In a dynamic world where technology moves quicker than the mind can think, there are no bounds to what the future can hold. AI currently is the biggest buzzword –From images of AI art rendering world leaders enjoying spaghetti to a newsletter authored by a voiceless, faceless entity–what next? Sentient robots? Technology dictates our habits and our fears–what we don’t know is an automatic source of anxiety. Will AI also dictate our consumer patterns? The role of technology in human lives should be to provide solutions and simplify menial tasks. Inherently, human insight and instinct will not be replaced by computer learning, much like diamonds grown in a lab cannot compete in the same streak as a natural diamond.
To clarify any niggling doubts, we tried out a social experiment to seek advice. Investing in natural diamond jewellery is often timed with a hallmark event in one’s life. Even the kind of people you choose to surround yourself with for this activity can be special to you for a myriad of reasons. Would you opt for a Chat GPT’s guide or that of an industry expert? Toranj Mehta, Marketing Director at De Beers participated in this social experiment with us.
How can an individual differentiate between a natural and a lab-grown diamond?
AI: It can be difficult to differentiate between a natural and lab-grown diamond with the naked eye, as they can look very similar. However, there are a few factors you can consider to help determine whether a diamond is natural or lab-grown.Price: Lab-grown diamonds are generally less expensive than natural diamonds of similar size and quality. Origin: Ask the seller for information about the diamond’s origin.Inclusions: Most natural diamonds have inclusions or imperfections inside the diamond that can be seen under magnification. The grading report can provide information about the diamond’s authenticity and origin, as well as its cut, clarity, and carat weight.
Toranj: If you look at a grading report between a lab-grown and a natural diamond you can quickly tell the difference but if you were to look at it from a distance then the discrepancies are not very easily visible. An expert could tell but within yourself you would know if you are wearing a natural or a lab-grown diamond and that can make all the difference. A natural diamond will always have a certain sense of value, of preciousness, of eternity within the diamond which a lab-grown one will never have.
This is because natural diamonds were formed when the earth was, so the youngest one found is about 90 million years old. The average age of any diamond is 3 billion years, so this predates the dinosaurs and Mount Everest by a huge margin.
Are coloured diamonds all natural?
AI:Some coloured diamonds are naturally occurring, and their colour can be caused by trace elements or structural defects in the crystal lattice. For example, a yellow diamond may have nitrogen atoms present, while a blue diamond may have boron atoms. These diamonds are very rare and valuable due to their unique colour and rarity.
On the other hand, some coloured diamonds are created by treating natural diamonds or by growing diamonds in a laboratory and intentionally introducing colour into the process. These diamonds are referred to as treated or lab-grown diamonds, respectively.
It’s important to note that both natural and treated diamonds can be beautiful and valuable. However, it’s important to know the origin and treatment history of a coloured diamond to make an informed decision about its value and authenticity. It’s recommended to purchase coloured diamonds from a reputable dealer who can provide information about their origin and treatment history.
Toranj: Coloured diamonds are extremely rare and they are natural. Lab-grown diamonds can be coloured depending on the addition of colours, chemicals and such but finding a coloured natural diamond is rare and highly valued. These can range from pink to deep red, blue to black, green, orange, intense yellow–these are rarely found and very highly priced. If you were to take a step back, diamonds when found in nature can be categorised into gem quality and industrial quality, depending on the inclusions. More commonly found natural diamonds range from D-Z which ranges from colourless to brown.
How do you preserve diamond jewellery?
AI: While diamonds are extremely hard and durable, they can still be chipped or damaged if they are struck or knocked against a hard surface. Be careful when wearing diamond jewellery, and avoid wearing it during activities that could damage the stones, such as sports or heavy manual labour.
Toranj: A natural diamond can scratch another diamond, so to preserve it, we normally suggest storing them separately, not touching each other. To avoid accumulation of moisture which creates a layer on the diamond, we recommend cleaning them in warm water and mild soap so the sparkle is retained.
What is the role you see AI playing in the diamond industry in the future? How would it help in creating sustainable luxury?
AI: AI is expected to play a significant role in the diamond industry, offering various benefits and advancements. AI can be used to automate and enhance the diamond grading process. By analysing and interpreting diamond characteristics such as colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight, AI algorithms can provide accurate and consistent grading assessments.Using machine learning algorithms, AI systems can analyse vast amounts of data and identify patterns to accurately classify diamonds according to their specific attributes. By recording and tracking diamond transactions, certifications, and ownership history on a decentralised ledger, AI-powered systems can ensure the authenticity and provenance of diamonds, reducing the risk of counterfeit or conflict diamonds entering the market. AI can enhance the customer experience by providing personalised recommendations and virtual try-on experiences. By analysing historical data and real-time market conditions, AI algorithms can help diamond traders, investors, and retailers make informed decisions about pricing, inventory management, and market strategies. Overall, AI has the potential to revolutionise the diamond industry by improving efficiency, accuracy, transparency, and customer experience.
