During New York Fashion Week in early September, jewelry giant Pandora showcased its vision for these diamonds by hosting a grand event named the “lab-grown diamond district.” This event, graced by celebrities like Pamela Anderson, highlighted the brand’s latest campaign.
Pandora, primarily known for its affordable charm bracelets, has ventured into the diamond arena, leveraging the growing demand for lab-grown diamonds. These diamonds, identical in structure to mined ones, are available at a fraction of the cost, making them accessible to a broader audience. This shift has allowed even brands with moderate pricing to offer high-end jewelry pieces.
Brands like Brilliant Earth and Dorsey have witnessed significant sales growth from lab-grown diamonds. The traditional categorization of jewelry based on material and price is being redefined by these lab-grown gems. Historically, diamonds symbolized luxury, with brands like Tiffany and Cartier dominating the market. However, lab-grown diamonds are blurring these lines.
These diamonds, first produced in the 1980s, are created by subjecting pure carbon to intense heat and pressure. They are nearly indistinguishable from mined diamonds. Despite efforts by the diamond industry to differentiate between the two, consumers, especially those seeking value for money, are increasingly opting for lab-grown alternatives.
Industry analyst Paul Zimnisky highlighted the rapid growth of lab-grown diamonds, with sales surging from under $1 billion in 2016 to almost $12 billion in 2022. This growth trajectory is expected to continue, with lab-grown diamonds accounting for over 17% of the overall diamond market.
The success of lab-grown diamonds is reshaping the jewelry market. Brands like Pandora have revised their sales projections, and their stock prices have soared. In contrast, traditional diamond giants like De Beers are reducing prices due to declining demand for mined diamonds.
Consumers are not just seeking affordability but also value. Many are investing the savings from purchasing lab-grown diamonds into acquiring more jewelry or larger pieces. Brands are also adapting their marketing strategies to cater to a diverse audience, emphasizing fashion and self-purchase.
Legacy jewelry brands have been cautious in embracing lab-grown diamonds. However, with the growing demand and market potential, even high-end brands are exploring this segment. LVMH-owned jeweler Fred, for instance, is testing lab-grown diamonds with its affluent clientele.
In conclusion, lab-grown diamonds are not just a passing trend but represent a significant shift in the jewelry industry. As Amish Shah, founder of the lab-grown jewelry brand J’evar, aptly put it, “It’s the diamond of the future.”