Natural and Synthetic Diamond Producers Should Play Nice; Probably Won't

Opinion piece
06/05/2016 15:24

The natural and lab-grown diamond industries are now openly feuding with each another, and some are calling for a ceasefire. Yet that might not be as easy as it seems. For one, there is little overlap between the companies that produce man-made diamonds and those that mine naturals. Both sectors have no obligation to help the other. To the contrary, they both have reasons for the current cold war to continue. [Lab-grown diamonds are] a threat to [natural diamonds'] business model. It may not be a large threat, but why take that chance? You are ultimately gambling with the fate of not just an industry, but the livelihood of several countries. [On the other hand], eco-friendly and conflict-free pitches have taken center stage. Millennial consumers clearly care about these issues more than past generations, and the natural industry has done a poor job in responding to concerns about diamond provenance. The lab-grown industry smells an opportunity. Why pass it up? ... The current standoff hurts both sectors. A cessation of the hostilities indeed makes sense. I’m not counting on it happening soon.

Rob Bates, news director of JCK, "Can the Natural and Lab-Grown Diamond Industries Really Get Along?"