Beyond diamond players, Ehud explored other supply-side topics that have sparked debates over the years where he believed that similar to demand-side issues, greater transparency is central to address them. Lab-grown diamonds provide a good example.
While their emergence was accompanied by rising concerns across the industry, Ehud believed lab-grown diamonds can play a complementary role to that of natural diamonds, provided consumers gain a better understanding of the inherent value of natural diamonds.
"Man-made Diamonds, lab-made Diamonds, lab grown diamonds, synthetic diamonds and many other names have been given to what many consider to be a threat to the diamond industry. When referring to the matter it is almost as if people are asking, "to be or not to be?" I say: to be and to thrive", Ehud said in 2014.
"There is no doubt that there is a market for lab made diamonds in the jewellery arena. If it becomes cheaper than natural diamonds, it will appeal to the younger generation or to those who do not have sufficient means to buy natural diamonds."
Ehud took this approach for a reason. He held the opinion that "Natural and lab-grown diamonds are two complementary products," and therefore, "most people will continue to buy natural diamonds for emotional reasons and because they are one of nature's miracles, as well as for wealth preservation."
"Natural diamonds are a very different type of product than lab-grown. The latter can be created to order, just like posters of artwork can be printed. Posters can be the most beautiful works of art, but they cost a fraction of the original."
"The same is true for diamonds: A natural diamond is the rarest and purest piece of nature: no two stones are alike and each one is typically between 1 and 3 billion years old. By contrast, lab-grown stones can be endlessly reproduced by technology, at speed and scale. While natural diamonds are uniquely prized both for jewelry and as long-term stores of value, lab-grown stones have no intrinsic value and are an alternative material for jewelry manufacturing."
"In the future that I envision, the diamond world will act similarly to the art world. There will be those who buy diamond jewelry, those who buy jewelry set with lab-grown goods, and a market of collectors who buy diamonds as assets, but who also appreciate diamonds for their beauty. Based on the economy of rarity, we must create a separation in consumers' minds of diamonds as a component in jewelry. We must instill the understanding that diamonds stand alone, and can be used as an economic asset."
De Beers Shakes Industry Foundations Lab-Grown Initiative
Diamond Prices are Sliding, and that is A Warning Sign
The History of Lab Grown Diamonds: Value Proposition