By Ashley Bailey
, Monday, October 09, 2006
Only 29 percent of consumers have heard of “blood” or “conflict” diamonds, according to a survey done by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC). 7223 United States and Canadian panelists participated in the survey, conducted in real-time last month during GIA’s 4th International Gemological Symposium, held August 26-29 in San Diego.
A majority of respondents believe the conflict diamond issue holds significant consequences for the jewelry industry. 17 percent of consumers said the reputation of the jeweler and certification from a third-party organization would give them the greatest assurance that they are not buying conflict diamonds.
Nearly 50 percent cited “country of origin” as important, but the survey showed that many consumers are unaware of where diamonds come from. 51 percent believe most diamonds come from South Africa while 9 percent believed Canada was responsible for most diamonds. Nearly 60 percent did not know where most colored stones are mined.
On the issue of synthetic and man-made diamonds, other hot industry topics, 58 percent of consumers knew that synthetics are available to consumers, but over a third of respondents (37 percent) did not know man-made, lab-created diamonds exist. 59 percent believe diamond synthetics like cubic zirconium (CZ) are the same as lab-created diamonds. 24 percent of consumers said they would not consider purchasing a man-made diamond. 45 percent said they would.
The research was conducted in response to trade requests. JCOC did report that there is more awareness now than compared to a study conducted in June. For more information on the study, visit www.jcoc.info.