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THE GEM ACADEMY

REPORT

Report - title image.jpg

Spring 2023

Welcome.

Get ready for enlightening insights. Here are some key revelations about the laboratory-grown diamond industry. Discovered through the analysis of major wholesale platforms.

Data taken from live online platforms. Correct for 15/03/2023

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REPORT charts - march 2023-2.jpg

Laboratory-grown diamonds in numbers

In this report, we'll gain insight into the main aspects of laboratory-grown diamonds; volume, size, quality, shape, and price, to get a clear overview of what's on the market.

Multiple sources are researched to bring you this report.  For clarity, we'll mainly focus on data obtained from one major online wholesaler.  

Here are highlights for Spring 2023...

Volume

Volume
Princess Cut Diamond

There are more natural diamonds available on wholesale platforms than laboratory-grown diamonds.

Diamonds

1,087,440

total

Laboratory-grown diamonds

329,450

total

Nat diamond - March 23 size split.jpg
LG diamond - March 23 size split.jpg

A key difference is that the majority of natural diamonds for sale are under  1ct, whereas the majority of laboratory-grown diamonds are over  1ct.

Stones weighing 1ct+

The amount of diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds weighing over 1ct are very close on the wholesale market.

272,970 natural diamonds compared with 263,150 laboratory-grown diamonds were recorded the end of March 2023.

Nat v LGD 1ct+ March 23.jpg

CVD v HPHT

It seems that CVD laboratory-grown diamonds are dominating the laboratory-grown diamond market.

 

Nearly 60% of all laboratory-grown diamonds are listed as being CVD-grown on one major wholesale platform.

HPHT laboratory-grown diamonds are slightly more prevalent in the 0.20ct - 1.00ct weight range.

 

HPHT-production also makes up the vast majority of melee goods (below 0.20ct). 

Not included in the graph.

Size

Size

Size ranges

REPORT charts - march 2023- size ranges.jpg

The most common size range is 1.00 - 1.99ct 

The most common size range for laboratory-grown diamonds is 1.00-1.99ct. This echoes the most popular size range sold at retail for engagement rings. There was over 132,000 laboratory-grown diamonds in this size category in March 2023. 82,890 fell within the next size category (2.00-2.99ct). 

 

The amount of laboratory-grown diamonds over 3ct have been increasing over recent months. Let's look at these a little closer...

Stones weighing 3ct +

There are 47,000 laboratory-grown diamonds weight 3ct and over.

This is 3 x more than the amount of natural diamonds that were available over 3ct.

It wasn't long ago when laboratory-grown diamonds weighing above 3ct were considered uncommon. 

The following figures will give you more insight into the increasing numbers of large sizes of laboratory-grown diamonds entering the market...

March 2023 report - 3ct above volume on platforms Plat 1.jpg

Breakdown: 3ct +

These figures represent a minimum of what is in circulation. The amount of larger stones that weigh 3ct and above are increasing.

There are 1.9 x the amount of 3 - 3.99ct laboratory-grown diamonds on the market since September 2022.

There are 2.5 x the amount of 4 - 4.99ct stones.

Let's look at some of the larger sizes...

March 2023 report - 3ct to 30 ct volume Plat 1.jpg

Figures rounded to the nearest 10

5ct - 6.99ct

There are more than triple the amount of laboratory-grown diamonds within the 5ct, 6ct, and 7ct categories compared with September 2022.

The amount of 8.00 - 8.99ct laboratory-grown diamonds has multiplied 8 x during this same time period.

Lab grown diamonds 9ct how many - REPORT charts - march 2023.jpg

9ct - 9.99ct

The amount of 9.00 - 9.99ct laboratory-grown diamonds available almost doubled in the last month alone.

Report - Media- March big stone in tongs.jpg
10ct+ LGD Sept 22 - March 23.jpg

10ct+ 

10ct+ 

There were 586 laboratory-grown diamonds weighing over 10ct on one wholesale platform in March 2023.

In 2015, there was only one laboratory-grown diamond above 10ct in existence.

The number of available laboratory-grown diamonds weighing above 10ct have increased 7 x since September 2022.

FUN FACT: Three weeks after these figures were recorded, the number of 10ct+ stones on this platform increased to 741. 

20ct+ 

There were twenty laboratory-grown diamonds that weigh 20ct or more for sale across two trading platforms Spring of 2023.

All of these big colourless stones were produced through CVD synthesis.

