The intrinsic value of diamonds has remained unchallenged for a long time.
Of course, gems are rare and highly sought after. They have become a central part of the jewelry industry, but now things are changing to make room for an alternative aesthetic.
While traditional, natural diamonds are certainly not going out of fashion any time soon, there seems to be a growing interest in alternatives. Flawed and synthetic diamonds were previously considered less than. Now that is changing.
How has the diamond market evolved over the years?
In one year, from 2019 to 2020, the diamond industry experienced a $11 billion drop in value from $79 billion to $68 billion. Despite this decline, diamond jewelry still dominates the global market.
Additionally, those lucky enough to keep their jobs during the pandemic have often been able to save more than they normally should have. Many of these people are now looking for something special to buy for themselves and their loved ones.
And with polished diamonds hitting an all-time high since the start of the pandemic, some experts believe this price bubble may be about to burst. to burst. As in any market, there will always be ups and downs.
Yet time and time again, the diamond industry has proven surprisingly resilient. And with a potential peak reached for polished diamonds, there seems to be plenty of room for the market for imperfect gemstones to grow.
Is our perception of diamonds changing?
In recent decades there has been a growing trend towards durability. This demand is also reflected within the diamond industry and the dissatisfaction felt by many consumers with the ethical and environmental costs associated with the mining industry.
Many believe that the priority number 1 in the diamond business is knowing how to operate sustainably and ethically. One of the ways the industry can deliver the desired levels of continuous improvements is by revisiting diamonds that were once considered low quality in one way or another.
Perceptions have evolved to increasingly value sustainability both within the jewelry industry and beyond. And that’s not all that has changed.
Overall, people care less and less about what used to be considered conventionally beautiful and acceptable. Now people also want to make their own fashion and jewelry choices.
James Sanders of London Diamonds notes that there is a desire to select something that has meaning beyond the typical value assigned to diamonds by society.
Traditionally, only certain red, pink or bluish diamonds were considered special. Lately, more and more people have become interested in buying diamonds of all colors and cuts.
More and more, designers are seeing the potential value of colored diamonds. German designer Hemmerle now largely favors more subdued and subtle diamond colors, as these go wonderfully well with increasingly popular metals such as bronze or copper.
Additionally, the jewelry industry is now seeing people moving away from traditionally accepted items and towards ones that resonate and make them happy. Even though diamonds remain the most popular choice for engagement rings, there is growing interest in alternatives to typical white diamond jewelry.
Many people want their jewelry, especially engagement rings, to be a reflection of themselves and their relationships. For these people, a white diamond may not be the best choice.
Salt and pepper, green and chocolate colored diamonds are just a few of the gems whose sales have increased in recent years. Some attribute these trends to celebrities and their increasingly avant-garde ring choices.
Why are people willing to buy flawed diamonds?
In a world where many seek perfection, there is also a growing sense of disillusionment. More and more consumers are looking for something authentic, and flawed diamonds seem to be just that. Moreover, something defective and unreplicable can be considered particularly rare and desirable.
Often imperfect or colored diamonds cost much less than their counterparts. For many, the more affordable price is part of the strong appeal of these gems. People want to spend their money the way they want, and not everyone considers the traditionally perfect gemstones worth it.
Moreover, the so-called imperfections are not always clearly visible to the naked eye. If a diamond has inclusions, but these do not affect the visual appearance of the jewel, why should it be deemed unworthy? In many cases, the average person will not be able to tell if a diamond has such imperfections, especially since they are unlikely to study the gem under a microscope.
Even gemstones that have noticeable inclusions can be progressively more marketable. A diamond doesn’t have to shine to be attractive. The cut and color of a diamond is enough to charm some buyers, even if the gem has more inclusions or is cloudier than it would have been before.
How can these changes be compatible with the reason for having a diamond?
Jewelers and designers are increasingly seeing the hidden value of imperfect diamonds. After all, part of the appeal of high quality traditional diamonds comes from the fact that they are rare and unique. And don’t ugly diamonds contain those same delights?
There is also undeniably a trend within haute couture that loves the offbeat. Not everyone wants something alike, and for some, uncolored diamonds just aren’t interesting or quirky enough to capture their interest.
Big fashion brands like Dior are even known to create very popular and very weird items such as their go-go boots. There will always be those who desire jewelry that stands out from the crowd and may even be traditionally considered ugly.
James Sander of London Diamonds is an entrepreneur who understands that people want beautiful, unique diamonds that don’t cost a fortune. Where others may see a problem with imperfect jewelry entering the market, James Sanders sees an opportunity to appreciate the rare and the beautiful.
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