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Building Trust in Lab-Grown Diamonds Through Certification

Buying diamond jewelry is a major purchase. In some cases, it’s up there with buying a car. Before driving off of the lot, you do everything in your power to be sure you’re buying the right one. The same goes for diamonds. Evaluating the 4Cs of a diamond can seem like a subjective task, but third-party certifications give buyers the knowledge they need to enter into a transaction with trust and confidence. Without a certificate, buyers—both B2B buyers and consumers—can’t be sure of exactly what they are getting. Furthermore, consumers researching diamonds online are going to hear again and again that they should only buy diamonds with GIA or IGI certification. The 2021 Bain & Company report on the diamond industry asked consumers “What would make you consider buying diamond jewelry online?” 28% of consumers in the US, 27% of consumers in China, and 25% of consumers in India said that the retailer would have to build trust: “reliable brand, certificate, warranty.” Building that trust through third-party grading reports and authentications is the way forward in this regard.

Guarantees of Quality

Lab-grown diamonds come with the same kinds of certifications available for mined diamonds, graded according to the same criteria. Both GIA and IGI offer grading reports for lab-grown diamonds, though GIA LGD reports are less common. Such reports will play a role in differentiating premium LGD from lower-quality options. All LGD will have exceptional clarity and higher carat weights than mined diamonds. The big difference will be in the quality of the cut. They will also reassure customers about the authenticity of LGD.

Backing Up Sustainability Claims

The strength of those certificates is also a limitation. They offer a third-party evaluation of a diamond’s authenticity and quality, but they are relevant only to authenticity and quality. If consumers are buying lab-grown diamonds for their sustainability advantages, sellers are going to want the same sort of third-party verification of their environmental claims.

This will become increasingly the case as Millennials and Gen Z come to comprise the majority of luxury consumers. We will see an even greater emphasis on ethical consumption. Not only will they want reassurances about a diamond’s quality, but they will also want to know where their diamond comes from and what effect its production, whether it was taken from the ground or grown in a lab, has on the environment.

SCS Global Services offers such a certification. SCS is the world’s most trusted name in sustainability certification and standards development. The organization has developed SCS-007 Jewelry Sustainability Standard – Sustainability Rated Diamonds for both mined and lab-grown diamonds, and can be awarded to not just LGD manufacturers but to anyone who handles diamonds on their way to the consumer.

Achieving certification would provide a competitive advantage to any business selling LGD. Gaining certification is no small feat, however, requiring ongoing audits by SCS. SCS’s website offers more information on the process.

Certification Builds Trust

Consumers want to trust the people they are buying from. That’s true in any industry, but it’s especially true in luxury—and when you’re trying to convince customers to make luxury purchases online. Certificates that guarantee both the quality and the provenance of a diamond will go a long way toward building trust.

Though grading reports are consumer-facing certificates, designed to be readable by a non-expert, third-party certificates of all kinds are good for businesses at every link in the supply chain, from manufacturers to suppliers to retailers.

In the end, however, the value of a diamond comes down to how the buyer feels about it. A certificate might give them confidence, but don’t let it undermine their own eye test. If the customer has fallen in love with a particular diamond or piece of jewelry, it’s perfect for them, no matter what a piece of paper says.