“Since many of our sub-40-year-old bridal clientele see the financial benefit of lab-grown diamonds, I always make sure they are completely and transparently educated on all pros, cons, and conjecture surrounding this market. When asked about future pricing forecasts, I tell them that pricing will assuredly continue to decline due to lack of rarity and infinite production possibilities. At this time we don’t offer buybacks on any lab-grown diamond jewelry, and we state that during the initial diamond education. This doesn’t go against our brand at all, since we don’t offer returns or buybacks on any jewelry item. Most of our clientele who are purchasing a lab-grown diamond are driven by look versus price. The idea of diamonds as a means to a financial return simply doesn’t resonate.”
—Sarah Martin Rowe, owner, the Leake Co., Louisville, Ky.
“Our salespeople do not promote lab; we always show natural first. We do carry lab-grown because we find that some consumers are completely set on purchasing a lab, and we aren’t in the business of turning down sales. We do not allow lab diamonds to be traded in, nor do we purchase them off the street. We disclose the no-trade-in policy as well as address the value concern in every lab sale. We require a customer sign-off at the point of sale that discloses this information as well.”
—Joe Corey, president, Day’s Jewelers, Waterville, Maine
“I do not deal with lab-grown on a daily basis, but I am happy to offer it as an option for customers if they ask about it or if it will suit their needs. I explain to them that prices of most lab-grown diamonds have fallen drastically on both the wholesale and retail levels over the past five years, and there is therefore reason to believe that they will continue to do so. With that in mind, I do not offer a buyback or trade-in policy on lab-grown diamonds. Very few of my customers consider a jewelry purchase to be an investment, and I would never suggest that jewelry could potentially be one. As I explain it, jewelry may increase in value generationally. Your heirs may be able to sell jewelry that you leave to them for more than you paid for it, 40 years from now.”
—Joe Stehle, owner, Facet & Co., Virginia City, Nev.
“So far, no one has asked for a trade-in for a lab-grown. It would have to be a trade-up. What we have decided is, should it come up, we will give people market value, but they would have to spend double. If they’re hoping to grow their diamond, they have to spend more or they’re not going to see a difference. That is in the best interest of both us and the client. But at this point, we haven’t been asked once.”
—Andy Koehn, owner, Koehn & Koehn Jewelers, West Bend, Wis.
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