As in sport, two teams took to the field in the world of jewelry. The first holds the record in the standings and does not intend to sell it. The second earns points, but is still far from the top. The two rival teams are those of those who use natural diamonds, created by mother nature millions of years ago, and those who produce them artificially with refined machines. The latter are modestly called lab grown diamonds, that is, grown as if they were zucchini in a greenhouse. The reality is different: synthetic diamonds, which are chemically identical to natural ones, are produced with production plants mostly in China and India which are, among other things, quite energy-intensive. But this is another aspect.
It is a fact that with technology it has become easier and cheaper to produce lab grown diamonds. And the question that jewelers are asking themselves, but also many consumers, is whether the sales of these synthetic gems will continue to increase, as has happened in recent years starting from 2018, when the natural diamond producer De Beers also took the field. with the Lightbox brand. Furthermore, a question concerns the natural diamond jewelry market: is it destined to lose market share? These questions are being answered by a specialized analyst, Paul Zimnisky, who has published an analysis reported by the National Jeweler website.
Zimnisky’s analysis is particularly interesting because it looks at the next 10-15 years. The analyst’s first consideration is that, of course, the supply of artificial diamonds is unlimited. Just produce them. And, given the trend, the production of synthetic diamonds should continue to grow to 25 million carats by 2030. A large amount, but much less than natural diamonds, which in 2021 reached 120 million carats. The increase in supply, combined with the often scarce possibility of evaluating synthetic stones, will further lower the price of laboratory diamonds. The analyst gives an example: in mid-2018 a generic 1-carat diamond, G VS1, grown in the laboratory retailed for $ 3,625, compared to $ 6,600 for a natural diamond of the same size and quality. But today, a synthetic diamond of the same size and quality sells for $ 1,615, while the natural equivalent has increased in value to $ 6,705.
He deduces that synthetic diamonds are destined, if the trend is confirmed, to lose value. As opposed to natural ones. But it would be wrong to reduce everything to a question of price. The seller’s brand weighs a lot. Zimnisky takes as an example a brand like Hèrmes: if it sold a good synthetic diamond, it would be perceived first of all as a high-class jewel and then as an unnatural gem. This reasoning leads the analyst to a prediction: most synthetic diamonds will lose value. But there will also be a small number of brands that will be able to use them by leveraging their reputation, as long as they choose very large and excellent quality gems. In short, the synthetic jewelry market could be divided into two classes, normal and premium. The latter may be competitive with natural diamonds but, of course, they will also be more expensive.
A successful example for medium quality synthetic diamonds is, for example, the recent Pandora Brilliance line. But a card to play for manufacturers of artificial gems could be the possibility of personalizing the gems with unusual shapes, an aspect that would allow them to stand out from natural products. The match between the two teams will last a long time.