by Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press
When Isabelle Crew chose a lab-grown diamond instead of a traditionally mined sparkler for her engagement ring, one friend warned her it would have a lower resale value.
But with the 1.7-carat oval-shaped diamond solitaire of her dreams twinkling on her finger, the 28-year-old Toronto woman says she found it easy to laugh off those concerns.
"This is an engagement ring. I really hope I don't have to resell it someday," Crew said.
Three years later, Crew — who chose a lab-grown diamond primarily for environmental and social reasons — remains happily married and happy with her ring. And the "resale value" comment notwithstanding, Crew said most people's reactions to her choice have been positive.
"I've had so many compliments on my engagement ring ... and I think now honestly at least five of my friends have followed suit," she said.
More than 70 years after international mining giant De Beers came up with its hugely profitable "A Diamond is Forever" advertising campaign, diamonds have grown into a US$84-billion market.
But while the diamond is still embraced in 2022 as a symbol of lasting love, millennials and Generation Z are increasingly rejecting stones formed naturally in the Earth's crust in favour of man-made, lab-grown alternatives.
In fact, industry statistics show that lab-created diamonds are outpacing growth in the overall diamond market. While lab-grown diamonds make up only about 10 per cent of total sales, their share of the overall market more than doubled between 2020 and 2022.
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