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The misconception that lab-grown diamonds and gemstones aren’t “real” options is fading as quickly as the rumor started. Lab-grown diamonds start with a real diamond “seed” and are put under conditions where a real diamond will grow. Similarly, lab-created gemstones are real gemstones, not synthetic imitations. They have the same chemical, optical and physical characteristics as stones dug from the ground. Millennials still want to do the real thing, but they are just not willing to sacrifice some of their ethical standards to get them. Enter, the lab-grown diamond and gemstone. Not only do these precious stones look and perform as a mined diamonds and gemstones, but they also have many other benefits that Millennials are thrilled about.

Why Lab Grown

Diamond Ethics

Thanks to the power of documentary makers and the internet, people have come to learn the truth about where diamonds and gemstones come from, and the lengths that are taken to obtain them. These precious stones don’t just create conflict in some of the poorest places on the planet, but leave death and violence in their wake. While many regulations have attempted to deter or eliminate these poor practices, there is still plenty of corruption in the diamond and gemstone industry today. The only way to know you are not getting a “blood diamond”, or a gem mined through “child labor”, is to purchase an ethically sourced lab grown option.

The Poverty of Mining

There are an estimated 1 Million diamond diggers in Africa living on less than $1 a day. One miner in Sierra Leone describes selling his first diamond after two months of digging, “From all my years of mining I don’t even have one bicycle… I really get nothing out of it.” The half carat diamond which sold for $65 USD was split between himself and his 3 partners. Diamond mining in impoverished communities leads to massive degradation of environmental resources, health and safety of workers and their communities. This is due to a lack of availability to proper safety equipment, education of safe mining practices which leads to landslides, collapses, entrapments, and other preventable incidents.

Millennials and Social Media

If we know anything about Millennials, and much to their credit, it’s that they want to pave their own path and that means they want a totally unique ring (or jewelry piece). In the diamond engagement industry, this generation wants mixed metals, stackables and all kinds of new design trends to grace their fingers. With lab-grown diamonds and gemstones being a more affordable, they can open the door to new unique statements for their “forever” ring. There is just no comparison to how much energy or resources it takes to mine a diamond or gemstone, versus, growing one in a lab. The Millennial generation names the environment as one of their top three concerns in the world, so it’s no surprise that they turn to lab-grown diamonds to make their point. In fact, making this kind of purchase is now “brag-worthy” as this group will even hashtag their Instagram photos with “#labgrowndiamonds” or “#labgrowngems” as their social stance.

Market Trends and the Future of Lab-Grown

In generations past, couples found the process of shopping for rings a romantic pastime as they would travel from one jewelry store to another. Millennials have no interest in doing this. Sure they might pop into a store hoping to get an idea of what they want, but ultimately, millennials buy online. Lab-grown diamonds, gemstones, and online shopping go hand in hand as this generation feels more compelled to shop various online shops so they have access to the most unique options. With lab-grown diamonds and gems being up to 50% less expensive than mined diamonds and gemstones, they can really make their dollars stretch. Not only do they get something totally unique, but they can get a bigger diamond or gemstone as well. Millennials are starting to flex their buying power across various high-ticket markets such as real estate and the high-end and organic food industry. Their socially conscious attitudes and new definitions of goals are reshaping huge portions of industries, including diamonds and gemstones. They didn’t learn their buying habits from their parents, but rather from the power of the age of information. This generation has a different set of priorities which is turning the diamond industry on its ear (or soon may). Millennials are taking to lab-grown diamonds and gemstones for several reasons we’ll discuss. According to a report by Morgan Stanley, by 2020, lab-grown diamonds could take over almost 8% of the diamond market. To our commercial clientele, we ask, “Are you going to miss the next wave of disruption in the diamond, gem, and jewelry industry?” We certainly hope not, and are here to assist you in the discovery and transition into this exploding market.

Cascade Jewels strives to provide our customers with market leading quality ethical, sustainable, low Earth impact, lab-grown diamonds and gemstones at the most affordable prices found anywhere. Coupled with our award winning customer service, we simply strive to be the best at what we do.