Apologies ahead of time for the long post…
Let me start this off by saying that I have always wanted a diamond engagement ring, and that I was initially opposed to lab grown diamonds when boyfriend and I started looking, seeing them as “not real” (aka falling for DeBeers’ marketing ploys). We can afford a mined diamond so I thought why get a lab grown one? … UNTIL I actually did my research and found we could get a higher quality diamond within our budget, realized it is the only 100% eco-friendly diamond option, and saw how cool the technology is.
I have absolutely nothing at all against diamond simulants, but I want to point out that lab grown diamonds are NOT diamond simulants (as others above have pointed out as well). Anyone who tells you that is misinformed. Lab grown diamonds are DIAMONDS. Sorry for the crass comparison but is a child born via IVF any less of a child than one born through natural means? To compare diamonds to simulants is just plain inaccurate. A highly trained and experienced jeweler will not be able to tell the difference between a lab grown diamond and a mined one, even at 30x magnification, but they will 100% know the difference between moissy and CZ at first glance.
As for DeBeers – this is a seemingly smart marketing ploy, however it is highly unprofitable for them and therefore not sustainable. I would also like to point out that the price of a 2 carat mined diamond is not 2 times the price of a 1 carat mined diamond. As diamonds get larger, the price per carat increases, especially for high color/cut/clarity diamonds. Lab grown diamonds follow this same pattern, so a 2 carat diamond is not going to be $800 * 2, especially for one of high cut, color, and clarity. Cutting a large, high quality lab grown diamond is not as simple of a task as cutting a < 1 ct one. Not even for DeBeers. A large percentage of people in the market for lab grown diamonds want them because they can afford a higher carat/cut/color/clarity diamond within their budget. Those people will not find what they are looking for in DeBeers’ new line, but will still want a diamond, not a simulant, so will continue to pay the price for it. Not to mention, they want certified diamonds.
The reality is that the overall market for diamonds as engagement rings is shrinking and with that the value of mined diamonds is also on the decline. Millennials no longer see diamonds as a must-have for engagement and would rather spend that money on experiences and other things they find more worthy/meaningful. Gen Z perpetuates this even more so. DeBeers may be able to get back some of their market share with this marketing ploy but they will not be able to turn around the overall market decline without doing something more drastic.
These are just facts. No one can predict the future for lab grown or mined diamonds, and at the end of the day no one can make this decision for you. You have to do what you are most comfortable with. But my advice is if you want a diamond, can afford it, want to get engaged soon, and don’t care about resale value, buy your lab grown diamond now! As others have mentioned, regardless of this DeBeers situation your stone will lose its value a second after you buy it (just as a mined diamond would). Be happy knowing you are getting literally the SAME thing (most likely larger, more sparkly, white as snow, with minimal inclusions) for a fraction of the price!
I apologize again for the long post, lol.