The market for lab-grown diamond jewelry is poised to almost double in size by 2025, predicts industry analyst Paul Zimnisky.
In a new report, the veteran industry observer estimated the current lab-grown diamond jewelry market at close to $2 billion and 3 million carats. That’s huge growth for a market that produced only a few hundred thousand carats a year in 2018.
Zimnisky believes the market will reach $3.9 billion by 2025. Lab-grown diamonds will then represent a mid- to high single-digit percentage of the overall diamond market.
Ultimately, he says, it’s even possible that more created diamonds will be sold than naturals.
Even so, Zimnisky believes that in the future, lab-grown diamonds will mostly occupy the fashion-jewelry space, which is being targeted by companies like Lightbox as well as Pandora and Swarovski. He thinks lab-grown diamond prices will continue to fall, particularly for generic stones that don’t have any branding. Since lab-grown diamonds have become commercially available, he’s seen their prices fall from 10 to 15% less than that of comparable natural gems to 75% less.
“The phenomenon of consumers spending thousands of dollars for lab diamond jewelry will be short lived,” he predicts. “Growers really see the tech market as the big money pot. A lot of the lab-grown producers want to get the price lower and the quality better and get scalability up. That will ultimately lead to lower-priced output.”
Zimnisky believes “consumers will continue to buy lab-grown diamonds in greater quantities, but it will be in that under-$1,000 price point area, which is a huge market. It’s going to be hard for simulants, like moissanite and white sapphire, to compete with a nice white diamond.”
He says there will be some high-end lab-grown diamond pieces, but “they will be more about the brand than the diamonds.”
Zimnisky wasn’t surprised to hear that Chow Tai Fook introduced a lab-grown test (which was eventually aborted when it was traced to the company). “I think a lot of companies will test [the product],” he says.
But he doesn’t see a lot of higher-end jewelers dipping their toe into the lab-grown market. “They don’t want to cannibalize their top-line revenue,” he says. “These companies want to sell $6,000 and $7,000 engagement rings. They don’t want to sell $800 engagement rings.”
(Photo: Getty Images)
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