Lab-Grown

An Updated Look at the Lab-Grown Diamond Market: Size, Pricing, and More

Lab-GrownSep 21, 2022

An Updated Look at the Lab-Grown Diamond Market: Size, Pricing, and More

As the end of 2022 draws near, National Jeweler offers another deep dive into lab-grown diamond market data.

The U.S. launch of Pandora’s lab-grown diamond jewelry collection has been one of the biggest factors influencing the market this year, one analyst said. Pictured is a necklace from the collection, which is available in 14-karat yellow gold and sterling silver. Prices start at $300 retail.
New York—The lab-grown diamond market continues to expand with no signs of slowing down.

Earlier this year, National Jeweler examined the estimated size of the market and talked to experts about where it might go in the future, as well as what could drive growth.

As 2022 draws to a close, here’s an updated look at how the year panned out and where opportunities lay in 2023 and beyond.

An Updated Outlook
Diamond market analyst Paul Zimnisky told National Jeweler earlier this year lab-grown jewelry sales could near $8 billion-plus in 2022, approaching 10 percent of the total global diamond jewelry market.

Amid robust consumer demand for lab-growns, Zimnisky has now increased his forecast to $9 billion-$10 billion, which would see lab-grown diamond jewelry accounting for more than 10 percent of total global diamond sales, according to his model. 

Market research firm The MVEye also monitors the lab-grown diamond sector. 

It currently estimates that the market accounts for 8-10 percent of diamond jewelry sales globally.

The U.S. remains the largest consumer market for lab-grown diamonds by far. Zimnisky said it represents about 80-plus percent of lab-grown diamond jewelry demand, compared with about 50-plus percent of total global diamond jewelry demand.  

Sherry Smith from data and consulting company The Edge Retail Academy, which tracks independent jewelers’ sales, offered the following data from the January-June period. 

Lab-grown loose diamond sales represented 7 percent of total retail loose sales, an increase from 5.3 percent over the same period in 2021.

Smith noted that larger lab-grown diamonds showed significant increases in most of the key performance indicators.

The 3.25- to 3.50-carat range, for example, showed a 194 percent increase in gross sales, a 114 percent increase in units sold, and a 25 percent increase in average retail sale, suggesting some customers might be trading up in size from smaller natural diamonds. 

The 4.5- to 5-carat range recorded a spike of 582 percent in gross sales, and sales in the 5.5- to 6-carat rose 78 percent. 

But, Zimnisky said it’s important to keep in mind that lab-grown diamonds are also creating incremental demand for diamond jewelry that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

“Going into the future, I believe that this incremental demand will continue to grow while the share of lab-grown diamonds directly cannibalizing natural will stabilize.

“Once lab-grown diamonds as a product reach maturity, I believe consumers will likely view natural and lab-grown as distinct products, so demand for [the latter] will be driven much more by marketing and not product availability.”

What’s Shaping the Market
The big milestones for the sector this year have come from the major companies, Zimnisky said—Signet has really begun to push the product, and Pandora launched its new lab-grown line in the U.S. 

Signet officially got into the lab-grown game a few years back, but this year has started investing in stocking and marketing the sector in a big way. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

Pandora, meanwhile, tested its lab-grown diamond jewelry exclusively in the U.K. last year before deciding to bring the product to the U.S. market, its largest, in August of this year

Both developments will greatly increase the visibility and availability of lab-grown diamonds in the U.S.

Looking ahead, while Zimnisky initially predicted global lab-grown diamond jewelry sales could near the $10 billion mark by 2023, he said he’s now forecasting they will surpass that milestone next year.

Pricing in 2022
Lab-grown diamond prices generally have continued to decline over the last five to seven years, Zimnisky said, adding that as production capabilities improve and global production volume increases, the trend is likely to continue. 

He said higher energy prices around the world could stabilize nominal prices in the short term since that input cost is passed on from the producers.

But there’s also been an interesting update for the sector from India—the Indian government has formalized a policy to finance lab-grown diamond producers to help stimulate exports.

News broke in early August that the State Bank of India, the country’s biggest bank, had become the first Indian lender to come up with a formal policy to fund growers.

The loans reportedly come with certain conditions, such as funding the import of machinery rather than supplying working capital.

The move is “a significant catalyst and is likely to lead to a further boom in lab-grown diamond production volumes,” according to Zimnisky, which would continue to affect prices.

What Will Propel the Market
In fact, Zimnisky names increased production/limitless supply as one of the four factors he expects to drive the lab-grown diamond sector’s next phase of growth in a new report.

In addition to limitless supply, he also cited higher quality, branding and proprietary design, and custom shapes and colors.

As production ramps up, diamond-producing technologies will continue to improve, increasing the general quality of the stones but potentially exacerbating the decline in prices.

“Eventually, almost all man-made diamonds will likely be of a universal high quality, which could render grading of lab-diamonds non-necessary ... [which would] further reduce the price of man-made diamonds relative to natural diamonds for consumers,” Zimnisky wrote.

This means branding and proprietary design and custom shapes and colors will be essential for producers who want their product to compete as a luxury item, he added.

(For more on Zimnisky’s report, see this article by National Jeweler Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff.)

Lightbox, De Beers’ lab-grown diamond brand, recently added baguettes and cushion cuts to its selection of loose lab-grown diamonds, citing consumer desire for custom designs featuring fancy shapes.
Lightbox, De Beers’ lab-grown diamond brand, recently added baguettes and cushion cuts to its selection of loose lab-grown diamonds, citing consumer desire for custom designs featuring fancy shapes.

The MVEye also recently conducted research on the consumer groups they believe will drive the market in the future. 

Two of those consumer groups are 25- to 38-year-old millennials, but one group, called “In the Know” is already aware of lab-growns through friends or media.

