The idea may seem farfetched but millennials are believed to be actually influencing changes in the diamond industry. The attitudes and preferences of millennials are particularly creating ripples that impose changes in the diamond trade.
A noted industry figure opines
Patrick Saada has been involved in the diamond industry for a long time so it’s worth listening to his opinions or insights into the ever-changing industry. He started his career as a rough diamond trader, and also worked with professionals from Diva Diamonds and Jewels for a while, and eventually became the owner of his own diamond sourcing and distribution company.
For Saada, much has changed in the diamond industry over the last decades. In particular, he notes how synthetic diamonds are posing serious competition to natural diamonds. In the past, synthetic or lab-grown diamonds were frowned upon. At present, though, the market for synthetic diamonds has been growing and Saada thinks it will only continue to expand exponentially in the years to come; especially in the creation of custom jewelry.
Blame it on millennials
This growing acceptance for lab-created diamonds is largely attributed to millennials. Recent statistics show that synthetic diamonds are becoming more popular among millennial consumers. There’s a May 2018 piece about this published on Business Insider.
Millennials are no longer that keen on the purity and naturalness of their diamonds. Those who shop for diamond engagement rings, in particular, are no longer ambitiously seeking expensive finely cut natural diamond rings. After, all they can get something that looks just as great at a considerably cheaper price by choosing lab-grown diamonds. A survey conducted by MVI Marketing, involving 1,000 consumers aged 21 to 40, found that almost 7 out of 10 would consider getting synthetic diamonds. This is a 13-point rise from the number yielded by a similar survey conducted last year.
The allure of synthetic diamonds
It’s not difficult to understand why millennials are becoming more accepting of unnatural diamonds. For one, they cost considerably less. As reported on Business Insider, these diamonds cost 30% to 40% less than naturally mined diamonds. This lower price does not result in noticeable differences in appearance, though. Synthetic diamonds look very much the same as mined diamonds.
It is estimated that synthetic diamonds constitute around 1% to 3% of the overall diamond production in the world. This may sound small but it is actually a considerable figure, a far cry from the way synthetic diamonds were perceived by consumers before. By 2020, according to a Morgan Stanley report, the market share of synthetic diamonds is projected to grow to as high as 7.5%.
Millennials form a significant portion of the consumers at present with good levels of purchasing power. As such, their choices greatly affect market trends. These market trends, of course, include the diamond market. Whether this is good or bad development remains to be seen, though.