shape
carat
color
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Theory: what happens now that 2 carat LGDs cost less than the average (U.S.) e-ring?

What will be the effect(s) of diamond price decreases for 2 carat LGDs?

  • Diamond size will no longer be a status symbol.

    Votes: 11 21.6%
  • Nonetheless, many people will still pay to have larger diamonds because they are pretty.

    Votes: 22 43.1%
  • People will choose larger LGD over smaller natural diamonds more often than expected.

    Votes: 32 62.7%
  • But since large LGD are cheap something will take the place of diamond size as a status symbol.

    Votes: 5 9.8%
  • A popular status symbol won’t be anything that is not obvious to non-jewelry geeks at a glance.

    Votes: 5 9.8%
  • Not diamond origin bc LGD + earth diamonds are indistinguishable to the naked eye.

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Not color or clarity differences that cannot be noticed unless someone stares close up.

    Votes: 2 3.9%
  • Probably not fancy colors because fakes are getting harder for non-experts to spot.

    Votes: 2 3.9%
  • Probably not superideals bc the angles are known + cheap LGD rough lets cutters practice lots.

    Votes: 2 3.9%
  • Possibly brand name settings in heavy metals, although designs may be copied.

    Votes: 5 9.8%
  • That leaves truly remarkable proprietary cuts and rings with multiple stones.

    Votes: 9 17.6%
  • Start investing in dodecahedron moi et toi.

    Votes: 4 7.8%
  • Or maybe people will <gasp> start spending less on engagement rings.

    Votes: 20 39.2%

  • Total voters
    51

oncrutchesrightnow

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Just for discussion. What do you think about the theory in the poll? Mark as many choices as you agree with. Add more ideas in the comments. Assumption behind the theory: Many people value engagement rings as status symbols and are willing to pay for them as such, even though most of us here at PS might not care.

Background: LB and some other sellers on Etsy or alibaba are offering 2 carat diamonds for far less money than the average engagement ring costs in the U.S. Some people say those cheap LGD would never replace earth diamonds for consumers who can afford to pay the U.S. average of $5000 or so, because everyone who can afford it would rather have an earth diamond for an e-ring. That may be true for some consumers but IMHO that theory seriously misjudges the decision that a lot of 25-year-old women would make when offered the choice between a 2 carat diamond set in a designer setting versus a 0.89 carat diamond in a plain band. So one prediction is that cheap LGDs at 2+ carats will become popular even among people who can pay more, diamond size will no longer be a status symbol, and a lot of consumers will have money left in their budgets. What will people spend their money on?
 

dvj

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People will become more interested in diamonds in general, and more people will wear more diamonds—mined and lab grown.

Lab grown diamonds make it possible for regular people to dream about owning more than one diamond, more than one shape, size, and quality. This may lead to many who start paying more attention to diamonds in general. If they started with one or the other first (a mined diamond or a lab-grown diamond) they may like to explore and try the other some day.

As far as social status dropping for larger diamonds now that labs are here, maybe that will take some time depending on what part of the world someone is in. Don’t most people purchase diamonds (or wear jewelry) because they like them? If social status related to the size of a diamond someone was wearing were to drop, I think that would be awesome.
 

LilAlex

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To me, it's like what if the price drops below that of a really nice pair of skis + boots? Who cares since when you are looking for one, you are generally not looking for the other.

I do not envision a lot of cross-shopping. But then again, I have not participated in a face-to-face conversation with an about-to-be-engaged diamond shopper for many years so I may be the crazy outlier.
 

Diamondgirl1702

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I personally think the lab diamond craze will fizzle out eventually...
synthetic gemstones have been around for a while, but natural ones are highly sought after still
even though lab stones are gaining popularity, they have a niche for a reason (especially in the US market)... most people still want a genuine mined stone

I like true antique stones because they are harder to copy
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

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Honestly, I think that it’ll just reset expectations of what is a “big” size even higher. Like, 3 is the new 1.

But also, if the price of lab diamonds continues to trend downwards - which is what I suspect will happen - I think it will eventually go the way of the lab gemstone, where the price or demand for lab will not impact the price or demand for natural.
 

kb1gra

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I think until lab becomes the standard for what chain jewelry stores in the local mall sell, the market for them will still be vanishingly small.

