What do Tesla, Patagonia and Toms shoes all have in common? They’re sustainable products, available at a price point higher than what the average consumer might want to spend on a car, jacket or pair of shoes. But might doesn’t mean won’t.
According to a 2015 study by Nielsen, a whopping 73% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable goods and services. Followed close behind by 72% of Gen Z consumers and even 51% of baby boomers. So is sustainability the new norm? And will all eco-friendly products cost more than their unfriendly counterparts? Not quite.
Enter lab-grown diamonds. Unlike other ethical and eco-friendly products, man-made diamonds are one of very few sustainable products that actual cost less than their mined equivalent. In fact, you can get a lab-grown diamonds for 20-40% less than a “traditional” diamond from direct to consumer brands such as Clean Origin. So what exactly are these diamonds? Where do they come from? And why are they making such a splash on the market, particularly with millennials?
What Is A Lab-Grown Diamond?
A lab-grown diamond, also known as man-made or above-ground, has a pretty simple definition: it’s a diamond. In all intents and purposes, a lab-grown diamond is the same as a mined diamond. Take a look at its chemical, physical and optical characteristics and you will see no difference.
However, there are three places you will find contrast between the two: their origin, the impact each has on our earth, and their price. That’s it. And if those are the only differences between mined and man-made, we’d say the latter already comes out a winner.
But if you’re not quite as convinced, let’s break it down.
Where Do They Come From?
Science is pretty cool and can also be pretty hot…800 degrees celsius in fact. That’s the temperature it takes to create a lab-grown diamond using the High Pressure-High Temperature method. The other method — Chemical Vapor Deposition — takes 1500. We won’t bore you with the exact details of these processes, but we will break it down to this. Just as they’re created under the earth, it takes extremely high heat and pressure to create a lab-grown diamond above the ground. And, in the end, the result is a diamond that must go through the same certifications and grading as mined stones.
Why Are They Popular With Millennials?
Let’s be honest. What woman doesn’t love diamonds?
Picture this. There are two diamonds sitting in front of you. They look the exact same — a glorious sparkle and brilliant cut. Now you’re told that the only difference is that the one on the right was 100% ethically made inside a lab.
That scenario is the reason so many millennials are deciding to make an eco fashion statement with their engagement rings and other diamond jewelry in 2019. And, the 20-40% less expensive price tag doesn’t hurt either. In fact, many couples are seeing that as a reason to upgrade their diamond to a bigger or better stone. 20-40% doesn’t just have to mean savings…it could mean your original $5,000 budget for a mined diamond now gets you a stone that’s almost twice as large for the same price.
The Potential for Diamond Accessories
For a lot of women, having a pair of real diamond studs or a diamond tennis bracelet is a distant reality. Not anymore. Although lab-grown diamonds are far from cheap, their reduced cost from the over pricing of so many mined diamonds is now giving tons of women new opportunities to fill their jewelry boxes. A set of ready-to-ship diamond stud earrings from Clean Origin start at just $585, compared to a similar pair from a mined jeweler priced at $800. The difference in cost gives many individuals the opportunity to purchase their first piece of diamond jewelry and the peace of mind that their new accessories are ethically made.
So, if you’re in the market for diamond jewelry or you’re searching for your ideal engagement ring, consider your options and do your research.
Which diamond would you pick up…the one on the right or the left?