FUN FACT: This time last year (April 2022), the biggest colourless laboratory-grown diamond reported was 16.41ct. 

Report - March 23 - The gem academy big stones .jpg
25.15ct lab grown diamond.jpg

LARGEST SEEN IN SPRING '23

25.15ct

Made by Ethereal Green Diamonds

31.18ct lab grown diamond .jpg

CURRENT RECORD SIZE

30.18ct

Made by Ethereal Green Diamonds

21.05ct matching pair lab grown diamond.jpg

LARGEST MATCHING PAIR

21ct each

Made by Greenlab Diamonds

Shape & Quality

Quality & Shape

Colour grades

The equivalent colour grades of laboratory-grown diamonds are high.

This report finds that 65% of laboratory-grown diamonds are 'colourless' - equivalent to D-E-F colour grades.

Less than 2% are equivalent to 'J' or below.

March 2023 - colour all.jpg
HPHT lab grown colours march 2023.jpg

HPHT colour grades

Nearly 95% of HPHT laboratory-grown diamonds traded today are equivalent to D-E-F colour grades.

This has increased in recent years. In 2017, GIA reported that 72% of HPHT laboratory-grown diamonds were in the D-E-F 'colourless'  range.

The most common colour grade for HPHT laboratory-grown diamonds is 'D', which accounts for 57.7% of the HPHT-grown stones available.

CVD colour grades

Due to their growth methods and internal strain, CVD laboratory-grown diamonds have been equivalent to lower colour grades compared with HPHT.

In 2017, GIA reported that the majority of CVD laboratory-grown diamonds were in the 'near colourless' range - equivalent to G-H-I. These accounted for 67% of stones that came through GIA's grading laboratory.

 

This report reveals that the majority has shifted into the 'colourless' range. Nearly 51.9% of CVD laboratory-grown diamonds being traded today are within the D-E-F colour grades.

The most common colour grade for CVD laboratory-grown diamonds is 'F', which accounts for 29.4% of CVD-grown stones available.

CVD lab grown colours march 2023.jpg
CVD colour breakdown March 2023.jpg

A note on treatments for CVD

Most CVD laboratory-grown diamonds are treated post-growth to improve colour (from brown to more colourless). This information is rarely included on laboratory-grown diamond reports instead offering over-disclosure with statements such as "This laboratory-grown diamond may have been subjected to post growth treatments". Therefore, it is with regret, that no new data is available on treatments in this report.

In 2017, GIA reported that approximately 75% of colourless - slightly tinted CVD laboratory-grown diamonds on the market had been treated to remove colour.

Clarity grades overall - March 2023.jpg

Clarity grades

90% of laboratory-grown diamonds have a clarity grade equivalent to VS and above.

Less than 0.2% have grades within the 'Included' range (I1-I3).

Less than 0.5% have grades equivalent to 'Flawless' and 'Internally Flawless'.

Cut grades

The vast majority of laboratory-grown diamonds have equivalent cut-grades to 'excellent'.

Several factors may be attributing to this. Overall - it will be due to the value of the product. The material does not have a high value and so stones can be cut for beauty as opposed to retaining maximum yield.

 

With that said, weight is a major pricing factor of laboratory-grown diamonds. Certain dimensions of laboratory-grown diamond crystals can be grown on mass. Key weights can be easily cut from such stones.

March 2023 report - cut quality Plat 1.jpg

Most laboratory-grown diamonds have an 'EXCELLENT' cut grade. 

Clarity grades HPHT - March 2023.jpg
Clarity grades CVD - March 2023.jpg

HPHT v CVD

clarity grades

The most common clarity grade for both HPHT and CVD laboratory-grown diamonds is VS1.

Overall, clarity grades equivalent to VVS are more commonly available in HPHT-grown stones. These results differ from GIA reports in 2017 where CVD laboratory-grown diamonds had the better clarity overall.

Shape

March 2023 report - shape comparison Plat 1.jpg

 The most common shape available is round brilliant

 followed by oval and pear cuts. 

8.96ct leaf design fire diamond image - odd cut of the month March 2023.jpg

Odd shapes

Interesting shapes of laboratory-grown diamonds are becoming more common. 

 

This leaf design is available from 

Fire Diamonds. It utilises large shallow crystals being created by CVD synthesis.

The availability of the material and the reduced need to yield as much as possible from the crystal will open opportunities for many new cut designs.

Such designs are also a good use of material that may have fractured during production.

