Lab-grown diamonds zoom ahead amid slowdown in mined diamond market
While there is a clear slowdown of market for mined diamonds, a 2 – 4.2 million carats Lab-grown diamond sector, which is expected to grow to 10 – 17 million carats by 2030, is zooming ahead. Just few years back, Lab-grown Diamonds market was a fraction of what it is today and this astonishing growth rate is primarily driven by increased consumer awareness, acceptance and demand fueled by an alternate choice.
This is corroborated by how Lab-grown diamonds took a centerstage at 2018 JCK Las Vegas show, with 29 Lab-grown diamond companies exhibiting and a new 6,400 square feet dedicated section – ‘Lab-grown Diamond Neighborhood’ being created, increasing its footprint by 40 percent.
According to India’s GJEPC, while exports of polished diamonds declined by more than 17 percent during April – June 2019 period, exports of Lab-grown stones (non-diamond stones included) touched $ 100 million mark in the same period, up from $ 62 million a year ago, a 61% increase.
Traditional jewelers now selling Lab-grown diamonds
While Ex Diamond veterans of diamond companies like Dominion Diamond, Alrosa, World Diamond Mark Foundation etc. have launched their Lab-grown diamond brands, numerous traditional jewelers running their business since decades have also added Lab-grown diamond category to their portfolio.
4th generation jeweler Pia Aiya – Director of Operations, Aiya Designs says that during recessionary times Lab-grown diamonds helped her family business survive. Raj Vaidya of DiamSpark Lab Grown Diamonds, whose parent company is in the mined diamond business since 25 years, says “They’re not going away… And the industry is actually buying them in large-scale quantities — like 1,000 at a time. They are not on memo.”
Douglas Bank – CEO of Evolv, a division of Joseph Blank – a diamond manufacturer, who started dealing in Lab-grown diamonds in 2016 admits that the Lab-grown diamond business is “… every bit as viable as mined diamonds. Our company is 100 years old, and lab-growns are keeping me busy and our phones ringing.”
Similar is the case with Sehal Mody – COO, GoGreen Diamonds a four year old Lab-grown diamond division of 40-year old mined diamond jewelry manufacturing company, receives requests from retailers for full showcases of both loose stones and finished jewelry of Lab Grown Diamonds. A 27 year old mined diamond company – Surediam, started dealing in Lab-grown diamonds 3 years ago under its brand Splendid Lab Diamonds.
While there has been oversupply and glut in mined diamond sector reflected in financial results of diamond mining and other companies in the diamond pipeline, there has been no oversupply in Lab-grown diamond sector. As Lab-grown diamonds have come out to the new age, everyone is looking to take a share of this sunrise pie prompting the traditional jewellers to dip their toes in the Lab-grown diamond waters.