The first time I ever knowingly held a lab-grown diamond in my hands was in 2015. A client brought in a gorgeous 1.68 carat oval cut E VS1, and it bounced a brilliant white light that only a diamond seems to have, into my adoring eyes. Who knew that gem quality lab-grown diamonds have been around since the late 1970’s, eventually developing into white diamonds that are indistinguishable from high quality earth-mined diamonds? Beautiful, but the lab-grown diamond's price was only about 10% less than an earth-mined diamond. "Why?" thought my New England self. Certainly for the ‘same price,’ you would want the provenance and asset value of the natural diamond.
Fast forward five years to 2020, and the ability to grow higher quality stones, coupled with the marketing efforts of the lab-grown diamond industry, (endorsed by Leonardo DiCaprio, who oddly enough had a hand in changing the natural diamond industry too with his Blood Diamond movie) has made lab-grown diamonds of ethical and economical interest to many of our clients. Five years ago I would have, and did say "no" to lab grown diamonds, and we really sold very few, some Moissanite but predominantly natural diamonds. However, the industry was determined, and its ability to produce high quality 4 Cs graded, lab-grown diamonds has been fine tuned in the past few years, resulting in an increase in supply and a significant reduction in price.
Today, lab-grown diamonds are 30 to 40% less expensive for the same quality of stone as in 2015. Prices have been consistent for a while, and I doubt they will change a great deal more as the market finds its niche. Even though there is no real secondary market for them, with the significant difference in price and the undeniable quality and value, we are suggesting and showing lab-grown diamonds more and more to our clients. Having said that, a natural diamond is a magical thing, and it has an old soul that you can feel, but I have softened to the idea of a middle man settling in between the gem-like Moissanite and the natural diamond.