The one single development in the global diamond industry that had maximum impact, in past decade, is progress of Lab-grown diamonds. Undoubtedly Lab-grown diamonds have positively influenced change in the market and is disrupting the traditional industry business model, apart from advancing the frontiers of science. While these developments are welcome, there have been numerous critiques against Lab-grown diamonds. Though the so-called ‘facts’ and information presented in such commentaries may be questionable, they do bring out an important point – Lab-grown diamond market should build on its own merit.
Though being disruptive, Lab-grown diamonds should not disrupt the core values of the diamond industry – trust, promise and transparency, but instead should bolster it. Building on the same principles that shaped the industry during last century, Lab-grown diamond players should also develop the segment market on its own merit. Criticizing traditional mined diamonds segment despite all its flaws and negative aspects, or criticizing each other within Lab-grown diamond segment will influence and shape the industry only negatively.
Since its introduction, Lab-grown diamonds have touched lives and positively influenced many, ultimately giving consumers a choice. Besides, Lab-grown diamonds have also provided a sustainable option to the world, in terms of environment, social-consciousness, ethical nature, fair trade and conflict-free products. Being an important invention, Lab-grown diamonds have led the advancement of science and technology, enabling technological innovations and applications to a wide range of industries, utilities, services and society at large.
Technology for growing Lab-grown diamonds has significantly progressed so much that apart from source of origin, Lab-grown diamonds are now exactly the same as mined diamonds. With rising awareness, there has been a marked increase in acceptance of Lab-grown diamonds among consumers and retailers alike. Upon introduction of such a disruptive product, upstream section of the pipeline (diamond miners) unnecessarily felt threatened and resorted to various unacceptable negative tactics including bad-mouthing, spreading rumors and false information.
For any industry to advance, this is a fallacious path, especially for a sunrise industry like Lab-grown diamonds. To sustainably grow, as the product symbolizes, Lab-grown diamond players should build the market with ethical and constructive practices, whether in marketing, branding or operations. Any practice that destroys the core of diamond industry is short-term and self-depreciating thinking. Making unwarranted criticisms towards mined diamond segment or towards each other, will only inhibit development and growth of Lab-grown diamond segment in long term.
By imbibing right practices among its members, International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) can play a very vital role of stewardship in developing the Lab-grown diamond industry, ensuring that the segment builds only on its own merit and creating a sustainable long-term approach for the industry.