There are continuous discussions about the impact of synthetic diamonds on the diamond trade. The issues largely centre around disclosure, due to the difficulty of identifying synthetic diamonds without the proper tools. The potential damage to the reputation of the trade should stones be passed off as natural by unsuspecting retailers, when in fact they are synthetic, would be considerable.
The point of this blog post however is to look at a different issue. A recent story has been circulating (click here to read via JCK Online) where a young man proposed at an American football game with a 2.62 synthetic diamond. It was his statement which makes us sit up and listen. I don’t for one moment think this was a random gesture, it’s clearly a marketing stunt. However the substance tells us a “shot was fired across our bow”. His statement to his bride and for all of the NFL to hear was:
“This diamond had zero impact on the environment and did not contribute to human rights violations and sporadic violence associated with mining in undeveloped countries where diamonds are found—and it cost a lot less.”
We don’t have to agree or disagree; it is an opinion, and a very solid selling point if used effectively, which in this forum it surely was. The point I want to raise is that the synthetic diamond manufacturers can develop a very powerful marketing strategy on these lines to carve out a significant piece of the pie of the natural diamond segment.
I am attending the WORLD DIAMOND CONFERENCE in India next week to discuss many of the issues which we are facing in our trade around issues of marketing, consumer awareness, and what we in the natural diamond segment intend to do to market natural diamonds as the ultimate form of luxury goods. It is our response to the above scenario which will largely determine how the future of natural diamonds positions itself against synthetic diamonds.