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The Lab Diamond Revolution: When Proposals Align with Ethics and Savings August 29, 2023 (0 comments)


New York, NY--A long-held debate has resurfaced: to invest in an engagement ring or a house down payment? Recent trends suggest a blend of both, thanks to the rise of lab-created diamonds virtually indistinguishable from their mined counterparts to the untrained eye.

[Image via Creative Commons]

For Jasmine Ma, this wasn’t just a passing trend. Per a report published in Inquirer, she was sure about not wanting a ring with a mined diamond. She shared her reasons with Ricky Chen, her now fiancé: the comparable affordability of a bigger lab-grown stone and the ethical implications of diamond mining. True to her wishes, Chen proposed with a custom-made ring from L. Priori Jewelry, showcasing a 1.5-carat oval lab diamond.

The report noted that lab-grown diamonds, chemically and physically identical to mined ones, generally cost 50%-70% less. Such savings have enabled couples like Ma and Chen to allocate funds towards other milestones, such as their recent house purchase.

Per the report, The shift towards lab diamonds isn’t isolated. A survey by the wedding site, the Knot revealed that lab diamond selections for engagement rings doubled from 2020. Regional jewelers in Philadelphia and national jewelry brands like Brilliant Earth and Grown Brilliance have also witnessed a spike in lab diamond demand.

Younger generations are primarily driving this change. Millennials and Gen Z couples, concerned about their purchases' environmental and societal footprints, find lab-grown diamonds produced in controlled settings appealing. Financial motivations also play a part, with rising living expenses and the comparative affordability of lab diamonds.

However, not all jewelers are onboard. Steven Singer, a prominent Philadelphia jeweler, has been vocal about his preference for mined diamonds, challenging lab diamonds' purported environmental and ethical advantages.

Yet, the perception of lab diamonds is evolving. Eleni Weisser, who recently upgraded her engagement ring, illustrates this shift. The report stated that after learning of a friend's lab diamond ring, Weisser opted for a larger one, emphasizing that she couldn't spot any difference from its mined counterpart.

Misconceptions still exist, with some older customers confusing lab diamonds with inferior simulants like cubic zirconia. However, the broader acceptance and increasing demand for lab-grown diamonds suggest a changing tide in the jewelry world.

Read more in the original Inquirer report.

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