Toranj: AI can be a big enabler in many areas in the industry such as the supply chain, production efficiency, more traceability to ensure sustainable sourcing. In terms of consumer facing aspects–the technology that we use for ecommerce, on ground sales, AI is going to be a big enabler in enhancing the customer experience where diamonds are concerned.
Would two diamonds of the same cut, clarity, carat, colour–one natural and one lab grown ever be valued the same?
AI: In general, lab-grown diamonds are priced lower than their natural counterparts, even when they have the same cut, clarity, carat, and colour. This price difference is due to several factors:1. Supply and demand: Natural diamonds are formed deep within the Earth over millions of years, and their supply is limited. 2. Perception and tradition: Natural diamonds have been highly valued and sought after for centuries, and they carry a certain prestige and allure. 3. Market dynamics: The diamond market has separate pricing structures for natural and lab-grown diamonds. Ultimately, the value of a diamond is subjective and can vary based on individual preferences and market factors.
Toranj: A natural diamond is very rare, precious, it is like touching the beginning of time whilst lab-grown diamonds are mass produced. A lab-grown diamond’s value will fall as time progresses whereas there is a finite amount of natural diamonds in the world, so the value of those can never be equated with a lab-grown diamond. The 4 Cs are just an indicator, within these there are nuances which make a natural diamond special. Lab-grown diamonds can imitate these but surely can’t equal. Holding a natural diamond is like holding a piece of history in your hand and that can never be replicated. In terms of preciousness, they rank superior.
How do you build a jewellery collection? What would be your guide to buying diamonds?
AI: Building a jewellery collection is a personal and subjective process, influenced by individual tastes, preferences, and budget. Start by identifying your personal style and the types of jewellery that resonate with you. Establishing a budget will help guide your purchasing decisions and ensure you stay within your financial means. Begin your collection with classic, versatile pieces that can be worn regularly and easily paired with various outfits. Examples include a simple pendant necklace, diamond or gemstone studs, a tennis bracelet, or a timeless watch. These foundational pieces serve as the building blocks for your collection.
Toranj: What we have observed with consumers is that they buy a ring, earrings, a pendant and finally a bracelet to make a set. Some women prefer classics while others want something more current. When you’re buying jewellery, you make a connection with the stone. It may be a cliche but when a woman is looking at a piece of jewellery that she has purchased or been gifted, there’s always some key moment in her life that she recollects because of which that diamond exists.
Ring: Amayra Jewellery
Earrings: Araya Fine Jewellery
What are some trends in the jewellery industry in 2023 that are popular right now?
AI: As an AI model with a knowledge cutoff in September 2021, I don’t have real-time information on current jewellery trends. However, I can provide you with some popular jewel lery trends that were gaining popularity before my cutoff date. It’s important to note that trends are constantly evolving, so it’s a good idea to check with current industry sources for the most up-to-date information.
Customization: Personalised diamond jewellery is likely to continue gaining popularity. Customers may prefer customised pieces that reflect their individual style and preferences, such as initials, birthstones, or unique designs.
Minimalist Designs: Minimalism has been a growing trend in recent years, and it may continue in 2023. Delicate diamond jewelry with simple, clean lines and understated elegance is likely to be sought after.
Remember, trends can vary and evolve over time, and it’s always best to consult professional jewelers or refer to up-to-date fashion sources to get the most accurate and current information on natural diamond jewellery trends in 2023.
Toranj: Consumer trends stand as such.
Ethics and sustainability in diamond selection
Consumers increasingly prioritise sustainability and ethics alongside traditional attributes of design, quality and price when choosing diamonds and are prepared to pay a premium for ethical assurances. Encouragingly consumers are willing to pay a premium for the assurance that diamonds are produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way.
While diamond jewellery purchases made in-store still outweigh those made online, the full journey of buying diamond jewellery increasingly includes a digital component. It is this melding of the physical and digital retail experiences – ‘phygital’ – that today’s consumers most desire.
Phygital to Web3, NFTs, and the Metaverse in diamond jewellery retail
While a compelling phygital strategy is a must for any retailer today, the arrival of Web3, NFTs and the metaverse has the potential to open up new revenue, customer acquisition and brand opportunities for diamond jewellery brands.
Everyday diamond jewellery
Women are looking for minimalist diamond jewellery which they can wear everyday rather than have jewellery that is kept in the bank locker for most of the year and maybe worn for a day. This trend is increasingly growing and is here to stay. They are also experimenting with different color gold and fancy shaped diamonds which make a fashion statement.
As technology continues to advance, consumers are at an advantage to make informed choices about their investments in jewellery. Generative AI models harness existing data to serve detailed technical analysis on complex matters. Meanwhile a jewellery expert is guaranteed to touch upon nuances that are beyond a machine’s learning capabilities. Before investing in a statement natural diamond pieces, its best to hear out both sides of the coin. However, the conclusion stands that whether its the preciousness factor of a stone or the sparkle that can’t be replicated, natural diamonds continue to hold a higher value in the world of jewellery.