Lab Grown Diamonds: All Roads Lead to ParisJanuary 19, 23
Marty Hurwitz is a subject matter expert on lab-grown diamonds and the technologies and processes currently operating and in development in the prime growing sectors. He also publishes Lab-Grown Diamond Market Intel Report.
In the early 20th century Paris was the center of the world for artistic creativity.
Today Paris is becoming the creative center for upmarket, lab-grown diamond, fine jewelry style.
At one time the names Duchamp, Chagall, Matisse, Hemingway, and Picasso dominated the creative arts scene in Paris. Individually and together this group of artists set the tone for how the entire world would view painting, sculpting, writing, music, and fashion for decades to come.
Today the Parisian lab-grown diamond jewelry brands include: Courbet, Loyal.e.Paris, Oscar Massin, Maison Vever, JEM, Dfly, Veins and Iris ALT. In their own unique way, they are setting the tone for how the entire world will likely view lab-grown diamond jewelry in the coming years.
Ironically, while large portions of the lab-grown diamond wholesale distribution channel are struggling with declining prices, these French lab-grown diamond brands are selling high style jewelry, with superior craftsmanship and a sustainability ethos, at very ambitious pricing.
And consumers all over the world are buying! These styles include subtle and understated ensembles of rings, bracelets, pendants, and earrings, along with design themes that are emblematic of each brand and repeat throughout.
It's all very French and differs significantly (and perhaps positively) from the blusterous lab-grown designs in the USA where bigger and brash are always better.
Personally, I've been watching closely the growth of the elegant, youthful style of Loyal.e.Paris. Their emphasis on luxurious designs, imaginative imagery, and a profound support of sustainably produced product is capturing the attention of many younger consumers in markets throughout Europe and the USA.
In many ways the lab-grown diamond space in France is analogous to the haute couture, Parisian fashion industry, where high end designer names each year come out with new collections and are not bashful about pricing. Yet the quality of their work, their innovation and creativity and the power of their brands can carry it off.
And consumers all over the world continue to buy!
Another lab-grown diamond jewelry brand to keep an eye on is Oscar Massin whose heritage in fine jewelry dates to the 19th century. The brand has recently experienced a renaissance, thanks to confluence of lab-grown diamonds and the vision of two powerful luxury industry icons - Frederic de Narp, a former president and chief executive of Cartier North America, and Coralie de Fontenay, formerly managing director of Cartier France.
Of course, when considering what is happening with lab-grown diamond jewelry in Paris, it is impossible to overstate the importance to a brand of a genuine environmental, social, and governance (ESG) component.
Where so much of the jewelry trade has ridiculed the importance of sustainability and chain of custody transparency and even attempted to minimize its value, the Parisian lab-grown diamond jewelry leaders (and in fact the French jewelry consumer) have embraced it and accentuated it. They are proof positive that genuine sustainability in jewelry is important and has value. It is worth premium at retail.
But be cautious about greenwashing. Today's consumer can smell BS 10 miles away and if caught greenwashing a brand will lose credibility overnight.
As one Parisian brand CEO recently told me: "Sustainability is not just a tag line. It's an imperative!"
The demographic most knowledgeable and aware of the challenges facing our planet due to global climate change is a younger, well-educated consumer 25-40 years old.
Not surprisingly, this same consumer demographic is also driving the global demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry, as well as the purchases of electronic vehicles, (led by Tesla).
France is among the top ten countries in the world by education level and France is among the top 10 countries in the world for Tesla sales.
So, if you're looking for leadership that will help point your business to the future of lab-grown diamond fine jewelry, there is no doubt in my mind that all roads lead to Paris. Again.