Cartels Aren't Forever
"The $143 billion jewelry business -- and the would-be fiancés, Valentines and lovers of bling that it caters to -- are facing a shakeup. Lab-produced diamonds, once suitable only for industrial use, are being produced with color and clarity that match -- or exceed -- the quality of diamonds dug out of the earth. These lab-made diamonds have begun trickling into retailers at prices below those for natural diamonds of similar size and sparkle.
The long-term threat to established diamond producers: that mined diamonds could suffer the same fate as naturally occurring pearls. Cultured pearls, made when a small bead is inserted into a mollusk and grown, destroyed the natural pearl industry. Cultured pearls now account for more than 95% of all pearls sold globally, according to estimates by Gem World International, a research firm."
Read the WSJ article here.
"The larger question is whether lab-grown diamonds will gain acceptance with consumers....."
Prediction: Given the general acceptance, by both men and women, of breast implants, isn't the general acceptance of "fake diamonds" probably inevitable? After all, wouldn't it be irrational behavior to accept synthetic, artificial breasts, but reject synthetic artifical diamonds? Comments welcome.