May 15, 2017

A (Manmade) Diamond is Forever

The gemstone industry is at a crossroads. Consultancy Bain estimates that global diamond production will peak in 2019. Meanwhile, legions of Millennials are waiting longer to get married—if they ever do. But this generational shift brings with it ample opportunities for ring-makers. Among Millennials who are getting married, many are eschewing diamond-laden engagement rings for ones featuring cheaper, stylish colored stones like garnet. Some Millennials are enlisting the help of companies like Diamond Foundry, a San Francisco startup that creates manmade diamonds. These artificial stones check all the boxes for young buyers: They are conflict-free, “Pinterest-perfect,” atomically indistinguishable from natural diamonds, and as much as 40 percent cheaper than the real thing. In the words of 30-year-old Melissa Mock, whose boyfriend proposed with a manmade stone, “I want to know that my makeup isn’t full of toxins, my clothing wasn’t made by children, and my food is free of pesticides…So of course, I wanted to know about the origins of my diamond.”