No longer a Gen Z's best friend

While the appeal of a diamond stone is undeniable, there is also a sense of an outdated and uncool vibes attached to the entire diamond narrative. Younger generations prioritize value, sustainability, and ethical production, leaning towards unique and individualized products over standardized, mass-produced items. Given Gen Z’s distinctive approach to relationships, it's unsurprising that traditional practices, like purchasing and donning a diamond engagement ring, are evolving. Ahead, we explore how the decelerating diamond industry is seeking new avenues to engage Gen Z consumers.


Gen Zs perspectives and contradictions play a significant role in shaping their relationship with diamonds. Generally, they associate natural, mined diamonds with authenticity, rarity, and exclusivity. In contrast, lab-grown diamonds are seen as more cost-effective and closely tied to ethical practices and environmental sustainability. Consequently, alongside Millennials, they are increasingly veering away from traditional diamonds and considering lab-grown alternatives that are chemically, physically, and optically identical to mined diamonds but are produced using extreme pressure and heat in a machine rather than forming naturally in the Earth. This distinction makes the carbon footprint of lab-grown diamonds much more transparent than that of mined diamonds, and even the likes of luxury brands such as Prada are embracing the trend.


Historically, diamonds have held a traditional significance; however, many of today's young people are opting for alternative gemstones. One such example is moss agate, a variety of chalcedony quartz known for green inclusions resembling mossy webs, vines, or branches. Among younger consumers searching for distinctive stones for jewelry, moss agate has garnered popularity. Jewelry brands report a notable increase in interest, even for engagement rings. This surge is attributed to its eye-catching nature, the individual uniqueness of each stone, and its reputation as a grounding stone believed to attract abundance and facilitate fresh starts.


Gathering an impressive 1.1B views on TikTok, Moissanite, comparable to moss agate, is gaining widespread popularity as an alternative gem. Its distinctive feature surpassing diamonds is its superior brilliance, resulting in a more pronounced sparkle. In contrast to diamonds' white light reflection, this mineral-like gem showcases a sparkling array of rainbow colors owing to its unique composition.

Beyond its visual appeal, Moissanite appeals to conscientious young consumers as it comes without the significant drawbacks associated with diamonds, such as notable carbon emissions, human rights abuses, and poor resale value, aligning with the sensibilities of Gen Z.