Maiko Eaton, UK sales manager of Green Rocks Diamonds, discusses the strides the company has made since it was founded little more than four years ago in Florida.
What is Green Rocks Diamonds? How did it start?
Green Rocks was founded in Aventura, Florida in 2016 as a partnership between a group of visionary tech entrepreneurs and Israel’s finest diamond cutters.
We brought 30 years of experience within the natural diamond market – through Ofer Mizrahi Diamonds, the parent company to Green Rocks – to what was at the time, an emerging market for laboratory grown diamonds in the USA.
We like to think of it as old-world diamond cutting craftmanship and new-world technology meeting to produce the world’s finest laboratory grown diamonds.
When did Green Rocks enter the European market? Does it operate differently here?
We opened our Belgium office in 2016 and our London office opened shortly after. There is no difference in how we operate.
The same dedication to service for our jewellers that has brought us great success in the US market is the principle we operate by for the European market. We see our role as working together collaboratively with jewellers.
Our job is to guide, educate and help you succeed with this product which is growing in demand amongst consumers within Europe.
We believe we are uniquely positioned to do that as we manufacture and sell both natural and laboratory grown diamonds and understand both markets very well.
How are Green Rocks’ lab-grown diamonds made?
Laboratory-grown diamonds can be grown in one of two ways. A method called HPHT (high pressure, high temperature, which closely re-creates the conditions in which diamonds are grown in nature) or CVD (chemical vapor deposition).
Both growth methods can produce a beautiful stone that is chemically, structurally, and optically identical to a mined diamond and each method has its merits for growing certain sizes, shapes and colours of diamonds
Why should consumers choose lab-grown over traditionally mined diamonds?
The answer to this question is one of the reasons jewellers choose to work with Green Rocks. We are manufacturers of both mined and laboratory grown diamonds and we do not encourage jewellers to only push laboratory grown diamonds. There is, and there will always be, a market for mother nature’s natural diamonds.
There will always be consumers who will value and choose mined diamonds without question, but increasingly there is a growing market of consumers who see that laboratory grown diamonds offer them a price point, a size, colour and clarity upgrade or align with their environmental beliefs and are open to exploring both options.
To not offer the option to your clients is to do them a disservice. Give consumers a choice and they will choose the product that holds the most value to them.
The lab-grown movement has seen massive growth in recent years. Where do you see it heading in the coming years?
We only see the UK market continuing to grow as we enter 2021. This year, we have seen an unbelievable growth in the market with sales in laboratory grown diamonds doubling month after month.
The market is still very young in the UK, but we expect it to follow a very similar pattern that we have experienced in the USA. This will see sales of 3ct+ in all shapes become the norm as consumers see the size upgrade a laboratory grown diamond can offer them.
Laboratory grown diamonds are an opportunity rather than a threat for jewellers, their quality and affordability create a new audience for fine jewellery all around the world.
Green Rocks became one of the first companies to submit its lab-grown products to the GIA for grading a couple of months ago. How was that process?
It was something we are very proud of.
GIA committing to grading laboratory grown diamonds with the same high standards the industry has come to expect of them in naturals is a big milestone for the laboratory grown market and it really is the final seal of approval that the product is here to stay and highly sought after by consumers.
How has 2020 been for Green Rocks? Has it introduced any new offerings?
It has been an unbelievable year for the Green Rocks Europe team. Though there are many success stories, our greatest new offering in 2020 came at the later end of the year when we were able to say we were the first grower to send their stones to GIA for grading.
Offering GIA graded laboratory grown diamonds in our inventory is what we see consumers asking for next in 2021 and we are proud to say we are the first, and currently only, grower in the UK who can supply jewellers with GIA stones.
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