Here’s the argument for selling lab-grown diamonds

AHIS PAST wedding buyer for one of the largest independent jewelry retailers on the West Coast, I strongly believe that there are opportunities to grow your business by offering lab grown diamonds as an alternative to mined diamonds.

There is no right or wrong answer when deciding to sell synthetic diamonds. I challenge you to ask yourself if you find it useful to expand your customer base by offering lab-grown products as an alternative. A few things to consider:

1. Margin

More than a decade ago, e-commerce changed the way consumers bought diamonds. Consumers have become more educated than ever and it has become increasingly difficult for a jewelry retailer to make a profit. Today, if you google the comparison, you will find that on average, lab-grown diamonds are 20-30% cheaper than natural diamonds. That said, I firmly believe that lab-grown diamonds have the ability to transform retailer margins. We’ve all seen lab diamond prices fluctuate, and how you fare depends on your sales model. I believe it is imperative to place natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds at different levels. Distinguishing the difference will allow the consumer to make an informed decision based on their preference. Is the consumer more inclined to buy a product based on price or does he prefer scarcity? Offering lab-grown diamonds not only offers an alternative to natural diamonds, but it’s also a unique story. Who doesn’t want increased margins and happy customers?

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2. Price

Sometimes for consumers it’s either a question of price or they just want a big rock. Before lab-grown diamonds, consumers were limited by their budget. A consumer might have thought they could afford a one carat diamond only to find that their budget only allowed for half a carat. With the introduction of lab-grown diamonds, consumers can purchase the size and quality of diamonds they originally expected, regardless of their budget. Consumers do not always buy based on the natural, the unique and the rare. I think having it grown in the lab as a cheaper alternative to natural diamonds expands your reach with consumers.

3. The ecological debate

We all remember the movie Blood Diamond which changed the mindset of diamond consumers forever. Lab-grown diamonds are touted as the sustainable choice. I disagree with marketing lab-grown produce as environmentally friendly. Lab-grown diamonds are grown in a controlled environment and produced by humans, so the diamonds themselves can be considered a renewable resource. But eco-responsible? This is the big debate. The energy used to create even a single lab-grown diamond is not necessarily renewable or sustainable, and it could be harmful to the environment. If the consumer does enough research before their purchase, they will find out.

Sarah C. Figueiredo