Is there a more emotionally driven purchase than that of a diamond… especially a diamond engagement ring?
Not in my world.
Fortunately, diamonds (with a few exceptions) have been seen as a decent store of value, or even investment if you will, historically.
As with mined diamonds, whether an investment into a laboratory diamond will pan out to be financially sound comes down to:
- What you paid for the diamond.
- What laboratory diamond prices do in the future.
Let’s explore the landscape.
Value Perception of Laboratory Made Diamonds
Laboratory made diamonds are 100% real diamonds that differ from mined diamonds solely in origin. You can find all the information you need on laboratory-grown diamonds here (link).
Although there was uncertainty around market reception a few years ago, it’s abundantly clear these days that tons of couples are A-OK with laboratory diamonds.
*Our popular Franci design set with a lab-grown diamond.
If you have two identical diamonds, one mined and the other laboratory-made, the laboratory-made diamond can sell at a discount of up to 60%.
So yes, technically, laboratory diamonds are “worth” less than a similar mined diamond, but they also cost less by the same margin.
The Price You Pay
If you overpay for a mined diamond, appreciation in diamond prices can take decades to get you close to any form of a breakeven price.
The same will hold true for laboratory-grown diamonds.
While writing this post I ran through a simple exercise. I emailed a handful of jewellers asking for their prices on a +/- 1,00ct I VS2 round laboratory-grown diamond.
Prices differed from R35 700 – R51 850.
*For interest’s sake a mined diamond of this quality would cost you upwards of R90 000.
I’ll never recommend choosing a jeweller solely on price, but prices are all over the show, and it’s worth your time to find a very competitive price at a trusted jeweller.
If you bought the R51 850 option… just know that a similar stone is available in the market for R35 700 and the market value of your investment is now: R35 700 at best.
The Future of Diamond Prices
Laboratory diamonds are gaining traction for reasons well beyond their competitive price (i.e. eco-conscious) and this will undoubtedly decrease the demand for mined diamonds over the next few decades.
*The Mir diamond mine in Siberia
But, the supply of mined diamonds is also decreasing steadily due to natural deposits being increasingly harder and more expensive to mine.
Laboratory made diamonds might have zero effect on the price of mined diamonds.
The processes used to create diamonds in a laboratory is resource-intensive.
*Each one of these gigantic machines is creating a single diamond over the span of 6 – 8 weeks.
It’s far more economical than mining, but it’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
General Electric won the race and created the first laboratory-made diamond back in 1954. That’s 68 years ago.
So, the technology isn’t new and has been refined to a point where the processes used are optimised and standardised.
In a world where I won’t bet on decreasing energy costs, laboratory diamonds do have a base cost to manufacture them, and selling prices won’t drop below this figure for an extended period of time.
I honestly think that laboratory-grown diamonds are trading at a fair and sustainable price for manufacturers, jewellers and shoppers.
They’re absolutely worth looking into. Especially when;
- You want much more (size and quality) diamond for your set budget.
- You are at a point where you’re consciously voting for a greener and cleaner planet with your purchases.
- Your budget doesn’t allow for your ideal diamond size and a quality mined diamond.
- This all sounds interesting.
I’m very optimistic about the future of laboratory-grown diamonds and recommend them regularly!
More information on laboratory diamonds:
If you have any questions, I’m an email away on email@example.com
Co-Founder Poggenpoel Diamond Jewellers.