The idea of buying an engagement ring online is still very foreign, we get people every day in here posting certs for some ring they saw at the "family jeweler" and that will continue to be a thing until 1. those family jewelers offer lab or 2. the internet becomes the default way to purchase things, which is slowly happening but a long way away.
 

seaurchin

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I didn't see this on the list but I probably just missed it. Anyway, my best guess is perhaps there won't be any big change. My guess is going along the same lines as mined colored sapphires and such vs. their lab created counterparts.

With that example, many people do not seem to consider lab and mined sapphires at all interchangeable but are really just two different sets of shoppers. Those who only want a big bargain and those who only want what they consider "the real deal."

Also, we already have inexpensive substitutes for mined diamonds. For ex., moissanite and cubic zirconia have been around for quite a while. There too, they just seem to attract two different sets of shoppers imo.

It will be interesting to see how it actually does go though.
 
Last edited:

Rockdiamond

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they have a niche for a reason (especially in the US market)

A large grower I spoke to recently says he's selling the bulk of his goods in China, and I'm speaking of millions and millions in $ales.....food for thought there.....
 

oncrutchesrightnow

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Thanks everyone for voting and replying. It’s been really interesting.

Lab grown diamonds make it possible for regular people to dream about owning more than one diamond, more than one shape, size, and quality. This may lead to many who start paying more attention to diamonds in general. If they started with one or the other first (a mined diamond or a lab-grown diamond) they may like to explore and try the other some day.

it would be awesome if more people get the chance to own more diamonds and in different qualities like you said. I have bought LGDs in special cuts that I never would have paid $$$ for in earth grown.

Honestly, I think that it’ll just reset expectations of what is a “big” size even higher. Like, 3 is the new 1.

Oh yeah. This is happening fast, now that a 2 carat diamond fits comfortably into the average U.S. budget that used to strain for 1 carat.

The idea of buying an engagement ring online is still very foreign, we get people every day in here posting certs for some ring they saw at the "family jeweler" and that will continue to be a thing until 1. those family jewelers offer lab or 2. the internet becomes the default way to purchase things, which is slowly happening but a long way away.

‘Agree, we might overestimate how often people shop online because it is common for PSers but a little scary for people who do not buy a lot of fine jewelry.

With that example, many people do not seem to consider lab and mined sapphires at all interchangeable but are really just two different sets of shoppers. Those who only want a big bargain and those who only want what they consider "the real deal."

Also, we already have inexpensive substitutes for mined diamonds. For ex., moissanite and cubic zirconia have been around for quite a while. There too, they just seem to attract two different sets of shoppers imo.

It will be interesting to see how it actually does go though.

Totally what you’re saying. What really makes this topic so interesting for me personally is that LGD are such a close substitute. CZ gets dull, sapphire does not have the brilliance and fire, and moissanite, until very recently, had a reputation for looking yellow and getting oily, plus there will always be double refraction. I actually have a small moissy ring made out of the new stuff and it’s really really pretty. But I’m not going to spend $$$ on moissy for a few years because I am guessing there will be some kind of dulling or oil slick. Hoping that time will prove me wrong. Anyway, LGD just stands out because a lot of us who like earth diamonds and then try LGD, our first reaction when we see them is, whoah! It’s actually a diamond!

A large grower I spoke to recently says he's selling the bulk of his goods in China, and I'm speaking of millions and millions in $ales.....food for thought there.....

Yeah, I don’t know enough to have solid guesses what the effect of that will be. I would have said that the Chinese demand would keep LGD prices high but that does not seem to be happening, unless we are just at race to the bottom stage now and prices will eventually go back up when small growers go out of business.

Another prediction… people will buy LGD as starter rings even if they prefer earth grown because they can get the big diamond right away, then “upgrade” to earth grown later, and still afford to keep the original ring that has the sentimental value.

Just a year ago I would have told someone who came to PS for engagement diamond buying advice and who wanted to surprise the receiver, to buy an ideal cut starter MRB from a vendor with good upgrade and return policies. If the receiver hates it they can return it and if they want bigger/better they can upgrade relatively soon.

Now an option exists for the buyer to skip the premium charged by super ideal vendors, get the receiver a high-quality large LGD, and if the receiver does not like it, they can afford to get a different ring without having to hurt the buyer’s feelings by returning the old one. And the savings by avoiding the vendor’s premium that goes toward the cut and upgrade policy would probably be enough to pay for the LGD.

Thanks to everyone who responds, it is a fun conversation.
 

