Feb 27, 2016 BY Diamond Foundry IN Diamond Industry,
It’s no secret that Millennials demand greater transparency and authenticity from the market than their parents did. Whether its fair-trade coffee, sweatshop free clothing brands, or eco friendly cleaners, Millennials want ethical products. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that Millennials who buy diamond jewelry seek the most ethical option available – lab grown diamonds.
“If there is one thing that characterizes Millennials, it is that they have a sharp BS detector,” says Diamond Foundry CEO Marin Roscheisen in an interview for Rapaport. “They are on the lookout for ulterior motives and they demand transparency.” So, while something like the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme may satisfy older generations who want a standard De Beers diamond, Millennials are less convinced.
Mined diamonds come with a slew of ethical concerns. Not only are they unsustainable, but even the most eco friendly mines are still environmentally destructive. Moreover, ample documentation suggests that the oft-touted Kimberley Process fails its ultimate purpose – barring the sale of conflict stones. Blood diamonds are easily, if not routinely, funneled into legitimate markets by cracks in the system. Thus, with mined diamonds, the products are only ‘as ethical as possible,’ and Millennials are taking note.
It’s the older generations, conversely, who are more likely to dig their feet in. “The diamond industry is obsessing about man-made diamonds when it should truly obsess about its relevance to newer generations,” says Roscheisen. “Anyone who calls our product “synthetic” is just fooling themselves and in their anger blinding themselves to what’s going on. There is concern that 10% of the business will go to man-made diamonds — when our focus group tests show as much as 50% of Millennial women not wanting a mined diamond. All these years of questionable practices have been taking a real toll on the industry. There is no marketing that will lead the way out of this. Only real change does.”
Diamonds cultivated in the USA have the further benefit of originating from a place whose values we share. American diamonds are the ultimate choice in terms of the values of American Millennials — and the best value in diamonds because there’s no markups on middlemen and no foreign cartels are involved.
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