Are laboratory grown diamonds destined to save the diamond industry? Diamonds are a finite resource, and they are finally reaching their limit. According to an industry survey, mined diamonds are likely to peak in 2017, plateau by 2020, and then drastically decrease in coming decades. 

“Though diamond supply is expected to increase in coming years, it is likely to plateau by 2020 and then significantly drop off in the following decade unless major new discoveries are made, said Howard Davies, head of commercial development for De Beers. Davies briefed members of the New York banking community on the current state of the diamond market in an October meeting at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan. Estimated annual global rough production, according to De Beers projections, will drop to 115 million carats by 2030, down from the nearly 160 million carats expected for 2014.”

De Beers has spent $50 million searching for new diamond deposits that could replenish mined diamonds, though the chances are slim. “It’s more hope than expectation,” admits Howard Davies, head of commercial development for De Beers. The lack of mined diamonds could drastically affect prices. “Ultimately, prices are determined by what consumers are willing to pay for polished diamonds,” Davies explained.

Though De Beers would never admit it, laboratory grown diamonds could save the diamond industry. With a totally renewable system, lab created diamonds are a fully sustainable alternative to mined diamonds. Hence, with the stores of mined diamonds lagging, it may become necessary for lab created diamonds to fill the gaps in future years.