DejaWiz

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It could very well be that LGDs gain momentum through increased interest as the information superhighway delivers more knowledge about the true nature of LGDs and diamond cut, proportions, and angles to more and more folks over time. From what I've gathered, a majority of LGDs are already cut to what we PS'ers would consider ideal proportions, while a good lot of earth grown diamonds still are not, despite the (deceiving) 3X gradings. I'm speaking strictly from the standpoint of cut quality and those that place it at the forefront, even above diamond origin.
It would be unfair of me to say that there won't always be a strong customer base for earth grown diamonds, because I feel that there always will be...the rather large (and ongoing) jump in earth grown diamond pricing this year alone is testimony enough.
 

distracts

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I personally think the lab diamond craze will fizzle out eventually...
synthetic gemstones have been around for a while, but natural ones are highly sought after still
even though lab stones are gaining popularity, they have a niche for a reason (especially in the US market)... most people still want a genuine mined stone

I like true antique stones because they are harder to copy

I'm unsure of that for this because there have always been important differences between the color stone and white diamond markets. With anyone who wants sapphires, spinels, etc, they are more likely to be into jewelry. Whereas most people who buy engagement rings are doing it to tick off a social obligation, and then they are also getting diamond earrings/bracelet/pendant because it is the thing to do, not because they are truly passionate about diamonds.

But I think there are enough people who love natural diamonds that the natural diamond market won't be going away. It may change, but all things do.
 

Mrs_Strizzle

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My first thought is it another one all together. What if the new status will not be a diamond at all, and increase the demand for sappires, rubies, etc across the demographic who still associates engagement with a diamond? I'm one who owns 2 "engagement style" EM diamond rings and often leave them in a box to wear my color shifting sapphire in my avatar. And I live in a part of the country where I'm the only one I know who would do such a thing.
 

vintageinjune

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I can only speak from my own experience, but I feel it is somewhat common for my age group.

Honestly, many of my friends opted for small engagement rings or wedding bands, with sapphires being the stone of choice for over half of them. There is a mentality of prioritizing comfort, along with being aghast at the thought of spending more than a few hundred or a thousand dollars on something that just sits on your finger. For many, (myself included), a natural diamond ring just wasn't/isn't a priority. I'm the odd ball out being the one person in my social network that I know that cares in any way about fine jewelry. Even then though, I cannot fathom spending the money on an EM diamond with the specs I want due to the cost. They are lovely, but as I cannot see a visual difference, it doesn't make sense *to me* to fork over tens of thousands of dollars that could be used to invest, go on vacations, pay off the house early, etc.

As LG diamonds become more known, I think millenials and Gen Zers will gravitate more towards them, because you get a pretty rock for much less money that will still stand the test of time. Being in a position where there is massive economic uncertainty, struggles to pay for the costs of continuing education, rent and housing costs being out of control, and inflation rising.... I forsee LG becoming more widely accepted as the new normal in the next 10-15 years. Most of my local jewelers are carrying LG diamonds, and will order several in for you to choose from.

Now, EM diamonds will always have a niche that just cannot be replaced. Demand will always be there for those who can afford it, but I expect that EM prices (especially for quality ones) will rise, but as wages stagnate and the cost of living shrinks disposable income, I see lower cost options becoming more popular as well as increasing the average size of the keystone for diamond enagement rings.

Maybe down the road some will want to replace their LG with EM.
 

Mrs_Strizzle

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@vintageinjune I agree that the cost of housing and student loans is so much higher in relation to income for the millennial and Z'ers than for previous generations and that certainly changes priorities. I really hate it for my young adult children (though they have no student loans). Also I think with the advent of social media and being able to "show off" for lack of a better term other things such as travel, jewelry and McMansions are no longer the main way to show "status".

I have found it interesting the change. A young adult female asked me one day where I got my ring, like she could shoot over there and pick one up. I just laughed and said it was a gift. (In all fairness I was in the Goodwill with my tattoos showing, so there was that.)
 

kb1gra

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I’ve found, at least among my peers (I’m 34) that given the accessibility of large, expensive-appearing stones, a lot of them place the priority on the effort shown by the ring. That means high quality, custom settings with unique style elements more than price, at least for my set. There would be little more appalling than a guy who just popped down to the mall and picked something off the shelf - even if it were Cartier or Tiffany.

they do still want diamonds, though, or Moissanites that look like them.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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My first thought is it another one all together. What if the new status will not be a diamond at all, and increase the demand for sappires, rubies, etc across the demographic who still associates engagement with a diamond? I'm one who owns 2 "engagement style" EM diamond rings and often leave them in a box to wear my color shifting sapphire in my avatar. And I live in a part of the country where I'm the only one I know who would do such a thing.