The other, “In the Dark,” haven’t heard of lab-grown diamonds but are easily convinced to learn more. 

The MVEye also said it believes a third group dubbed the “Upgraders,” those who are 55 and older and looking to upgrade their engagement rings, could be a powerful segment to propel the growth of lab-grown diamond sales.

This consumer segment is motivated to buy a larger diamond and likes to reward themselves. 

“If retailers could bring that across to them [in ads], saying, ‘OK, it’s time to self-reward,’ that’s how they’re going to go get this group,” co-founder Liz Chatelain said to National Jeweler in a recent interview. 

“It’s a great opportunity, especially for independent retailers who really know their market.”

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

AuctionsSep 30, 2022
Red Diamond Earns $1.8M at Auction

The final hammer price blew the pre-sale estimate out of the water.

EditorsSep 30, 2022
The Best of Betty White’s Jewelry Sold at Auction

Michelle Graff recaps the cats, fortune cookies, and charm bracelets that caught her eye while covering the late actress’ estate sale.

Policies & IssuesSep 30, 2022
Voting Is Open for the Fairmined 100 Challenge’s Best Collection

The winners, picked by a group of judges and voted as the public’s favorite, will be announced in a webinar on Oct. 11.

Brought to you by
6 Steps to Start a Dynamic Company Culture

Learn how to better serve your employees, customers and community by having a dynamic and supportive company culture.

CollectionsSep 30, 2022
Piece of the Week: Fewer Finer’s ‘Family Bracelet’

The engravable piece is a perfect family heirloom.

Weekly QuizSep 29, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
GradingSep 30, 2022
GSI India Names Ramit Kapur Managing Director

Kapur has spent nearly two decades working in the gemological labs sector of the jewelry industry.

Supplier BulletinSep 29, 2022
How to Create an Engaging Experience and a Sparkling Reputation

Sponsored by Synchrony

Brought to you by
Committing to an Ethical Diamond Business

While ethical mining is essential to a diamond business, they represent only a fraction of the responsibility bestowed on jewelers.

SourcingSep 29, 2022
Q&A: Constantin Wild Celebrates 175 Years in the Colored Stone Business

The family business’ fourth-generation eponymous owner reflects on the milestone and the market today.

AuctionsSep 29, 2022
See the Top Lots in Christie’s Upcoming Rare Watch Sale

According to Christie’s, the auction is its most important single-owner watch collection ever.

CollectionsSep 29, 2022
Trove Has a New Proposal: Ring Boxes

The jewelry box brand is expanding with both single and double ring boxes in red, mint green, and white.

SourcingSep 29, 2022
AGTA Names Jennifer Heebner Editor-in-Chief of its Publications

The association has also hired a new marketing manager and announced two staff transitions.

Policies & IssuesSep 29, 2022
JA Members Return to Capitol Hill to Voice Jewelers’ Concerns

The topics up for discussion with lawmakers included inflation, rising interest rates, hiring challenges, and crime.

AuctionsSep 28, 2022
The 18-Carat ‘Fortune Pink’ Diamond Could Sell for $35M

The pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond will lead the Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction on Nov. 8.

SurveysSep 28, 2022
Consumer Confidence Rises in September

U.S. consumer confidence rose for the second consecutive month as gas prices fell.

MajorsSep 28, 2022
Artistry’s 2023 Catalog Is Out Now

The jewelry catalog features an updated layout and 160 pages of product.

MajorsSep 28, 2022
JFC’s 2022 ‘Hope for the Holidays’ Program Is an Adorable Menagerie

There are three designs to choose from this year, all featuring animals drawn by kids who have had wishes granted through Make-A-Wish.

AuctionsSep 27, 2022
In Betty White’s Blockbuster Estate Sale, Jewelry Held Its Own

Fine jewelry comprised three of the auction’s top 10 lots, though it could not top her director’s chair or scripts from “The Golden Girls.”

CrimeSep 27, 2022
3 Suspects in Beverly Hills Smash-and-Grab Robbery Arrested

A total of four suspects are now in custody with police still on the lookout for the remaining two.

ColumnistsSep 27, 2022
Creative Connecting: Fun Ideas for Holiday 2022 In-Store Events

From a “whodunnit” murder mystery to a permanent jewelry party, Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams share a wealth of suggestions.

MajorsSep 27, 2022
Stuller Releases 2 Updated Catalogs Ahead of the Holiday Season

“Mountings 2023-2024” and “Diamonds & Gemstones 2023-2024” offer a vast selection of options to create custom pieces.

Events & AwardsSep 27, 2022
ICA’s 2023 Congress Will Be Held in Dubai

The event will be hosted by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre from Feb. 15-17.

IndependentsSep 26, 2022
Roberson’s Fine Jewelry to Close After 42 Years

The store’s liquidation sale will showcase the mix of classic and unique jewels it’s known for stocking.

CollectionsSep 26, 2022
Go ‘Inside the Dream’ of Bulgari Via a New Documentary on Amazon Prime

It follows Creative Director Lucia Silvestri as she crafts the brand’s high jewelry collections.

Recorded WebinarsSep 26, 2022
Watch: What Jewelers Should Know About Insurance

From safeguarding showcases to appraisal liability, insurance experts Mark Devereaux and Andrew Chipman share insurance tips for jewelers.

TrendsSep 26, 2022
Vahan Collabs With Wolf on a Jewelry Box

It’s the first time in 50 years the brand has made something other than jewelry.

Events & AwardsSep 26, 2022
Texas Jewelers Association Rolls Out New Format for Design Competition

The competition takes place in tandem with TJA’s annual convention, known as the Texas Jewelers Roundup.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy