Married couples are starting to approach diamond dealers like Pura in order to swop their natural diamonds in their engagement rings for a larger lab-grown diamond, often saving money and getting a larger stone!
CEO of New York based Ritani, Joel Klein mentioned that in just one week they had four couples come in to do just that and upgrade to a larger diamond by opting for lab-grown.
Couples come in and trade in their natural diamonds, receive a credit and spend it on a larger lab-grown diamond.
This is not an indication of a decline in the market of natural diamonds but rather an indication of the growth in demand for lab-grown diamonds.
Over 20,000 engagement ring orders were handled by Ratini in one year, including the use of both natural and lab-grown diamonds. As it stands lab-grown diamonds account for over 50% of Ritani’s sales.
A number of factors are influencing the increasing demand for lab-grown diamonds according to industry experts.
For customers; the only difference between a lab-grown diamond and a natural diamond is the price tag. They look identical. Lab-grown diamonds are much more affordable and couples can opt for a much larger stone than when purchasing a natural diamond in the same budget. Not only the more appealing price, but also the eco-conscious and ethical processes of lab-grown diamonds are turning more buyers towards opting for these beautiful gems.
1 carat natural diamonds are being traded in for 3 or 4 carat lab-grown diamonds at the same price or less!
At Pura in Somerset West, Cape Town, customers are offered the option of trading in their natural diamond and receiving a credit towards the purchase of their new lab-grown diamond. All diamonds that are traded in must be certified by a recognised laboratory. Pura also trades in gold and platinum.
This trade in option is a common occurrence, but what is also becoming more common is the choice of a lab-grown diamond as the first option of purchase when getting engaged for the first or even second time. Especially with second engagements, clients have already experienced the natural diamond and see massive savings and benefits in choosing a lab-grown diamond for their second engagement.
Some customers make this trade not focused on the size of the stone but rather on the quality of the stone. A lab-grown diamond of much higher quality can be traded for natural diamond od lower sophistication.
At Ratini, in New York, data has shown that engagement ring sales with lab-grown diamonds have jumped up by 52% while natural diamond engagement rings declined by 28% over the month of July, compared to the previous year.
This shows us that consumers are wanting to make the most of their budget and opt for a larger lab-grown diamond with better clarity and colour.
According to Edahn Golan, an industry analyst and founder of Edahn Golan Diamond Research and Data; there is a significant different in size that is visible to the eye.
In the US the average total carat weight of a lab-grown diamond is 1.42 carats at R3,800 compared to 0.81 carats for a natural diamond at $4,209.
Another well known company that is showing the increasing acceptance of lab-grown diamonds is Pandora, the worlds largest jewellery brand! They recently announced the launch of their lab-grown diamond range in Canada and the United States.
The new collection is called Pandora Brilliance and features 33 pieces all with a solitary lab-grown diamond.
CEO of Pandora, Alexander Lacik recently stated “Lab-created diamonds are just as beautiful as mined diamonds, but available to more people and with lower carbon emissions. We are proud to broaden the diamond market and offer innovative jewelery that sets a new standard for how the industry can reduce its impact on the planet,”