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Webinar: What’s Next for Lab-Grown?

Jul 17, 2022 7:36 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The lab-grown diamond industry has seen a boom in interest over the past two years, with many in the mainstream jewelry trade embracing the product.

Yet how does this recent acceptance impact the natural-diamond sector, and how will the two products coexist?

These themes took center stage in the first of a series of webinars sponsored by the International Gemological Institute (IGI). The lively discussion touched on issues of supply, demand, cost, pricing, the impact of technological advancements, grading, and marketing of lab-grown.

Moderated by Rapaport’s Avi Krawitz, panelists included Avi Levy, president for North America at IGI; Amish Shah, president of Altr Created Diamonds; Marty Hurwitz, CEO and founder of The MVEye; and Nick Smart, commercial director at Lightbox.

Follow this important and wide-ranging discussion in the video above.

Some comments from the webinar chat room:

• Value is a product of beauty, durability and rarity, like all gemstones, and there is no rarity in lab-grown anything.… Without rarity there’s no value there, and it will only decrease in secondary market value.

• Both markets will survive as separate markets: The jewelry segment will grow, the market will open up more; it’s a win-win for everyone. We just need to align ourselves to be ready to serve what the customer asks for.

• What has happened with lab-grown emeralds, rubies, and other gems? The natural product doesn’t seem to have suffered. It possibly even increased in price because it is natural and rarer.

• Buying a lab-grown is “an inspired choice.” Size price, environment — each is a different consumer, and the type of jewelry you sell in lab-grown is dictated by what market you want to go after. It is all strategic. Today the growers are focused on big centers. The bigger the stones, the more advantageous lab-grown looks. But you need the retailers to help pull it along.

• Focusing on real versus lab-grown, or truth versus lies, or cannibalization, etc., is simply not productive, and typically a strategy of one over the other. Focus on options for the consumer. Focus on round versus fancies. And, of course, focus on the consumer’s budget.

• I believe once a sales associate has been trained on lab-grown diamonds, both products can live in harmony. Some consumers like the appeal of a larger, more luminous, diamond. Most jewelers train their staff on both and sell to the demand and request of the consumer. Are diamonds rare? Diamonds are sold for an emotion, and most clients who walk in only focus on that. Some retailers have implemented trade-in value programs. I have jewelers and sales associates who are loving the booming turn and have consumers asking for lab-grown.
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Tags: ALTR Created Diamonds, diamonds, IGI, Jewelry, lab-grown diamonds, Lightbox Jewelry, Rapaport News, The MVEye
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