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Research Shows 84% Of Consumers Still Prefer Natural Over Lab-Grown Diamonds August 09, 2021 (0 comments)


New York, NY--An overwhelming percentage of consumers prefer natural mined diamonds over lab-grown diamonds, according to research from The Plumb Club Industry and Market Insights 2021, a comprehensive consumer research project undertaken earlier this year. Image: Lab-grown diamonds from Stuller.

Related: Research Reveals Consumer Jewelry Preferences

But the findings also revealed numerous opportunities for the jewelry industry when it comes to lab-grown diamonds. Although only 16% of the more than 1,000 consumer respondents to the survey said they would prefer a lab-grown diamond over a mined diamond, deeper probing indicated that there may be several reasons for the disparity, not least of which is lack of awareness and understanding.

Although 79% of respondents said they're aware of lab-grown diamonds, that leaves 21% of consumers who said that they were not aware of lab-grown diamonds. And among those who are aware of them, shockingly close to half (41%) admitted to not knowing the differences between natural and lab-grown. That clearly points to a need for greater education on the part of the jewelry industry.

What a consumer is intending to purchase plays a role in the consideration of natural or lab-grown diamonds, says the study. Fashion jewelry (anything that's not engagement, wedding, or anniversary rings) is the runaway category where consumer respondents (83%) said they would consider buying a piece of jewelry that contained lab-grown diamonds. When discussing an engagement ring, however, the number drops but remains close to two-thirds (65%) of consumers who would consider buying a lab-grown diamond. 

For both fashion jewelry and engagement rings, the key factors for purchasing a lab-grown diamond piece over a mined diamond piece are either financial or social. Financial considerations matter most: 37% of respondents cited a lower price overall for lab-grown jewelry, while 25% cited a differential in size for the money spent. 20% cited ethical reasons for choosing lab-grown, and 18%, environmental reasons.

The styling of a piece of jewelry also seems to be indicative of preference. When consumers were asked, “If you were to buy a lab-grown or natural diamond, what type of design would you prefer?”, the breakdown is as follows:


The findings above were part of an expansive multi-focused study initiated by The Plumb Club. The study was conducted in the first half of 2021 with a sampling of 1,049 men and women from ages 25-60 with a focus on 10 test markets across the US. It was done with the help of Paola Deluca, The Futurist and Qualtrics. 

Additional information from this expansive research will be shared at the JCK Show in Las Vegas. Any retailer wishing more information on The Plumb Club Industry & Market Insights 2021 should contact a member at or email   

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