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LGD has a bright future, but it must reposition: LGD Symposium


The lab-grown diamond industry has a bright future, but it must reposition, according to participants in the inaugural Lab-Grown Diamond Symposium, held July 10 at the Atlantis Palm hotel in Dubai.


“Everyone agreed that lab-grown cannot live by being the little brother of natural diamonds,” Roland Lorie, CEO of the International Gemological Institute, a panelist at the conference, tells JCK. “Lab-grown needs to find its own [place].”


In the opening session, Toby Cruse, vice president of global sales for Diamond Foundry, noted that lab-grown prices are now one-fifth of what they were a few years ago. That 80% drop could mean “negative margins for subscale producers,” he said.


Given all that, Amish Shah, CEO of ALTR Created Diamonds, says the category has to “create value.” He predicts growers will try to shorten the pipeline. “Every producer is currently looking to align with an American wholesaler/distributor/marketer who understands and has deep relationships with retailers,” he tells JCK.


Lab-grown appears poised to enter the fashion jewelry market, where adoption will be quicker than it was for engagement rings, Shah says: “What took seven years in engagement will take two years in fashion.”


In an online interview with Lab-Grown Diamonds Magazine, Arnav Mehta, managing director of Blue Star Diamonds, said his main takeaway from the conference was that the industry cannot approach lab-grown diamonds solely as an alternative to natural gems.


“Lab-grown diamond is going to be more of an ingredient, rather than the product,” he said. “Natural diamond has been branded in the eyes of the consumer. Lab-grown diamond is not going to be a branded commodity.…


“Design, creativity, branding—all these stories are going to be much more important going forward for the lab-grown industry,” Mehta said in the interview. “For the last five or seven years, we have been trying to replicate the same natural diamond model into lab-growns

The lab-grown diamond industry has a bright future, but it must reposition, according to participants in the inaugural Lab-Grown Diamond Symposium, held July 10 at the Atlantis Palm hotel in Dubai.


“Everyone agreed that lab-grown cannot live by being the little brother of natural diamonds,” Roland Lorie, CEO of the International Gemological Institute, In the opening session, Toby Cruse, vice president of global sales for Diamond Foundry, noted that lab-grown prices are now one-fifth of what they were a few years ago. That 80% drop could mean “negative margins for subscale producers,” he said.


Given all that, Amish Shah, CEO of ALTR Created Diamonds, says the category has to “create value.” He predicts growers will try to shorten the pipeline.


Arnav Mehta, managing director of Blue Star Diamonds, said his main takeaway from the conference was that the industry cannot approach lab-grown diamonds solely as an alternative to natural gems.


“Lab-grown diamond is going to be more of an ingredient, rather than the product,” he said. “Natural diamond has been branded in the eyes of the consumer. Lab-grown diamond is not going to be a branded commodity.…


“Conference participants acknowledged the need to end the hostilities that have characterized the relationship between natural and lab-grown diamonds, according to Shah. “Throwing dirt at each other isn’t going to work,” he says. “The earth-mined category and lab-grown diamond category both have a niche.”


Source: jckonline



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