Becoming an educated and conscientious consumer within the 21st century has distinguished this generation of consumers from the last. The bar has been significantly raised in every industry when it comes to ethical and moral standards of a company, its product, and its practices.
Specifically, within the diamond industry, sustainable alternatives and diamond traceability have become an important factor amongst those considering purchasing one.
Consumers want transparency; they don’t want their diamond, a symbol of love, purity and perfection, to be tainted with immoral practices that affect both the environment and the workers subjected to these conditions.
Speaking to Forbes about this developing trend, Andy Hart, senior VP of Diamond and Jewelry Supply, states “In the luxury industry, we are seeing a new generation of buyers that cares about the environment, social responsibility, human rights, and labor practices, and they care about the diamond traceability”.
Although many consumers are becoming more interested in exploring alternatives, the industry has created some common misconceptions regarding lab-grown diamonds, and have even gone as far as calling them “fake diamonds”. This stigma has led to the absence of lab-grown diamonds amongst luxury products. Why is this when there is a clear interest in this alternative amongst millennial consumers?
The common phrase “Real is Rare” has been used to further push the narrative of most diamond-mining companies, and to sell the idea that “real” or “mined” is better. In reality, lab-grown diamonds have the identical physical appearance and chemical composition as those that are mined.
The true rarity is how we have found a way to replicate the Earth’s richest treasures without causing harm to anyone or anything. The cost that the environment pays to mine these gems is greater than any price-tag. No diamond is worth such destruction, pollution, and potential danger.
The meaning of ‘luxury’ is changing amongst this new group of socially-aware consumers. According to MVI Marketing, in 2018, 68% of millennials said they would consider purchasing a lab-grown diamond engagement. This is a huge jump in popularity compared to the recorded 33% in 2005.
Lab-grown diamonds are 30-40% more affordable than mined diamonds, they are cruelty and conflict-free, sustainable, and they are just as gorgeous as their competition. So, the real question is: isn’t the perfect choice obvious?