Those who have shopped for jewellery recently may have been presented with the option of a more affordable, laboratory-grown diamond. Some retailers present lab-grown (synthetic) diamonds to consumers as a more ethical and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds.
Technological advancements mean that lab-grown diamonds, which were once economically unviable to produce in large quantities, have begun to be produced at scale as the costs to produce man-made diamonds have fallen dramatically in recent years.
According to Bain & Company and De Beers, production costs plunged 92.5% — from $4,000 per carat to just $300 per carat — from 2008 to 2018. As of 2023, lab-grown diamond production costs (for chemical vapour deposition-grown diamonds) have fallen even further, to around US$8 per carat before cutting.
Companies producing lab-grown diamonds are located throughout the world, from developed countries including the United States and the UK to emerging economies such as India and China, which have seen rapid expansion in the lab-grown industry.
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