New York – In a comprehensive consumer study, The Plumb Club Industry and Market Insights 2021 reveals numerous opportunities for the jewelry industry when it comes to consumers and lab-grown diamonds.
When presented with the opportunity to buy a diamond, 84% of consumers responded that they would prefer to buy natural diamonds, while 16% said that they would prefer a lab-grown diamond. However, deeper probing indicated that there may be several reasons for this disparity.
Reinforcing the need for the industry to educate the public, 21% of consumers said that they were not aware of lab-grown diamonds. Although 79% said that they were aware of lab-grown diamonds and their use in fine jewelry, 41% admitted to not knowing the differences between natural and lab-grown.
What a consumer is intending to purchase plays a role in the consideration of natural or lab-grown diamonds. From a category perspective, 83% of consumers said that they would consider buying a piece of fashion jewelry (jewelry other than engagement rings, wedding bands or anniversary rings) that contained lab-grown diamonds. When discussing the engagement ring however, the number drops to 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 appear to be lower price (37%), differential in size for the money (25%), ethical reasons (20%) and environmental reasons (18%).
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:
- 47% said that if they were buying lab-grown, they would prefer a modern and fashionable design (compared to 38% who said they would prefer that type of design when buying a natural diamond).
- 49% said if they were buying natural diamonds, they would prefer more traditional and classic styling, as opposed to 37% who preferred that style when buying lab-grown diamonds.
- When it comes buying lab-grown or natural diamonds in vintage styling, the numbers are more evenly split with 16% for lab-grown diamonds and 14% for natural diamonds.
The findings above were part of an expansive multi-focused study initiated by The Plumb Club, a coalition of 45 best-in-class suppliers to the jewelry and watch industry. 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 survey firm, Qualtrics.