More precisely, Millennials are not against all diamonds. They decline just the real, mined ones, preferring more planet-friendly solutions.
The pandemic, global warming, and other events raised sustainability awareness to the level that people’s values completely changed.
The market adjusted. In the middle of last year, Pandora, the world’s largest jewelry maker and jewelry brand, announced that it will stop using mined diamonds. They had two reasons for that. They moved toward carbon neutrality and more and more consumers demanded jewelry that doesn’t burden nature.
According to the company, industry growth of lab-created diamonds is outpacing mined diamonds. Their man-made diamonds are produced with more than 60% renewable energy, expecting to increase this share to 100% in 2022. Another Pandora’s goal is carbon-neutral business, using recycled metals exclusively, by 2025.
Signet, the world’s biggest jewelry retailer of diamond jewelry, thinks similarly. As a sustainability-focused company and the market leader in lab-created diamonds, Signet CEO Virginia Drosos announced that lab-created diamonds are one of the biggest jewelry trends she expects this year.
Lab-created jewelry brand Charles & Colvard exposed that consumers don’t just want to look good with the jewelry. They also want to feel good about it. “As the push for conscious consumerism grows, the rise in lab-grown diamonds is not surprising,” said Don O’Connell, president, and CEO of Charles & Colvard.
But the picture is not just black and white. Real diamonds are far from decline and we have two trends right now. The first is “bigger and natural is better.” The second, an emerging one, is based on sustainability, carbon neutrality, and affordability. The emphasis is on the two specific advantages: human-made diamond is the same rock as a natural one but more pleasant to the planet. And to the wallet.
Are girl’s best friends still forever?
Diamonds gained vast popularity after a clever ad campaign for luxury engagement rings. Since then, diamonds have represented a symbol of love and loyalty. Because of their rarity and uniqueness, they have been a good investment as well.
Sales of natural diamonds have grown sharply as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. More and more people are buying diamond jewelry. The two diamond giants, De Beers and Alrosa, which hold more than a 60 percent share of the global rough diamond market, drastically increased their sales last year. De Beers was is 41 percent and Alrosa 49 percent. Besides, the price for De Beers’ rough diamonds rose 13 percent.
The highest demand is for rough diamonds, the ones that are not cut and processed.
A few days ago, the biggest diamond of its kind, mined in the last 300 years, was found in Angola. A 170-carat pink rock called Lulo Rise weighs 34 grams. It is special because only one in 10.000 is pink in color. The discovery generated quite an excitement worldwide. This is the classic effect that diamonds create. Yes, natural diamonds are still hot.
New kids on the block: a rise of lab-grown diamonds
The opposite picture emerges with the younger generations. If (mined) diamond engagement rings used to be a gold standard, the trend reversed.
BBC reported that Millennials and Generation Z, the main purchasers of engagement rings, are turning away from mined diamonds. Their eco-conscious mindset and ethical concerns about natural diamond sourcing are the two factors influencing their preference for non-traditional engagement rings, the wedding planning website The Knot reported.
Consequently, almost 70% of millennials would consider buying a lab-grown engagement ring.
Edahn Golan, an independent diamond industry analyst, confirmed the numbers. Sales of engagement rings with a manufactured diamond increased 63% this year. In the same period, the number of engagement rings sold with a mined diamond declined by 25%.
The solution: Themis Ecosystem to produce diamonds with 100% renewable energy, the founder Roberto Hroval confirms
Obviously, there is a market for all kinds of diamonds. But when comes to engagement rings and modern trends, lab-grown diamonds seem to take a lead.
One of the companies that recognized the trend is Themis Ecosystem. This is an innovative and complex, all-in-one business environment where the best technologies are met, intersecting with a trading platform that connects technologies and supporters without middlemen. (To know more about this US$ 22 billion giant, click here.)
The technologies – the funder Roberto Hroval calls them the drives – are carefully selected and must meet strict rules and conditions. They must be innovative, proven to work, and be in demand for at least fifty years ahead. They must be innovative and CO2 negative, harmful emissions-free, and they must fit into one of the key categories: environment and waste management, health, IT, housing, transportation, food/nutrition, and energy.
One of the ways to achieve innovation is by adding new modules to existing, proven businesses. “We already have a Biomass Ultima reactor with the highest efficiency on the market,” Roberto Hroval explained, “where the by-product of the main product, green electricity, is organic carbon black. We also have a surplus of electricity. We were thinking about what to do with them and decided to add a diamond-making HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) module because it is a great fit. That way, diamonds are made with 100% renewable energy.”
Hroval said that the team at the remote location has been working on attempts to create larger diamonds for more than a year. “The team decided that in addition to the classic one- and two-carat diamonds, they would also try to make a larger, more technologically demanding 100-carat diamond. It would nicely symbolize the combination of high technology, optimization, uniqueness, luxury, and a green future.”
The founder also explained that Themis Ecosystem and Biomass Ultima do not intend to specialize in the production of large series of diamonds. “We are more interested in progress, breakthroughs, and achieving the impossible. That is why we are trying to perfect and optimize the basic technologies with new solutions. Our goals are to resolve the global problem of garbage disposal, create alternative electricity and diamonds, and change the industry to a greener and more sustainable one. But we don’t want to do this separately. We offer people to join the programs and support new technologies. Everyone can easily become part of this big story,” he concluded.