Looking for a diamond ring for your engagement? But are they too expensive? This is where 'lab-grown' diamonds may make a difference, and it is just this method that Dubai jeweller Damas is employing to woo clients.
"Lab-grown diamonds are gradually gaining customer acceptability, particularly among younger and fresher diamond purchasers," stated Luc Perramond, Chairman and CEO of Damas Jewellery. "If they have a lesser budget but still want a 1-carat diamond for their engagement, they may have one if they pick a lab-developed solitaire rather a mined one."
"Because they can acquire it for less than Dh10,000 from the collection we introduced last month, as opposed to Dh30,000 or Dh40,000 on a natural." In the last two years, a few UAE jewellers have been testing customer demand for precious stones created to a remarkably high grade previously solely associated with mined stones.
Damas has been a pioneer in this area, with a specialised collection centred on what can be supplied from the lab. Perramond has been key in Damas' decision to pursue this alternative since assuming the top posts little over two years ago.
He recognises that gaining a sizable buyer base in the UAE and other Gulf countries, where the term "precious" is inextricably linked to gold and natural diamonds, will be difficult. "Lab-grown diamonds are highly developed in the United States, and while the Middle East shopper is still at an early level of acceptability, we are willing to wait the 5- or 10-year wait," he added.
"Lab-grown diamonds are highly developed in the United States, and while the Middle East shopper is still at an early level of acceptability, we are willing to wait the 5- or 10-year wait," he added. "I, for one, am convinced that this will grow into a significant category, that it will be a huge disruptor, and that we will continue to have two major collection releases per year."
Damas began their collection by establishing sourcing agreements with a few labs in California. The sourcing was then moved to India.