Why Are Lab-Created Diamonds Growing in Demand?
Rare and gracious and known to be a symbol of luxury, diamonds have been adored by humanity for ages.
Since it takes millions of years for them to form, diamonds are cherished for their antiquity. But what if we tell you that scientists have figured out how to create the same-old diamonds in just a few weeks?
Yes, we are talking about lab-created diamonds. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about man made diamonds and why they are in such huge demand these days.
Lab Created Diamonds Overview
Diamond is an allotrope of carbon. Put simply, a diamond is nothing but another physical form of carbon. Just like coal, diamonds are formed when plants and trees are buried deep down under the earth and, as a result, are subjected to enormous pressure and temperature.
Over time, the extreme conditions turn coal into diamonds.
So basically, our expensive diamonds, which we treasure so much, are nothing but highly compressed carbon! This is where lab-created diamonds come into the picture.
With modern engineering, we can imitate the same extreme conditions required for coal to turn into diamonds in our labs. So a diamond that would have usually taken many million years to form can now be created in just a few weeks in the lab.
Sudden Rise Of Lab Created Diamonds
The jewelry world has witnessed a sharp rise in the demand for lab-created diamonds. In the US, artificial diamonds constituted only about 3% of the total diamond sales in 2020. Now, in 2022, the number is up by 7%.
The reasons are simple; lab created diamonds are cheaper and eco-friendlier while being of the same quality as natural diamonds. It’s not possible to differentiate between the two with naked eyes.
Without technical equipment, one can not distinguish between an artificial and a natural diamond. Also, the versatile nature of artificial diamonds is what makes them unique.
Moreover, man-made diamonds are just as sturdy and shiny as their natural counterparts. The brightness and sparkling are not compromised in artificial diamonds.
Let’s take a closer look at all these factors that have influenced the rise of lab-created diamonds.
Factors That Influence The Rise
1 – Price And Affordability
Artificial diamonds have a clear edge over prices against natural ones. A lab-created diamond can cost up to 40% to 50% less than a natural diamond of the same size.
For instance, the starting prices for natural diamonds are around $5,000, while you can get an artificial diamond beginning only at $2,000. This massive price difference makes lab-created diamonds much more affordable than their natural equivalent.
Historically, diamonds have always been considered a luxury commodity. But lab-grown diamonds are making it possible even for a middle-class family to afford the diamonds they have always cherished.
2 – Environmentally Friendly
With the growing concern about climate change, consumers are becoming conscious of the environmental consequences of the products they buy. As discussed earlier, diamonds occur deep down under the earth’s surface. So their extraction requires extensive minings. Such mining procedures harm the environment in many forms.
They create deep craters in the land and release plenty of dust, contributing to both land and soil pollution. Contrary to this, artificial diamonds are formed in labs. Hence, they do little to no harm to the environment.
It is calculated that every carat of the natural diamond adds up to 57 kg of carbon to the atmosphere. In contrast, the same quantity of lab-created diamonds contributes only a few grams in carbon emissions.
3 – Conflict-Free
Behind the sparkle of a diamond lies the tears of many abused. Mining diamonds is a laborious process and requires a large workforce, and it often leads to the mistreatment of workers.
Many unethical practices, like child labor, forced labor, torture, abuse, etc., have been associated with diamond mining. Since diamond resources are primarily available in the developing world, exploitation and poor treatment of the labor force are a reality.
Because of all these reasons, mined diamonds are often called “blood diamonds.” But in contrast, artificial diamonds are created in labs; hence, human rights abuses are never questioned.
Consumers are now more concerned about the ethical standards of their products than ever before. And since lab-grown diamonds are free from any allegations of unethical practices, they present themselves as a solid alternative to the “conflicted diamonds”.
4 – Versatile Color Options
Naturally, colored diamonds are rare to find, and even if you do, you are expected to pay a hefty price. But lab technologies now make it possible to have diamonds in various colors.
You will be happy to know that the customizations that lab-grown diamonds offer are another plus for the customers. Moreover, lab-created diamonds cost only a fraction of what naturally colored diamonds would have cost.
Additionally, colored lab-created diamonds are readily available, unlike their natural counterparts. So whether it’s an engagement ring or a necklace, you can always choose the color that matches your best preference.
Expectations For Growth Of Lab Created
Lab-grown diamonds have seen a sharp rise in demand in the last couple of years. Because of their affordable prices, low carbon footprint, and conflict-free nature, artificial diamonds are becoming increasingly popular among millennials and Gen Z.
Another plus for lab-created diamonds is the scope of personalization they offer. You can pick and choose your favorite color along with the diamond size. Whether you are looking for a special diamond cut or an unusual shape, lab-grown diamonds make it all possible.
Hence, it doesn’t surprise us that the market segment of man-made diamonds is only expected to grow in the coming years. In one of their reports, Antwerp World Diamond Centre(AWDC) predicts 15% to 20% annual growth in the artificial diamond market.
We have already witnessed the rise in market share of lab-created diamonds from 3% in 2020 to 7% in 2022. And with this massive growth prediction by AWDC, one can expect artificial diamonds to dominate in the near future.
Pandemic Influencing The Surge In Lab Created Diamond
The ongoing pandemic is one of the prime causes influencing the sudden surge in demand for lab-created diamonds.
With the rise in inflation and tighter budgets, consumers now prefer to go with cheaper options. And lab-grown diamonds appear to be the best alternative.
Moreover, by choosing artificial diamonds, customers can buy a much larger stone at the same price. With the onset of the pandemic, everyone has become price conscious, and getting a bigger diamond at the same cost is a big plus that drives people towards lab-created diamonds.
Besides the pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia conflict has also played its part in the surge of artificial diamonds. Russia constituted about 30% of the total diamond production worldwide.
And with all the sanctions on the country, natural diamonds’ prices have grown lately. Hence, as expected, buyers are considering switching to cheaper alternatives. And again, lab-grown diamonds present the best option.
Lab-created diamonds are all set to dominate the world of jewelry. Lower prices, better carbon footprint, and conflict-free nature of artificial diamonds set them considerably ahead of their natural counterparts.
Hence, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that lab-created diamonds are the future!