., will have the access to supply of man-made gemstones as soon as it is required.
Luxury brands have been trying to ignore lab-grown diamonds for a long time. This news is a sign of changes to come. According to the LVMH Luxury Ventures’ statement, the company targets “iconic luxury brands, recognized for their distinctiveness and the quality of their products and services, with significant growth potential”. As more and more customers are invested in lab diamonds, it seems as if the LVMH’s investment is the only one required to legitimize the manufactured gems further. As the luxury giant recognizes the manufactured diamonds, we can expect other high-end brands to follow the example in the near future.