Earlier in the year, I wrote about how sanctions on Russian originated diamonds wouldn’t work. Since then, both the World Diamond Council (WDC) and the Belgian government have released plans to identify and ban Russian originated diamonds, with the aim of convincing The Group of Seven Countries (G7) to implement sanctions on Russian originated diamonds, even if they have been cut and polished in another country, such as India.
Writing about engagement ring trends isn’t anything new – every so often there seems to be an article in magazines such as Vogue that purports to know the new trends for the current year. However, these articles tend to be mostly fictional, based on what the writer assumes is a trend and sometimes backed up by anecdotal evidence from an actual jeweller. Worse yet, are articles from jewellers that are merely puff pieces, written merely as an advertisement to promote their new jewellery line or get rid of old stock. However, engagement ring trends tend not to change from year to year. Moreso, they change over a period, say three to five years, and increasingly, much to the chagrin of jewellers who manufacture jewellery, are increasingly influenced by social media and online vendors.
In 2012, we upgraded our recording systems – going from what was essentially a paper-based system to a system that recorded everything about what we made and what we sold. Using that data, I have come up with five engagement ring trends that have emerged from 2013 to 2023.
The past 18 months in the diamond and jewellery industry certainly have been a rollercoaster ride. March of 2022 saw natural diamond prices reach dizzying new heights, before coming crashing down again to currently be about ten percent below 2019 prices. At the same time, the prices of lab grown diamonds have come down by 90 or more percent over the last four years due to the market being flooded with supply, thus spurring huge demand for lab grown diamonds. This has prompted diamond tzar Martin Rapaport to label the situation as “serious” and that the threat posed by lab grown diamonds will “significantly impact the generic non-branded B2B diamond markets”. However, the question still remains whether lab grown diamonds will have a lasting impact on the natural diamond market, or will the novelty wear off?
As another month goes by, diamonds, both natural and lab grown record another price drop. In natural diamonds, Rapaport records that 1ct round diamonds fell by 2.7% in the month of July alone, continuing their downward trajectory that started in March 2022. On the lab grown side, prices continue their predictable price slide with 1ct round brilliant, E/VVS2, ideal cut lab grown diamonds now available for well under A$700 including GST. However, the reasons for the price collapse of natural and lab grown diamonds are entirely different – one is supply driven and one is demand driven.
Most professionals in the diamond industry would agree that diamond grading has slowly become worse over the past 20 years. In fact, if you offered me a choice of two round brilliant diamonds, the same size, colour, clarity and proportions, with one graded by GIA in 2003 and another graded in 2023, it would be a no-brainer to choose the one graded in 2003, as I have witnessed firsthand what I think to be the slow degradation of grading standards, in some cases such as the GIA cut grade it is on display for the whole world to see. However, people rarely talk about this. Sure, there have been and will always be disputes about diamond grading, but it seems nowadays, the entire industry, from wholesalers and retailers to independent valuers simply accept GIA’s grading without any questions.
It has been two years since we started selling lab grown diamonds. Over that time, we’ve seen supply of lab grown diamonds explode, with prices plummeting which in turn has led to greater demand from our clients. With the sudden gain of popularity, one must wonder what the future has in store for lab grown diamonds and the entire diamond industry.So, here are six predictions on the future of lab grown diamonds.
Last month, I wrote 7 Things That Have Disrupted the Diamond Industry in the past 25 Years. Following on from this, below are five things that I predict will happen in the next 25 years.
Greenwashing, along with its cousin, fairwashing refers to the practice of making dubious, or downright false environmental or ethical claims about a company’s products. In October and November of last year, it was found that the fashion sector has the highest proportion of “concerning claims”. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, as in the past few years, a plethora of companies in both the fashion and jewellery industries have been established on the basis that they are more environmentally friendly and ethical. However, a cursory glance at some claims put forward by these companies reveal that their environmental and ethical claims are either nothing new or can easily be de-bunked. Below are six of the most dubious claims that are common amongst “eco-friendly” or “sustainable” jewellers, and why each of these claims is problematic.
It may come as a surprise to some, but despite Russia having invaded Ukraine over one year ago, the world is still awash with Russian diamonds. Whilst some western nations, most notably the United States have placed sanctions on rough diamonds originating from Russia, these same diamonds are still being cut and polished in India and China and then being resold in western markets without so much as a blink of an eye.
25 years ago, in 1998, Jogia Diamonds was incorporated. Since then, our company has gone through a lot of changes. However, looking back on the past 25 years, the diamond and jewellery industry has changed even more. Most of these changes have been positive for both the industry and consumers and have affected everything from the way jewellery is sold to how it is designed and manufactured. As always, with certain parts of the industry being very resistant to change, some wholesalers and retailers still hold back and do things the “old fashioned” way, causing the division within the industry.