I recommend everyone in the diamond industry watch this video from MVI Marketing, which surveys millennial consumers about lab-grown diamonds. While many said (surprisingly) they hadn’t heard of them, all but one said he would consider buying one for the lower cost and perceived benefits to human rights and the environment. Said one: “I feel like I’m doing something good for the community.”
Aside from perhaps the cost, all those points are debatable (see here and here). The problem is, the traditional industry hasn’t made its argument but is still running on fumes from De Beers’ decade-old campaigns.
I have long felt the diamond trade has erred in believing the primary threat posed by synthetics is misidentification. That’s a problem, though likely a solvable one long-term. But it also underestimates their commercial threat, as that video shows. Younger consumers have different criteria for buying products than other generations, and the traditional diamond industry needs to clean up its existing problems and talk to concerned consumers in a frank, honest way.
As MVI’s video concludes, “It’s the consumer’s opinion that counts.” This industry may soon pay a price for neglecting it.