Lab Grown Diamonds The Hottest Jewellery Trend of 2022
At Odyssey Jewellery, based in Richmond Hill, Ontario we were thrilled this past holiday season to discover how many customers were looking for lab-grown diamonds. Whether for an engagement ring or a custom piece of jewellery several of our clients are now only exclusively looking to purchase lab-grown diamonds. While lab grown diamonds have been around for decades it’s only recently that consumers have discovered that ‘non-conflict’ diamonds are a better alternative to traditional diamonds.
Following our very successful 2021 holiday season we are anticipating a busy and exciting year designing custom made jewellery for our clients and having them choose from our in-house designed engagement rings and other pieces using lab-grown diamonds. So why have lab-grown diamonds suddenly become so popular? There are multiple reasons why a newer generation of consumers have taken to this innovative diamond.
One of the main factors is the disconnect between people’s aspirations for a piece of jewellery and their budget. For example, the current trend in engagement rings is a large centre stone and most people desire a diamond at least 1 carat or larger. The trend for decades was that an engagement ring should cost ‘two months’ salary; but for many that simply isn’t feasible. Of people surveyed, 49% stated that their budget for an engagement ring was below $10,000 and 46% of those same people stated that a lab-grown diamond is more appealing over traditional diamonds. In addition many people admire rings with a larger stone. The wedding website The Knot surveyed newly engaged people in 2019 and found that the average price spent on an engagement ring was $5,600 and many people spent under $1,000. In fact, in the past 18 months there has been a tremendous uptick in rings with TWO stones! By using a lab-grown diamond in their engagement ring, or other piece of jewellery, people are able to design the ring with the size of diamond they desire without the same financial investment.
Another factor that retailers have seen in the past two to three years is that current buyers in the market are undeterred that lab-grown diamonds may not hold their value in the same way as the traditional diamonds. The younger generation do not see an engagement ring or other diamond jewellery as an investment piece like other generations have. Where a diamond purchase was historically positioned to a consumer as one of the major purchases they would ever make, this is no longer the case. Modern consumers know that the chance of them reselling their diamond jewellery (such as engagement rings) is low and they don’t need to consider it as an investment item.
Another major factor is that the younger generation are deeply committed to ethical resourcing of items they purchase and for many the condition in which traditional diamonds are mined is disturbing. The two main issues with diamond mining is the direct effect on humans involved in the mining process and the damage to the environment. As Diamonds are formed deep within the earth’s crust and are carried closer to the surface by kimberlite volcanic eruptions they then must be mined by human beings.
The two types of diamond mines are open or underground mines. To get to the diamonds, still buried 100 miles below ground, operators must remove the extensive layers of earth and rock. This is often done without consideration of the surrounding environment. Soil erosion, deforestation and waterway destruction are just a few of the ways diamond mines have a negative impact on the environment. Whole ecosystems can be sacrificed to extract diamonds from open mining pits. In underground mining tunnels are built which take miners deep into the earth and sections of earth containing diamonds are then hauled to the surface for processing. On the human level the working conditions in the majority of mines are deplorable. While new standards have been put in place in the last decade there is still much to be done to monitor and improve situations. Perhaps most shocking is that some mines, including those in Africa, use forced child labour to extract diamonds. These children are often subjected to abuse and suffer health issues that are not addressed.
For these reasons many people do not want to purchase diamonds from traditional mines, instead they want a ‘kinder’ alternative. Fortunately the technology that produces lab grown diamonds has greatly improved in the last two decades so that it is nearly impossible to distinguish between diamonds from a mine or those from a lab. Lab grown diamonds are also less expensive due to the less complicated supply chain. Lab grown diamonds do not have to go through the various steps mined diamonds do and can be grown anywhere in the world. All of these savings can then be passed on to the customer.
At Odyssey Jewellery we are proud to be the GTA’s leading jeweller using lab grown diamonds. We create unique pieces for sale in our Richmond Hill store and also work with clients to design custom pieces – from engagement rings to other items of jewellery. We provide GIA certificates for all of our pieces using lab grown diamonds. This is very important as it will list the quality and carat of the diamond used in your piece of jewellery. We are available on a walk-in basis and also take appointments. Call us today to get started on your journey with lab grown diamonds.