Will it be dearth or glut for the diamond industry? The increasing popularity of synthetic stones, coupled with the rising trend of selling family heirlooms, has some speculating that an oversupply of diamonds is in the offing. Others argue that the suppl
for decades De Beers sold diamonds on the basis of their eternal and unique appeal. Both these characteristics, however, are being unseated by a new generation of consumer that doesn’t object to synthetic diamonds and has fewer qualms about selling pieces of diamond jewellery handed down as heirlooms.
Moreover, these two factors are informing opinion about the future supply of diamonds. In fact, they are changing another longstanding theme in the sector that, eventually, the dearth of new diamond discoveries will materialise in a simply enormous supply deficit. Not so, say market commentators.
The technology behind synthetic diamonds has grown leaps and bounds since the days when De Beers’ executives sucked their teeth when asked about the threat it poses. Making a diamond in a laboratory was, quite frankly, a sacrilege, given that a diamond’s allure is heavily linked to its provenance.
The De Beers synthetic diamond company – Element Six – was created to contain fraud in the synthetic diamond market, rather than exploit it. These days, diamonds grown in the lab are issued with certificates making their consumption above board and, properly branded, acceptable. They are becoming an accepted part of supply.