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DPA Survey: Most Americans Don’t View Lab-Grown Diamonds As ‘Real’

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NEW YORK – Survey results released by the Diamond Producers Association and The Harris Poll suggest that most Americans don’t view laboratory-grown diamonds as “real” diamonds.

DPA stated in a press release: “Nearly seven in ten (68 percent) made such a distinction with a significant majority saying synthetic diamonds are not real because they are not ‘natural,’ nor ‘from the earth,’ or because they are made by people. Few Americans (16 percent) said that a diamond created in a factory is ‘real.’ 

“Consumers described real diamonds as ‘genuine,’ ‘natural’ and ‘authentic.’ They called laboratory-grown diamonds ‘man-made,’ ‘artificial’ and ‘imitation.'”

“Diamonds are billion-year-old treasures of the Earth that came to us very, very slowly, which makes them uniquely meaningful in today’s on-demand world,” said DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr. “At a time when everything ‘artificial’ aims to compete with, and replace, ‘natural’ and ‘real,’ these results show consumers care about the inherent value, authenticity and symbolism that a diamond carries.”

Lieberherr added, “These results are important, and confirm what our consumers tell us: ‘Real Matters’ — a perspective shared across generations and one that cannot be replicated in a matter of weeks. The makers of synthetic diamonds calling their products ‘real’ not only goes against the spirit of existing terminology standards, in opposition of consumer belief, but they are also creating confusion in the marketplace.”

The survey adds to the DPA’s larger body of research that aims to help the industry better understand consumers, trends and perceptions around diamonds. On behalf of DPA, 360 Market Reach conducts a national survey on “Diamond Attitudes and Usage” every six months with U.S. millennials who have acquired a diamond over the prior 24 months. Among these consumers, consideration of synthetic diamonds has remained stable over the last year, at 70 percent. However, since the last survey, a diminishing number of consumers would consider synthetic diamonds for milestones such as engagements, birthdays or the birth of a child, “pointing to a growing consumer realization that synthetic diamonds lack value,” said Lieberherr.  

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The press release continued: “The implications of both studies, in combination with independent diamond industry analyst Paul Ziminsky’s latest findings – that prices of laboratory-grown diamonds have been falling rapidly and that the price differential between a 1.0 carat laboratory-grown and natural diamonds has increased by 71 percent over the last year – is clear.”

Lieberherr stated, “Laboratory-grown diamonds are already distinguished from natural diamonds in terms of their origin, impurities and growth structures, and their financial and emotional worth. Simply put, they will never deliver on the promise of a real diamond precisely because they are not natural. And now we are witnessing their separation from diamonds in the marketplace as they find their inevitable place in the fashion jewelry market.”

Conducted May 3-7, the DPA-Harris Interactive poll surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,000 people.

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