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Consumer Awareness of Synthetics Soars

Nov 1, 2020 8:16 AM   By Rapaport News
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The proportion of consumers who have heard about lab-grown diamonds has risen to 80% in 2020, up from 58% two years ago, an MVI Marketing survey found.

Meanwhile, 69% of shoppers knew of specific brands that use lab-grown diamonds, compared to 49% in 2018.

“Lab-grown diamond is a high-margin category that consumers are reacting to positively,” MVI CEO Marty Hurwitz said last week. “Now that Signet is in it, other jewelers will have to take a hard look at this category or lose out on it.”

Some 8% of respondents said they owned or had purchased a lab-grown diamond before, and consumers expected to see them offered at the stores at which they shopped. The primary attraction of synthetics is the size-to-value ratio, meaning consumers can purchase a larger lab-grown stone for the price of a smaller natural one with the same quality features. This difference is even more important given consumer desire for 2- to 3-carat center stones has risen 10% in the past two years, MVI noted.

In addition, 95% of jewelers who took part in the survey reported receiving better margins from synthetic stones. Some 78% of those noted margins were 16% to 40% greater than those of mined diamonds, with some enjoying even higher margins.

While approximately 38% of independent jewelry retailers in the US carry lab-grown diamonds either online or in their stores, that number will rise to more than 50% by the 2020 holiday season, MVI forecast.

Although diamonds are often associated with love and emotions, it’s up to shoppers to decide what kind of diamond represents that to them, Hurwitz said.

“It doesn’t matter what consumers have assigned that emotion to, jewelers have to make a profit on it; that’s the goal,” he added. “Hanging on to one product that sells love may not be a good idea. Present consumers with a choice, present both mined and lab-grown diamonds, and make money with the products they value and see as love. Let them choose.”

MVI conducted the survey of 1,027 jewelry consumers and an unspecified number of jewelry retailers together with the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) and Instore magazine.

Image: A bride wearing lab-grown diamonds. (MVI Marketing)
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Tags: IGDA, InStore, International Grown Diamond Association, lab-grown, lab-grown diamonds, Marty Hurwitz, MVI, MVI Marketing, Rapaport News
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