The engagement rings segment appears to be the most demanded among other lab-grown diamond options. Rings for weddings or engagements have always been a must-have option for couples, yet such a scale of demand has not been seen for a long time in the jewelry market. Over the last few years, this segment has demonstrated significant growth. Some decline was observed during the years of the pandemic, but this tendency is regained alongside the return to ordinary life. Currently, sales of engagement rings with lab-grown diamonds represent 10 percent of the engagement ring market, and experts foresee a coming breakthrough and crossing this line.
These predictions are not made out of thin air but have an analytical background related to industry transformations that have occurred during the latest years.
Paul Zimninsky considers the price gap between natural and lab-created diamonds as one of the most influential factors that affect the growing demand for any product with laboratory-grown diamonds. Price monitoring has shown that consumers can easily buy a 2-carat lab-grown diamond solitaire of better-than-average quality for the price of a 1-carat natural equivalent. Indeed, while the minimal difference in price is equal to 10-15 percent, the maximal is approaching 75 percent.
According to Zimninsky, many companies effectively use the price differential for building their trading strategies, accentuating buyers’ attention on must-have products like engagement rings.
And it works. Many jewelers confirm that the price decline affects consumers’ choice-making, and not only newlyweds buy lab-grown diamond engagement rings but also long-married couples. The latter ask for replacing the natural diamonds in the engagement rings they had for their wedding with lab-created gems. Apparently, this replacement implies getting three or four times bigger in size diamonds than they initially had.
Average Spend Raise
The leaders of the jewelry market claim that the average spending on lab-grown diamond engagement rings has risen by 50 percent. So, the average couple spent around $5,000 on an engagement ring in 2022. Sure, there are those who are ready to spend no more than $1,000 (19%) or those who can allocate a $10,000 budget for an engagement ring (9%), but the prevailing majority spend from $3,000 to $5,000. This figure varies from year to year. Experts do not compare it to the long-taken indicator since it is closely dependent on price: the price for lab-grown diamonds in 2016 was much higher, thus the average spend rate was also high. But if comparing the last two to three years, one can observe a steady rise.
Madestones.com, a leading jewelry trader with impressive experience in trading lab-grown diamonds, explains that it is a predictable tendency. Firstly, lab-grown diamonds have wide customization opportunities, so couples are ready to pay a little more to get a really exclusive and personalized thing.
Secondly, online shops, which are a rather widespread tool for handling business, provide multiple variants to couples who can offer any product from any corner of the world; consequently, they will not settle for less but look for the desired option.
And thirdly, managers observe new purchasing behavior of the buyers – more often the couples come to the showrooms together to buy engagement rings. Previously, men came alone and bought conventional solitaires or something like this; today they are choosing together. So, women strive for getting unique things and men strive to keep the brand of generous and loving gentlemen by buying extraordinary and costly rings.
The engagement ring is always associated with a special moment, and it goes without saying that this purchase should be one level higher than any other thing bought in life. So, brands matter for couples. Just a few years ago, it was difficult to find man-made diamond engagement rings under the famous brand.
Currently, we have a few jewelry leaders which have embraced man-made diamonds and switch to them only when developing new collections, such as Pandora, Signet, and Swarovski. Thanks to them, man-made diamonds have entered the luxury segment and thus gained new value in the eyes of buyers.