Lab Diamonds — Is The Value Shifting?
Diamond gemstones have long been linked with value, status and rarity. While many people associate the gems with love, anniversaries and engagements, others wear them as stylish advertisements for their success.
Once exclusively mined from the Earth, diamonds can now be grown in dedicated laboratory environments. But how well do lab-grown diamonds hold their value over time? Here’s what you should know.
What Determines Diamond Value?
Over the centuries, diamond gemstones have held prominence as tangible symbols of the wearer’s prestige and wealth. That said, as with any other product, the actual monetary value of diamonds has fluctuated over the years, thanks to countless market variants, including supply and demand.
Just like the prices of gold, silver and platinum, the value of a diamond will rise and fall based on the demand for the stones as a commodity. For example, when brand-new diamond mines are found, diamond prices will naturally drop due to an increase in the supply line. At the same time, the fundamental laws of supply and demand also dictate value increases when the demand for diamonds rises.
Diamonds are considered a wise investment because they generally retain a competitive market value that either remains consistent or increases over time. This is essentially due to the fact that there is a limited amount of natural diamonds on Earth. So, if you buy a natural diamond at a fair price and take care of the gemstone, you should expect to see a gradual increase in overall value over time.
But, while high-quality natural diamonds tend to retain their value quite well, lab diamonds are less predictable. Physically and optically identical to natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds do not have a finite supply. Therefore, they don’t offer the same type of resale value as a natural diamond.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds a Good Investment?
As previously stated, scarcity is a huge factor that influences a product’s value. Because natural diamonds are relatively rare, they have a higher value than lab-grown diamonds, which are not in short supply. This means their resale value is relatively low in comparison to a gemstone mined from the earth.
Still, lab-grown diamonds do offer a number of compelling benefits that appeal to modern buyers. In addition to being breathtakingly identical to natural diamonds, these man-made gems are created with responsibly sourced materials in a socially responsible way.
In far too many instances, natural diamonds are linked with human rights issues and ecological concerns. Not all diamond jewelers embrace John Atencio’s unwavering ethical standards. When crafting his uniquely dazzling natural diamond jewelry, John maintains a strict adherence to unyielding ethical and social standards. This means sourcing his natural diamonds from reputable, eco-conscious suppliers and complying with the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), a critically important worldwide effort aimed at putting an end to the trade of "conflict diamonds'' used to fund wars, human trafficking and other harmful activities.
With all that said, since all lab diamonds are made in dedicated environments, any ethical issues don’t exist. Lab diamonds also usually cost about 30% less than natural diamonds of comparable quality and size. In the minds of many, these factors are enough to offset any potential concerns about the limited resale value of lab-grown diamond gemstones.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Valuable?
A natural diamond takes billions of years to form under intense pressure and astoundingly high heat miles within the earth. Lab diamonds, on the other hand, are made relatively quickly using specialized technology. Despite these differences, both kinds of gemstones are exactly the same down to the tiniest molecule. The only difference is that lab-grown diamonds include microscopic inscriptions.
But while they are the same as mined diamonds in every way, lab diamonds don’t have a limited supply, and this affects their value. This is part of the reason lab-created diamonds have seen a decline in resale value in recent years.
As with any valuable item, natural diamonds will increase in value in accordance with inflation. A diamond purchased in 1980 is worth a lot more today. Whether this increase in value is owed to the rarity of the stone or inflation itself, however, is dependent on several factors, including the uniqueness of the gem, the current popularity of its shape, its quality and color, and so on.
Unlike natural diamonds mined from the earth, lab diamonds won’t usually gain value. In fact, in recent years, their value hasn’t kept up with inflation, mostly due to the increased availability of lab-grown gemstones. So, to put it simply: a lab-grown diamond isn’t going to bring much, if any, return on investment. On the other hand, natural diamonds can increase in value based on relative scarcity and fluctuating market demand. Still, in the eyes of many, the benefit of a beautiful, affordable lab diamond stone and artfully designed ring counters the value shift.
Price of Lab-Grown Diamonds
In the past few years, lab-grown diamonds have become more popular than ever, and the prices have responded by dropping.
But wait, you may ask, doesn’t increased demand drive prices higher? In normal circumstances, this would be true. But with lab-grown diamonds, suppliers have responded to increased demand by ramping up production. This has caused the price of lab-grown diamonds to fall, allowing modern consumers to attain beautiful diamond jewelry pieces for lower prices.
With that said, it’s important to remember that a diamond is only part of what makes jewelry valuable; the precious metal content and uniqueness of the design also greatly contribute to overall pricing.
Are Lab-Created Diamonds Worth Anything When Resold?
While lab-grown diamonds have seen a decline in resale value, this shouldn’t be viewed as a reflection on the quality of the gemstones. The reason lab diamonds are up to 30% less costly than natural diamonds is not that they are lower quality. On the contrary, lab diamonds tend to be less expensive because they aren’t as scarce, and the supply chain is much shorter.
It is true that their resale value is not as high as a natural diamond. At the same time, it’s important to remember that the point of buying a stunning diamond piece is not to resell it later. Ultimately, you are buying an elegant reflection of your style or a meaningful token of love that will become an heirloom that can be passed down for generations.
The Real Value of Your Diamond
What exactly makes a natural or lab diamond an investment-grade gemstone? In most instances, it’s the color, cut, clarity and carat weight. The higher a diamond ranks in these key categories, the greater its monetary value now and in the future. Much like the purchase of a vehicle, a diamond’s value can rapidly depreciate after the initial purchase. But if you buy a high-quality jewelry piece and take good care of it, you can expect to maintain a relatively consistent value that may even go up over time. Ultimately, however, it’s important to remember that the real value of a diamond is how it represents your endless love story.
When crafting his unique jewelry pieces, John Atencio only uses the absolute highest-quality diamonds. When they are paired with his artfully designed jewelry pieces, these exquisite gemstones create wearable works of art that hold considerable value, both in terms of dollar figures and in terms of deep emotional meaning.
While deciding on the perfect engagement ring or other jewelry pieces such as diamond pendants, diamond tennis bracelets or diamond studs can feel intimidating, your experience never has to be that way. At John Atencio, our knowledgeable consultants can show you how to select the perfect stone cut and carat, along with the ideal precious metal and setting, based on your distinctive preferences. Shop online, search our lab-grown diamonds, or visit one of our convenient Colorado locations.