1636925708778.png
 

oncrutchesrightnow

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My father has been fiscally conservative his entire life and just a few years ago he remarked how these days it is so hard for young people to get ahead even if they have a college degree. That is saying something coming from a man who used to take it as a given that if you save enough money, college should be paid for. I agree that if the large diamond look remains popular then lab diamonds are only going to increase.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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My father has been fiscally conservative his entire life and just a few years ago he remarked how these days it is so hard for young people to get ahead even if they have a college degree. That is saying something coming from a man who used to take it as a given that if you save enough money, college should be paid for. I agree that if the large diamond look remains popular then lab diamonds are only going to increase.
We have an economist in Australia who is a bit of a lad. He made up a saying that has entered the vernacular.
Kids these days can't afford a house and smashed avocado. (a $20 dish popular for breakfast among millennials).
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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oncrutchesrightnow

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We have an economist in Australia who is a bit of a lad. He made up a saying that has entered the vernacular.
Kids these days can't afford a house and smashed avocado. (a $20 dish popular for breakfast among millennials).

So if someone wanted to buy a house and a ring, how many avocados on toast are we talking about?

Hmmm.

Maybe if young people have a choice between a house + some little luxuries every few days versus a house + a diamond ring, they would take the little luxuries.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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So if someone wanted to buy a house and a ring, how many avocados on toast are we talking about?

Hmmm.

Maybe if young people have a choice between a house + some little luxuries every few days versus a house + a diamond ring, they would take the little luxuries.

Little luxuries like a sports car :)
It's always all about choices Crutches :cool2:
 

musicloveranthony

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Many/most of the people I know who are getting married (Upper middle class midwesterners in their 20s and 30s) are not using natural diamonds for their rings. They are either using metal bands, alternative gemstones (not sure how that is any less objectionable, but who am i?), or synthetic/lab gems/diamonds. Some are not even exchanging rings.

A LOT of my friends are quite loudly anti-natural-diamond. Some have made some VERY loud rants on social media about it and received nothing but support and agreement from peers.
 

distracts

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I’ve found, at least among my peers (I’m 34) that given the accessibility of large, expensive-appearing stones, a lot of them place the priority on the effort shown by the ring. That means high quality, custom settings with unique style elements more than price, at least for my set. There would be little more appalling than a guy who just popped down to the mall and picked something off the shelf - even if it were Cartier or Tiffany.

they do still want diamonds, though, or Moissanites that look like them.

This is similar in my friend group - people mostly want unique-looking rings, not just a solitaire with a big diamond. If it's another gemstone or custom designed and looking like no other, that's a bonus. I was a bit of a vanguard in my group I guess as when I got engaged, most around me were still getting diamond solitaires, but it's changed over time and no one I know who has gotten engaged in the past five years has a round diamond solitaire. Many have alternative stones, whether lab diamond or moissanite. Only the wealthiest and most traditional got earth mined diamonds.
 

distracts

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Many/most of the people I know who are getting married (Upper middle class midwesterners in their 20s and 30s) are not using natural diamonds for their rings. They are either using metal bands, alternative gemstones (not sure how that is any less objectionable, but who am i?), or synthetic/lab gems/diamonds. Some are not even exchanging rings.

A LOT of my friends are quite loudly anti-natural-diamond. Some have made some VERY loud rants on social media about it and received nothing but support and agreement from peers.

It's the same thing as being anti-fur but not caring about leather. Because there's an industry of tearing down one particular thing, that is what people know bad things about, and most never stop to think "hey, could these also be applicable to this other very similar item?" or they don't actually care and are just mouthing off for social clout. Also, notably, the one they are tearing down is more expensive (or perceived as such) and less accessible to the average consumer, so in their minds, they're not offending regular people.
 

musicloveranthony

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It's the same thing as being anti-fur but not caring about leather. Because there's an industry of tearing down one particular thing, that is what people know bad things about, and most never stop to think "hey, could these also be applicable to this other very similar item?" or they don't actually care and are just mouthing off for social clout. Also, notably, the one they are tearing down is more expensive (or perceived as such) and less accessible to the average consumer, so in their minds, they're not offending regular people.

I totally agree with you! You nailed my thoughts on it
 
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