Love letters are all but lost
Once the staple currency of every romance, the simple art of writing a love letter has been all but lost, in an age of...
In 2023, rather than reassessing their budget, many couples have started to become more conscious of their spending habits and switching to gemstones rather than diamonds and opting for lab-grown diamonds.
According to exclusive internal data from Queensmith, lab-grown diamonds have continued to dominate the market due to their lower cost per carat, resulting in more affordable prices. These highly sought-after diamonds have enabled couples to still find the perfect engagement ring, without inflating their budget.
The affordable option, at 60-80% cheaper than natural diamonds, accounted for nearly 80% of Queensmith's diamond engagement rings sold in 2023. Not only can consumers expect larger carat weights and higher quality diamonds, but also a more environmentally friendly and sustainably sourced alternative to mined diamonds.
In 2023, the average diamond carat weight purchased, encompassing both natural and lab-grown diamonds, remained consistent at 1.25ct, mirroring the figures from the previous year. Notably, the choice between lab-grown and natural diamonds influenced the average carat weight selected by consumers. Interestingly, individuals opting for lab-grown diamonds displayed a preference for larger carat weights, with 98.3% of diamonds purchased above 2ct originating from a lab.
This trend suggests a growing popularity and increasing demand for lab-grown diamonds in the current year, especially with couples getting bigger carat weights for a lot more affordable prices.
Queensmith's data on popular ring styles indicates a notable surge in the preference for Solitaire rings, a trend attributed by experts at Queensmith to the increased accessibility and affordability of lab-grown diamonds. Characterised by a simpler design and minimal additional diamond coverage, sales of Solitaire rings sales have increased from 41.2% in 2022 to 43% in 2023. In previous years, Halo engagement rings were once sought after for their budget-friendly means of creating the illusion of a larger ring. The current landscape allows consumers to achieve this appearance with lab-grown diamonds, contributing to the shift in preferences.
Queensmith have also continued to see a demand for custom Toi et Moi engagement rings. The lower cost per carat of lab diamonds is making this highly-sought after style more accessible, consisting of two similarly-sized main diamonds. 2023 also saw a 2.9% increase in emerald shaped rings due to their high quality. Emerald shaped rings feature open facets which can make flaws and poor colour more visible With the increased availability of top-quality lab diamonds, experts at Queensmith expect to see a huge uplift in people choosing an emerald-cut due to the affordability affording top-quality lab-grown emerald cuts.
The most unpredicted shift Queensmith reported, has been the rise in the popularity of emerald-cut rings. With only 3.8% of total sales in 2022, this year has seen a 2.9% increase, the largest rise out of all the diamond shapes, replacing last year's pear in 3rd place most popular. In September alone, Emerald cuts accounted for nearly 10% of sales which could be because they call for super high quality. Their open facets make flaws and poor colour more visible, so with the increased availability of top-quality lab diamonds, experts at Queensmith expect an uplift in couples now affording top-quality (lab-grown) emerald cuts