Although man-made diamonds emerged not so long ago and it might seem that a rare person does not know anything about them, the product did not succeed to enter many segments. Among others, luxury brands have been long hesitating about moving to challenging jewelry phenomenon.
As a rule, luxury brands build their luxury style on devotedness to the best-of-the-best materials, elements or approaches. Having once achieved an ideal brand’s formula, they will unwillingly change it. It happens not because they do not want to develop but because of their luxurious buyers, who are thoroughly tracking changes and question every smallest choice. Any shadow of consumers’ doubts costs money; considering the price of luxury products – it is big money. It makes luxury brands significantly less flexible than any other market subject.
Knowing this fact, one can get why choosing man-made diamonds was not the case for the luxury segment but could be a risky step. Just imagine to what extent preferring newly-appeared products of doubtful origin and unproven quality to natural diamonds that are entrusted and hotly loved by people for centuries was irrational a few decades ago. Postponing this choice was quite justified. A few decades ago but not today.
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
It was the core point for building trust in the product and embracing it by many brands. It took a long while to convince the audience of the absolute physical, chemical, and optical similarity between natural and man-made diamonds. Yet, multiple test results, compliance with high-quality standards, certification on 4C’s system, and finally legislative enshrinement of the quality and origin have brought the desired acknowledgment.
It is worth admitting that all the wins mentioned above were not a convincing factor for the luxury segment. Brands have just started to look at man-made diamonds more seriously than earlier but they still felt a lack of courage to risks – what if their buyers are not ready to buy luxury products with man-made diamonds?
This “what if..?” did not happen to be a case but, vice versa, the buyers have embraced man-made diamonds with a bigger readiness than business. It seems that people were waiting not for confirmation of quality but for the opportunity to buy. Indeed, the founder of Madestones – a leading European trader – confirmed that the first collections were sold immediately and such a tempo was absolutely unexpected for the majority of the traders.
Yet, luxury brands did not react to the first signs of popularity. They were waiting. They started to make the first steps just a few years ago when man-made diamond sales rates exceeded $5 billion. Some companies and brands started to follow the trend a little before this point, the others joined them a little later. In any way, it was a symbolic threshold for jewelry luxury brands.
This threshold was a little higher for non-jewelry luxury brands. Let’s analyze.
Financial experts foresee a doubling of the man-made diamonds global sales and reaching $10 billion by 2025.
The first major luxury Swiss watch brand is going to move entirely to lab-grown diamonds by 2024. Recently, Breitling’s announced in its news release that it would phase out natural stones by the end of 2024 in a bid to be “more sustainable”.
So, considering brands’ plans and the prediction of market observers, the “embracing threshold” for luxury watch brand segments is around $8 billion.
Man-made diamonds’ mission
Nobody wants to be linked to conflict issues and ecological damage. Usually, the environmental effect is ignored by the time when the damage could be justified in any possible way. Yet, from the moment of acknowledgment similarity between mined and lab-grown diamonds all the justifications were dispelled. The origin became the core point for differentiating two products on the ethical ground. There is no economic need to prefer mining for laboratory production. Yet, technology discovered new horizons for improvements and founded the ground for the “green race”.
So, luxury now can gain a new meaning thanks to man-made diamonds as a progressive superior product.