North Carolina — Bridal market consumers continue to choose lab-grown diamonds as their choice for an engagement ring stone in increasing numbers, as indicated in a newly released report, A Diamond Choice 2019, Lab-Grown Diamonds & The Future of The Diamond Industry. The report, published by the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA), is wide-ranging but specifically highlights the results of a consumer research study it commissioned in Fall 2018.

Some key findings include:

  • 66% of millennials actively shopping for an engagement ring say they will consider a lab-grown diamond, and 23% say they will definitely buy a ring with lab-grown diamonds

  • The main purchase driver is the fact that a consumer can get a larger, better quality lab-grown diamond for the same price as a smaller mined diamond

  • Consumer attitudes consistent with updated FTC guidelines in terms of defining language

  • Consumers expect lab-grown diamonds to be certified just as mined diamonds are

  • 56% of consumers are now aware of lab-grown diamonds, compared to just 9% in 2010

The study, conducted by MVI Marketing LLC, an industry research firm that has been studying the lab-grown diamond market for well over a decade, highlights growth in lab-grown diamond awareness and attitudes as well as purchase interest, with an emphasis on the bridal sector. “The growth in awareness and acceptance has been on a classic hockey stick curve, and it happened without any significant marketing. Critical mass of consumer interest is now converging with increasing acceptance of lab-grown diamonds by retailers. This unique moment in time will propel growth for many years to come,” noted Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI.

Despite conflicting reports in the trade about which direction lab-grown diamond prices are moving, the report acknowledges that some prices have gone down, mostly in the smaller size goods, but states that for higher quality, larger lab-grown diamonds suitable for bridal, demand exceeds supply and prices are stable and increasing.

“Over the last two years, the anecdotal feedback from IGDA members has been that the bridal category is where they’ve had most success. The extensive survey conducted by MVI confirms this as well as corresponding consumer attitudes toward lab-grown diamonds, indicating the significance of the opportunity in bridal,” added Richard Garard, Secretary General, IGDA.

The report was partially underwritten by IGDA member, Seki Diamond Systems (CORNES Technologies, LTD), the leading provider of CVD reactors to the industry. “We wanted to evaluate the current state of market acceptance as well as the longer-term potential for lab-grown diamonds with today’s consumer, and couldn’t have been more pleased with the results,” said Makoto Seki, Managing Director, CORNES Technologies, Ltd.

To download A Diamond Choice 2019, Lab-Grown Diamonds & The Future of The Diamond Industry, click here.