If you know, you know: At JCK Las Vegas 2022, the lab-grown diamond pavilion was abuzz with activity indicating a major shift from years past. Clearly, retailers were exploring the options in earnest. And now, the once controversial category appears to be fast-tracking its way to becoming a new essential for jewelers who hope to attract younger consumers.
Early adopters need no convincing: “You can get margins on lab-grown diamonds like we haven’t seen since the ’80s,” Shelia Bayes of Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelry in Lexington, Ky., told The Zing Report in a recent article. And according to several suppliers, a rash of retailers are getting on board.
“The foot traffic to the booth was amazing,” reports Zulu Ghevriya cofounder of Smiling Rocks in New York City. “Lab-grown diamonds have become a product that 90% of the retailers know and are willing to test, especially in finished jewelry.”
Bypass ring with 2.28 cts. t.w. emerald-cut lab-grown diamond in 14k white gold, $8,275; Smiling Rocks
According to established lab-grown supplier ALTR Created Diamonds, which is also headquartered in NYC, inflation (and an estimated 20% price increase on fine jewelry in general, according to the brand) is compelling consumers to be more interested in the lab-grown option.
Diamonds rings with lab-grown diamonds in 18k white gold. $6,150 (left) and $5,200 (right), both ALTR
There’s no shortage of lab-grown suppliers competing for retailer business but one important Vegas debut signals that some big-league diamontaires are keen to get in on the action. NYC-based Christopher Designs unveiled its Neon Crisscut range at the show—premium lab-grown diamonds in round, emerald, oval, pear, and cushion shapes, all bearing the brand’s signature faceting.
“We sold each style at least three times over and have sold almost all of the loose stones as well,” says Christopher Slowinski, Christopher Designs president and founder, who developed the Crisscut diamond cut in 1990s (the faceting technology is engineered to maximize size and brilliance, from emerald cuts to ovals). “The majority of our retail partners are selling both lab-grown and mined diamond collections; they understand today’s consumer and how important it is to have options for them.”
Halo engagement ring with a 1.17ct Neon Crisscut oval, lab-grown diamond center stone with 1.74 cts. t.w. lab-grown round diamonds and eternity band with 4 cts. t.w. Neon Crisscut oval lab-grown diamonds, both in 14K white gold, prices on request; Christopher Designs
Here are more lab-grown diamond engagement rings to shine a light on the possibilities—all provide further evidence the category is far from a generic, one-size-fits all proposition. And hopefully there are even more fresh takes to come.
The Curator emerald-cut engagement ring in 18k yellow gold with pavé lab grown-diamonds (lab-grown center stone sold separately), $2,300; Vrai
Joyce ring in 14k gold with 0.5 ct. lab-grown rose-cut diamond center stone and lab-grown accent stones, $799; New World Diamonds
Nicky solitaire ring with in brushed 14k yellow gold featuring round lab-grown diamond, from $2,070 (setting only); Clean Origin
Aida Ring in 14k gold with 1.5 ct. lab-grown diamond center stone, $5,800 SHW Jewelry
Custom platinum engagement ring with 5.26 lab-grown cushion-cut diamond center stone and lab-grown half-moon side stones, price on request; 21C Designs
Diamond engagement ring with 3.06 ct. lab-grown radiant-cut center stone in 14k white told, $15,000; Lauren B
Pnina Tornai lab-grown diamond engagement ring with three hidden lab-grown diamond halos in 14k gold, $12,999.99; Jared
Medallion silhouette halo engagement ring in 14k white gold with lab-grown diamonds (center stones available from 0.5 to 2 cts.), from $2,750; Kendra Scott
Top: Toi et Moi diamond engagement ring in 18k white gold, $15,000; Taylor K