5 Startup Innovative Diamond Technology to Grow Market in 2017
In the last few years, it has been growing concern for the stability of the diamond industry; this concern has gotten to the point where people are claiming that millennials are killing this multi-billion dollar industry. The issue behind this instability is that the predicted interest in diamonds was overestimated and so, demand dropped and with it the prices of both polished and rough diamonds worldwide
The drop and instability of the diamond industry can be traced back to two main factors. In the first place, diamonds are considered a luxury item and in times of crisis such as this, acquiring luxury items is not particularly high on the list of priorities; thus, people stop buying and the whole line of production gets backed up, leading to instability. Second, the diamond industry has had a morally dubious history, especially during the 1990’s, with “socially conscious consumerism” being a trend among young people. It is not surprising that despite efforts to clean up their act (and their image), diamond traders have been unable to reach this new generation of consumers. This is precisely where these innovative diamond technologies come in and may help grow market this year.
This startup shows that sometimes the market opening does not have to be a product but rather a way in which to make finding the ideal product easier. Rare Carat uses IBM Watson technology to compare the prices of diamonds between different online retailers. Ease of access has become important, and a way in which the market can grow is by making it easier for the prospective buyers to find exactly what they want.
The man behind this startup, Ajay Anand, realized that the market was open for a tool that allowed prospective buyers to research prices and stones, and while he admits that going online to buy a diamond is not nearly as romantic as walking into a Tiffany’s, he knows that in this fragile economy millennials are not willing to overpay for the “luxury retail experience”. He is also aware that millennials are more used to researching products before buying them.
They are currently developing a bot with the IBM Competitive Projects Office that will take potential buyers by the hand and talk them through their purchase, just like a gemologist would without the buyer paying for the experience. It is expected that this AI bot will be ready this year (2017). They are also hoping to develop a virtual reality software that will allow the bride-to-be to see what a particular ring will look like on her finger.
This clever use of technology is proving to be beneficial, it has widened the market and included the millennial generation in the diamond business by easing their access to the market, thus growing the pool of prospective buyers.
This startup found a way to make diamonds appealing to the niche of responsible consumers by removing the environmental and social backlash of the diamond industry. They developed the technology to “grow” real diamonds in America; thus, giving the buyer the security that their diamond did not damage the environment nor did it cause human suffering. They have, in this way, reopened the diamond market to a group of people that would have been impossible to reach.
When they say that they “grow” diamonds, they are being completely serious. What they do is an amazing technological feat, they grab a wafer-thin slice of a Canadian rough diamond and place it in a hydrogen plasma reactor, the conditions of which mimic the surface of the sun. They then add gasses such as CO2 and Methane; the rest does not require intervention as atom by atom the crystal is grown. The polished end result is a beautiful clear diamond.
The only way to distinguish a cultured diamond from a ‘natural’ diamond is to be an expert with access to advanced equipment. This means that buying a cultured diamond means buying a beautiful, unique diamond with a clear conscience and it is precisely that which has opened the doors of diamonds to socially aware buyers. The strategy is not just to offer the tired cliché “diamonds are forever” but offer this new generation of diamond buyers a diamond for the future. While the idea of a natural diamond is inherently romantic, there is nothing more romantic than the future.
Heart in Diamond
Unlike the previous two startups, Heart in Diamond widened the diamond market rather than appealing to a niche group. They developed the technology to extract the carbon particles (of which diamonds are made) from the ashes of a deceased loved one and turn them into a real diamond. With this innovative technology, they have found a way to revitalize the old cliché of “diamonds are forever” by offering to make your loved one last forever.
The offer is not only to create a permanent memorial stone of your loved one, it is also to celebrate the people you are currently enjoying your life with by gifting them with a unique diamond, the likes of which would never be found in nature. They have developed the technology to create a diamond from a lock of hair. This approach appeals not only to people looking to keep their memories alive forever, but also appeals to socially conscious buyers since it is a diamond with more than just a clear conscience but with a particular thought in mind.
The process is carried out entirely in their own plant, which means that their prices are competitive and their commitment to the well being of everyone involved in the process is serious. The process can be summed up thusly: They take the carbon particles from your hair or ashes sample and turn them into a beautiful and potent reminder of everlasting love. This is their offer, and this is exactly why they have revitalized the diamond market.
A lot like Rate Carat, this startup’s focus is on the ease of access rather than revolutionizing the entire diamond industry. What they have created is a tool for prospective buyers to design and create their own jewelry pieces and order online, in this way they have widened the pool of prospective consumers by giving them easy access to high-quality, certified diamonds.
Not only do they offer a catalogue of options, they appeal to the millennial generation by making all the information they need easily available. For a young person who is looking to buy a diamond, the prospect may be quite daunting because they have no prior knowledge and for this generation the research phase of purchasing is vital in ensuring that they will not be taken advantage of. Enchanted Diamonds, thus present a trustworthy interface that draws prospective buyers into the market.
They also offer the user the chance to design their own engagement ring or earring pair. This is the perfect way to get millennials interested, after all, this generation is known for refusing to adopt the mainstream standards of looks and beauty. By offering them the chance to do what they like, they are also offering a further chance at uniqueness, permitting them to create something beautiful and special. They might not have revolutionized the market or the diamond making process, but they have certainly found a way to get people invested in diamonds again by their clever use of innovative search and ease of access to information by making every part of the process based online.
This one is a little different from the others. While most startups focused their efforts on how to bring in new people and widen the market, the creators of DiamApp saw an opening for a method for people involved in the diamond business to stay connected. At its core it is a digital guide to worldwide diamantaires.
The beauty of this app is that it does not matter if you are a buyer or a seller; you are guaranteed to find what you are looking for through this app. They offer diamond company listings, allow you to post your diamond demands, a place guide for you to explore any particular aspect of the industry, and even a buying guide. All in the palm of your hand.
It is a truism of this decade that if you want to reach people and keep your place in the market your company will have to have an online presence. This means being available 24/7, interacting and innovating constantly. The diamond market might not be what it once was but it is still as fierce as ever. What DiamApp created is a way to remain connected, thus ensuring availability and a wide reach. The piece of resistance? It is free to download.
In creating this registry, DiamApp has made it easier for both buyers and sellers to know about each other while appealing to the research-focused needs of this generation. While there are enough registries to fill a library, none is as comprehensive or accessible as DiamApp. The simple design makes reaching prospective buyers or sellers as easy as posting an update on Facebook.
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