Consumers

The Diamond Industry is Not Forever

2020/02/27

 

With the lingering romance of Valentine’s Day still in the air, we took a look at the demand for lab-produced engagement rings. In the past decade, scientists have created diamonds in a lab that are chemically and physically identical to their natural counterparts, with a noticeably smaller environmental and human footprint all at a lower — even lovelier — price tag. 

 

Among Americans who are familiar with lab-made diamonds, men are significantly more drawn to the timeless sparkle of a lab-made diamond compared to women. 40% of the gentlemen in our sample would consider a lab-produced diamond compared to 34% of women. 

 

There is room to grow in this market, as more than one-third of Americans have never even heard of lab-made diamonds. When we asked consumers what they consider when shopping for an engagement ring, price, reputation, sentimental value, and environmental/human impact are top of mind. Carat size is the least important; suggesting that consumers don’t want (their hands) to be weighed down. 

 

  Factor   Average Ranking
  (1 = high, 13 = low)

Price

4.2

Reputation of jeweler

5.0

Sentimental value

5.4

Environmental impact

5.8

Human impact

6.1

Unique serial number

6.5

Identification of source

7.0

Type of gem

7.4

Rarity of gem

7.8

Cut

8.2

Clarity

8.8

Color

9.2

Carat

9.4

*Poll conducted Feb 10-14, 2020, among 1,000 U.S. adults

 

Given consumers’ concerns — especially among romantic Millennial and Gen-Zers — over sustainable supply chains and the human toll of mining, we wouldn’t be surprised if this market sees considerable growth.