Lab-Grown diamond awareness is strong, but consumers still confused

Rob Bates

Most consumers have heard of lab-grown diamonds. They know they exist. But many still aren’t quite sure what they are.

That’s according to the latest chunk of research from the Plumb Club Industry and Market Insights 2021, which questioned 1,049 men and women, aged 25–60, in 10 key markets.

The survey found that 79% of those polled said that they were aware of lab-grown diamonds and their use in fine jewelry. However, 41% admitted to not understanding how they differed from natural gems.

That shows a greater need for consumer education, says Plumb Club executive director Lawrence Hess.

Retailers that are doing well with [lab-grown diamonds] take a neutral approach and educate the consumer on their choices without bias,” he says. “I believe the consumer will pick up on bias.

When asked to choose, 84% of consumers said they’d prefer to buy natural diamonds, while 16% said they would prefer a lab-grown.

Even so, respondents were hardly hostile to the category. Some 83% said that they would consider buying a piece of fashion jewelry with lab-grown diamonds, while 65% said they’d consider buying a lab-grown engagement ring.

If you had posed this question a year ago, I don’t think you’d get those numbers,” says Plumb Club chief marketing officer Michael O’Connor. “They are growing, and that has to do with retailers and the way that they are presenting this. When retailers and brands [consumers] trust start carrying the product, it legitimizes it.”

Hess says he wasn’t surprised to see less demand for lab-grown engagement than lab-grown fashion.

If you’re looking for a fashion ring, you’re buying the design, and if a diamond piece happens to catch your eye when you’re buying, you’ll get that,” he says. “With an engagement ring, most people buy the diamond first, then fashion a ring around it.

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Source JCK Online

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