The engagement season is here, so the total number of sold engagement rings and artificial diamonds is increasing. Artificial diamonds appear identical to natural diamonds; the lone noticeable difference between the two is in their price tags.
As for diamond analyst Edahn Golan, lab grown diamonds are stunning creations. Golan said that data from March 2022 showed a 63% increase in the artificial diamond engagement ring count as compared to the same time last year. On the other hand, there has been a 25% year-over-year drop in the natural diamond engagement ring count for March.
As per data from February 2022, the total number of lab diamond rings sold increased to 80% as compared to last year, whereas there has been a 13% drop in the mined diamond engagement ring count.
Golan stated that the mined diamond industry fears that more customers will begin to accept engagement rings set with artificial diamonds.
The Tide Is Turning
Why do numerous customers turn to artificial diamonds? The most apparent reason for it is the retail price of those diamonds. In March 2022, $2,318 was the average rate for a one-carat artificial diamond with a round brilliant cut. Golan finds it up to 73% more affordable than a mined diamond with the same cut, clarity and size as its man-made counterpart. The lower rate allows people to purchase a bigger diamond.
It only takes a matter of weeks to produce a diamond at a laboratory, which reflects in its price. On the other hand, it took millions of years for diamonds to form naturally, and there is no infinite mined diamond supply either. This causes natural diamonds to be a bit costlier, and prices may go up as Russia’s Ukraine invasion has also tightened the natural diamond supply chain.
The sanctions target Alrosa, which the American government recognized as the biggest diamond mining firm in the world.
Artificial diamonds are becoming more popular as customers gain awareness and education about these stones. The customer base of artificial diamonds is usually not above 40 years and is extremely budget-conscious.
Natural diamonds also have a history associated with not only child labor use in African mines but also the illegal trade that funds conflict in some areas.
Another factor impacting the preference for unconventional engagement jewelry of millennials and generation Z is their ethical concerns and eco-consciousness about diamond sourcing.