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Diamonds getting lab test

On a few visits to Hatton Garden this past month, I was surprised by just how much retail space has shifted over to lab-grown diamonds in the heart of London’s jewellery district. 

There have been plenty of headlines over the years about younger buyers preferring these to mined diamonds, but actually seeing jewellers heavily advertising their stones as lab-grown hammered home the change in the market. 

To be clear, the impact is still limited on the other end of the supply chain. De Beers, the second biggest producer in the world, reported slightly weaker sales in its most recent ‘cycle’ compared to the previous one, but these were still well ahead of last year, at $630mn (£518mn) versus $514mn. Admittedly, some of the pricing strength is down to Russian diamonds coming out of the market, after the world’s biggest producer Alrosa was sanctioned and some retailers pulled their Russia-sourced diamonds from sale. 

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