We’re in the middle of engagement season and while diamonds are still the most popular type of stone for engagement rings, the stones in many rings these days may not be natural, but man-made. According to a report from wedding planning website The Knot, nearly one in four engagement rings in 2021 feature a man-made center stone, an increase of 11% over the last two years.
According to the report, which was based on a survey of 5-thousand couples who got engaged between January and November 2021, lab-grown diamonds are becoming more popular thanks to the eco-conscious mindset of Millennials and some Gen Z-ers. But there’s another factor making synthetic diamonds the go-to choice for many young couples - they’re a lot less expensive than mined diamonds. And since lab-made diamonds can cost as much as 30% less, people can buy a bigger stone for the same price.
Pandora, the world’s largest jewelry company, announced earlier this year that they will stop using mined diamonds in their jewelry and will shift to lab-created diamonds instead. They say they’re making the change to sell sustainable jewelry and also because consumers are asking for it. Signet, the largest jewelry company in the U.S. is also seeing more interest in lab-created diamonds from Millennial customers. But one downside industry experts point out about the synthetic sparklers? Their resale value is not as high since lab-made diamonds can be produced in unlimited quantities by machines and they’re not as scarce as mined diamonds.