Laboratory-grown diamond acceptance continues to grow as noted by announcements such as Pandora in June going “all in” on lab grown diamonds for their fashion jewelry line, no longer using natural diamonds. The July issue of the GemGuide gives more detail on this move by Pandora in the market report by diamond correspondent Jon Phillips. As he noted, it was a brilliant PR move, focusing on ethical and sustainability concerns over mined diamonds, though we know some of these claims continue to be challenged by the natural diamond producers.
Recently, CIBJO released their Laboratory-Grown Diamond Guidelines, a comprehensive manual by the CIBJO Laboratory-Grown Diamond Committee, an adjunct of the CIBJO Diamond Commission. They cover all details including strong guides on the ethics and sustainability claims. The guides state that, “any environmental or ecological impact claim made (for example by brands or distributors/retailers) will have to be substantiated and verified by a credible and independent third party.”
The guides also call for the use of the initials LG before any color and clarity grade on laboratory reports. So, for example, they request that color would be listed as LG E and clarity as LG VS1. We are unaware of any laboratories adding the LG before color and clarity grades, but the major labs do clearly indicate that the diamonds are laboratory-grown.
We continue to report the growth in lab-grown production and more producers in the market and that trend continues. When researching prices for this list, the number of diamonds available has increased the reliability of pricing. Like natural diamonds, there will always be sellers outside of the ranges shown, but there is now a significant number of samples well within these ranges to rely on. Also, like natural diamonds, the lower color and clarity grades have fewer samples to price from but enough to generate a reasonable range of prices. As larger diamonds continue to show greater demand, we will consider additional reporting of these sizes.
It has now been almost two years since our first price list on lab-grown (October 2019). Our prediction then was that LGD prices would continue to decline as production increased. In every quarter that prices were produced in this list, we have lowered the prices, sometimes significantly, other times slightly. This price list for the 3rd quarter has just a few small price decreases. The strong demand that has certainly surprised many in the industry, has helped to keep prices from a freefall. Considering that the number of stones available for research on one trading platform alone has increased by 50% in just a few quarters, this would suggest possible further price decreases are coming with this kind of rapid growth. However, demand continues to also surprise so we will see if demand can keep up and keep prices stable.
Note. Starting in September, the lab-grown diamond prices will appear in the GemGuide. This will be the last quarterly price report. With the demand for pricing information, we are now going to include the prices in our main publication on a bimonthly basis. Information regarding the market will appear with our regular market reports.