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Podcast: Diamonds Down Under

April 7, 2024  |  Rapaport News
Rapaport Diamond Podcast 1280 USED 040324

Australia’s jewelry industry has seen a shift to lab-grown, much as the US has, said dealer Craig Miller on the latest episode of the Rapaport Diamond Podcast.

Synthetic diamonds have attracted consumers in the price-conscious market, where jewelry faces heavy competition from travel, said Craig Miller, CEO of JC Jewels, a diamond wholesaler and distributor with offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

“When I used to walk through a shopping center, it doesn’t matter which chain store I walked through, you looked through the window [and] you were seeing J to K [color], piqué goods,” said Miller, referring to diamonds with I1 to I3 clarity.

“They were trying to reach ­— like any chain store — target price points, AUD 5,000, AUD 7,000, AUD 10,000 ($3,250, $4,550, $6,500), etc. And fast forward two years, I walk past the same stores now and everything is white. Everything’s clean goods. Everything’s ideal make. It’s [clear] that those windows are now loaded up with lab-grown, and it’s moving,” he commented.

The ”value proposition” of lab-grown resonates with the Australian consumer, said Miller, who was one of the first merchants in the country to offer the category. Soon after entering the segment, he found that seven out of 10 engagement-ring sales at his clients’ retail stores were lab-grown.

On this podcast, Miller shared how he protected retail clients against price declines by not selling them more than one or two lab-grown stones for inventory at a time. He related how his father ­— Desmond Miller, a former chairman of the Diamond Club of South Africa ­— reacted the first time he showed him a lab-grown diamond. He also gave the lowdown on the Australian diamond market, including what goods consumers prefer and how the country sources its merchandise.

Listen to the full episode here:

This podcast is brought to you by GIA: protecting consumers and supporting the global gem and jewelry trade since 1931 through research, education, and laboratory services.

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Rapaport Diamond Podcast 1280 USED 040324 Podcast: Diamonds Down Under

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