De Beers Changes The Game
Lab created diamonds are a hot topic in the jewellery business these days, in fact, this is not my first post about them. There are many brands popping up everywhere, including Royal Created Diamonds, Chatham, and now Lightbox Jewelry. And there are jewellers everywhere that are selling these created diamonds. There is nothing wrong with buying or selling lab-created diamonds, our company has sold a few over the past couple years, but there are some things a buyer should know before venturing into one of these purchases. For the purposes of this blog, I will be using the terms "lab-created", "lab-grown", and "synthetic" interchangeably.
Lab-Created Diamonds Are Not Rare
In no way are lab-created diamonds rare. Basic logic would show this to be true and if you hear anybody telling you otherwise all you need to do is tell them they are wrong. Why are they not rare? Lab-created diamonds are made in labs under a lot of heat and pressure using specialized equipment. Yes, this equipment is expensive, and yes it requires a lot of energy. However, just because something is expensive and requires energy does not make it rare. Here is the definition of rare:
- (of an event, situation, or condition) not occurring very often.
- (of a thing) not found in large numbers and so of interest or value.
When you have the ability to make something in a controlled environment over and over, well then you can just make more of that item. And as competitors enter the market, more and more of these lab-created diamonds get produced, with essentially no end in sight. As with all technology, the price decreases over time and before you know it, pretty much everyone is producing them for next to nothing! So despite what others may tell you, lab-created diamonds are not rare.
Don't Pay More Than $800 Per Carat
A new brand that I mentioned above will be arriving this fall. But not to IJL or to Winnipeg (at least not yet). Rarely do I talk about brands I don't carry, however Lightbox Jewelry is a brand created by De Beers Group Of Companies. De Beers is also the parent company of Forevermark. Lightbox Jewelry will start selling lab-grown diamonds strictly online, to begin with this fall.
Most people know De Beers as a diamond mining company, but a lot of people are unaware that they have been making synthetic (or lab-created) diamonds longer than anyone else. And this fall they will be launching their new brand Lightbox Jewelry. Why should you care? Well if you were looking to buy a lab-created diamond, well we now know how much they are worth. $800 per carat. In white, blue, or pink. So you can buy a 1.00 carat white lab-grown diamond for $800, a 0.50 carat blue lab-grown diamond for $400, a 0.75ct pink diamond for $600, and so on. Whatever the size of lab-grown diamond from Lightbox Jewelry, multiply the carat weight by $800.
"Nature created diamonds over a billion years ago. The larger a natural diamond, the rarer it becomes. Each one is unique, like a snowflake. So they are priced individually, often with certificates to describe their character and qualities.
But we can make laboratory-grown diamonds every day of the week. Among the finest you can find. In the color or size we choose. So our pricing is easy, as transparent as our stones."
- Lightbox Jewelry
Whatever your thoughts on lab-created diamonds, whether you like them or not, the price of them has now been set at $800 per carat.
Where Is The Value?
The price of lab-created diamonds has been falling over the past few years. For most people within the industry, this seemed obvious as more competitors entered the market and the price of the technology to produce lab-grown diamonds fell. I am aware that people have other reasons for buying lab-created diamonds, however, if you are spending, for example, $5000 on a lab-created diamond, well this fall the price is going to drop to $800. In the past manufacturers of these stones would market them as inexpensive alternatives, claiming savings of 20-40% versus its natural counterpart. Well if a 1 carat diamond is $10,000 and you purchased a lab-grown that had all the same attributes and paid $6000 ("40% savings"), most people would think that's a pretty awesome deal. Unfortunately, we now know that this was still too much to spend.
Looking forward it seems pretty certain that lab-grown diamonds will become similar to that of the cubic zirconia. Will the price plateau at $800 per carat or will it tumble some more is somewhat of an unknown at this point; there are definitely some costs to creating lab-grown diamonds. Since Lightbox Jewelry is using them in fashion-forward jewellery I would expect other brands to jump on board and feature lab-grown diamonds in their product line ups. I could easily envision brands like John Hardy or Breuning to start incorporating lab-grown diamonds into their designs. And I think it will look amazing.