By David Brough
Tightening natural diamond supplies will boost the opportunity for online and brick-and-mortar sales of laboratory-grown diamond jewellery, a senior lab executive said.
Chirag Soni, director of Solitaire Gem Labs (SGL), a diamond certification group with labs in India, the Gulf Middle East, New York and London, said the projected closure of the Argyle mine in Australia would contribute to reduced natural diamond output in the next few years.
“Favourable supply/demand fundamentals will drive the market into a deficit,” Soni said in a Jewellery Outlook webinar on April 10 streamed to hundreds of trade professionals around the world.
“What will fill that gap? Lab-grown diamonds.”
Millennial consumers will be in the driving seat of the upsurge in demand for lab-grown diamond jewellery, Soni said.
U.S. retail jewellers have increasingly stocked lab-grown diamond jewellery. However, it is currently much harder to find in other geographical markets.
To see the recorded webinar, click here:
Soni said Rapaport’s decision in March, in the midst of the coronavirus emergency, to lower the price of polished diamonds was a reflection that diamonds are subject to market pressures like any other commodity.
He said he believed the market for diamond jewellery would initially bounce back more quickly after the lockdown ends than it did after the 2008 financial crisis, as governments have aided small businesses and individuals during this period rather than just financial institutions.
However, he acknowledged fears that a global economic recession may limit the recovery.
Screening to detect undisclosed lab-grown diamonds in melee and jewellery, had become a necessary discipline widely adhered to by the industry around the world in order to protect consumers and suppliers, Soni said.