CVD hamsa March 2023 lab grown diamond report.jpg

'Hamsa' shape by Fire Diamonds

CVD buddha March 2023 lab grown diamond report.jpg

'Buddha' shape by Lab Grown Diamonds USA

CVD letters March 2023 lab grown diamond report.jpg

Letters by Lab Grown Diamonds USA

Price

Price

Let's look at prices. Starting with high quality 1ct round brilliant stones...

March 2023 report - 27_03_23  price ranges RB 1.00ct D VS1 .jpg

 The vast majority of high-quality 1ct laboratory-grown diamonds are priced between $400-$499 USD

Sample size: 1072 stones

This Report finds that the majority of suppliers are pricing laboratory-grown diamonds at the lower end. Relating to the table above,  thirty-five suppliers priced their goods within the $400-$499/ct range. Only two suppliers priced their goods above $800/ct.

By the end of the 1st quarter in 2023, the greatest discount of Rapaport pricing for a round brilliant laboratory-grown diamond was 97.15%. The lowest was 83.17%.

$325/ct

LOWEST WHOLESALE PRICE FOR A

1CT, D, VS, ROUND BRILLIANT

Prices obtained March 30th 2023

$1,290/ct

HIGHEST WHOLESALE PRICE FOR A

1CT, D, VS, ROUND BRILLIANT

-95.18%

AVERAGE %

OFF RAPAPORT DIAMOND PRICES

for 1ct round brilliant D-H, VS, EX-VG

fancy cuts.jpg

Fancy shapes are typically priced lower than round brilliant cuts.

Fancy shapes

March 2023 report - 27_03_23  price ranges RB vs Fancy 1.00ct D VS1 .jpg

Most fancy shapes weighing 1ct (D, VS1)

are priced between $300-$399/ct 

$285/ct

LOWEST WHOLESALE PRICE FOR A

1CT, D, VS, OVAL BRILLIANT

Prices obtained March 30th 2023

$975/ct

HIGHEST WHOLESALE PRICE FOR A

1CT, D, VS, OVAL BRILLIANT

-97%

GREATEST % OFF RAPAPORT DIAMOND PRICES

for 1ct fancy cut laboratory-grown diamonds

 D-H, VS, EX-VG 

GREATEST % OFF RAP ACROSS ALL LABORATORY-GROWN DIAMONDS:

-99.33%

Stones that are 99% off Rap

Almost all of the laboratory-grown diamonds that are currently priced at 99% off Rapaport pricing are:

emerald cuts that weigh between 4.00 - 5.99ct.

 

The low prices of these stones may reflect the balance of supply and demand of this shape and size category. Emerald cuts are not the most popular consumer choice. Laboratory-grown diamonds that weigh above 4ct are currently outside of the budget of many consumers. However, the emerald cut is an easy shape to fashion from CVD laboratory-grown diamond crystals thus many were produced.

You may have heard of stones that trade above 99% above Rap. It is important to note that this is true for only a very small segment of laboratory-grown diamonds.

Future pricing structure 

Since their increase in popularity, laboratory-grown diamonds are often compared to the Rapaport price list for natural diamonds. This is becoming a less favourable system as the disparity between diamond and laboratory-grown diamond prices increase.

 

Though this may not continue into the future, it is useful for now to those who have used this pricing structure. 

 

In the future, the way laboratory-grown diamonds are priced will likely change. Possibly based on production cost or a set price per carat and quality range, similar to the brand Lightbox (who seem to be the only retailers who have not dropped their prices in 5 years).

Exactly how laboratory-grown diamonds will be priced in the future is yet to be seen. I've heard word of a consolidation forming...

Diamond v lgd prices.jpg
Summary

Thank you

THE GEM ACADEMY

REPORT

Spring 2023

The gem academy report logo.jpg

© Julia Griffith

All rights reserved. No part of this Report may be copied, reproduced, transferred, recorded or transmitted in any form, or by any means, to any audience, without the express written permission of Julia Griffith FGA DGA EG.

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Summary

in the next report:

Updates on volumes

Exciting colours of laboratory-grown diamonds

Large stones and their reducing prices

Why knowing the growth method matters (HPHT v CVD)

Laboratory-grown diamonds on

WHOLESALE PLATFORM

329,450

total

Figures obtained 15/03/2023

Laboratory-grown diamonds on

WHOLESALE PLATFORM

263,150

weighing 1ct +