Getting the biggest diamonds that their budget allows is one of the main tasks for the jewelry consumers shopping for engagement rings. This became only more challenging during the pandemic, with the average customer’s budget decreasing due to the harsh economic situation. Now, it seems as if those customers found their solution in lab-grown diamonds.
According to the 2021 Engagement Ring Survey conducted by Jean Dousset brand, the most desirable option for a center stone is 2-3 carat diamond. 34% of the respondents would choose this category over others. Only 34% of customers would be satisfied with a diamond that weighs less than 2 carats, while 23% of consumers wish for a center stone that weighs 3 carats or more.
At the same time, there is a strong disconnect between the diamond that the customer wishes to purchase and what they’re willing to spend on it. Almost half of the respondents (49%) said that their budget is under $10,000, while the engagement ring set with 2 carat mined diamond of serviceable quality would cost at least $14,000 - $15,000 at retail. The rather noticeable gap between the budget and the price, along with a strong preference for larger center stones has resulted in more and more consumers choosing to go lab-grown. A solitaire ring with a 2 to 2,40 carat near colorless man-made diamond would sell for $9,000 on average at retail, which explains the increasing interest from the customers. 36% of participants said they would purchase an engagement ring with a lab diamond, with nearly half of them considering lower price point as the most influential factor.
Retailers are certainly noticing the switch in the consumers’ buying behavior. “Prices have skyrocketed for natural diamonds, making the case even better for lab-made diamonds. I think lab will continue to gain market share, especially if diamonds become unaffordable” - an owner of a Los Angeles-based jewelry store said to INSTORE magazine.
With the record season for many jewelers across the country, and the ever-increasing demand for lab-made diamonds, we at LaBrilliante expect the numbers of sales and the market share to grow along with the customers’ interest. It’s clear that the lower price of man-created stones is very attractive for those, who used to consider a diamond-set engagement ring to be unaffordable. Lab-grown diamonds are able to bring in new customers and, what’s more important, make them stay, and because of that, they’re certainly on their way to becoming a hit not only with consumers, but with store owners as well.