The increasingly ugly 'debate' between the synthetic and natural mined diamond industries is the subject of a commentary by JCK's Rob Bates. He mentions comments by Martin Roscheisen, the CEO of synthetic manufacturer Diamond Foundry, claiming that the mining industry “enslaves people.” And in another interview, when asked about the unemployment that synthetics might spark in African countries, Roscheisen compared that to releasing drug dealers.
"Yet lab-grown diamond manufacturers will need the trade’s support if they ever hope to be a real business rather than an investment vehicle,” writes Bates. (They could exclusively sell lab-grown diamonds direct to consumers online. But that’s been tried.) Likewise, lab-grown diamond producers need to offer a product that appeals to the public. Their current marketing may pick up a few people who are wary of the diamond industry, but that is not a huge customer base. Swarovski, the newest entrant in the lab-grown arena (and a company that clearly knows how to sell jewelry), isn’t touting the superiority of its man-made gems. It is pitching them as an attractive product at an attractive price point—the way most diamonds are sold. Yet selling a niche jewelry line, with a booth at the JCK Las Vegas show and SKUs at Helzberg, doesn’t entice investors as much as boasting you’ll turn an industry upside down.
"In fairness, Diamond Foundry is a new company, and some internally acknowledge the need for a course correction. In the end, the lab-grown industry needs to figure who it wants to appeal to: its investors or (potential) customers."