While keeping track of the new trends in the diamond industry can be hard, it is still an essential task of any savvy consumer or industry observer. Whether you are looking to catch a deal on your next diamond purchase or researching the pros and cons of an investment within the diamond industry, keeping up with the trends is imperative.
Like any industry, the diamond industry is always evolving. This year, manufacturers and consumers alike should be prepared for the changes that the industry will undergo, largely because millennials will be taking over the customer base. Not sure what's to come? Here's everything you need to know about diamond industry trends in 2020.
New Trends in the Diamond Industry
Rose gold lab-created diamond solitaire engagement ring. Clean Origin
2020 will be a big year for the diamond industry and we've got you covered. Here are the top trends in the diamond industry that you need to know about.
Millennials Are Shaping the Industry
Love it or hate it, millennials are changing the diamond industry. However, while millennials have a reputation for "killing" industries, it would be a mistake to believe that the diamond industry is dying simply because the customer base is changing.
Millennials are making more financially conscious decisions regarding diamond purchases. Many Millennials regard diamond purchases as an investment into the future just as equally as they look at it as an investment into the relationship.
That said, millennials are looking for the most cost effective options that fit within their budget and lab-grown diamonds fulfill all of their needs. So, while the industry is changing, it's not dead. In fact, it might experience its highest growth ever in the coming years, so long as manufacturers consider new trends and act accordingly.
White gold lab-grown diamond classic engagement ring. Clean Origin
It's already been said, but it's worth repeating — millennials are the future of the diamond industry. As with every demographic before them, in order to survive, the industry must make some changes according to the issues of the day.
Many millennials regard climate change and eco-friendly practices as a top deciding factor in their purchases. If your company or brand has environmentally unfriendly practices or is simply towards the end of its mining life, it's imperative to consider making some eco-friendly changes.
Lab diamonds have a significantly lower impact on the environment than mined diamonds. Not to mention, lab-grown diamonds don't differ from mined diamonds in the eyes of a consumer. In fact, mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds differ only in the eyes of an experienced jeweler who is able to read the microscopic inscription on the bottom of the lab diamond.
Overall, lab-grown diamonds have not only increased in popularity, but they are also on the verge of changing the industry. As a less-expensive option that is on par with even the most expensive diamonds, lab-grown diamonds offer the eco-friendliness and affordability that most consumers are looking for.
Other Diamond Alternatives
Outside of lab-created diamonds, other alternatives have popped up as options for couples who'd like to opt out of going with a traditional mined diamond. Although man-made stones are leading the charge in terms of popularity, salt & pepper diamonds, moonstones, and moissanite have also gained traction for being "outside the box" and "non-traditional."
Whether you're an industry observer or a savvy consumer, it's important to pay attention to the trends in the diamond industry. Following these trends can help you to prepare for anything from stock drops and saving big on your next jewelry purchase. As the purchasing demographic changes, so will the industry. Millennials are coming out in a big way and shaking up the industry. The need for new mines, lab-grown diamonds, and other diamond alternatives are all big things to look out for in the diamond industry in 2020.
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By Kristen Fischer
It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
Should Kids Go Back?<p>While these guidelines may help get some schools to reopen, many people don't think children should go back to school over fears they could contract the disease and spread it to other vulnerable family members like grandparents, infant siblings, or their parents.</p><p>In a <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/07/08/peds.2020-004879" target="_blank">Pediatrics</a> commentary, <a href="https://www.md.com/doctor/william-raszka-md" target="_blank">Dr. William V. Raszka, Jr.</a>, an infectious disease specialist at The University of Vermont Medical Center, argued that schools should open because school-aged children are far less important drivers of COVID-19 than adults.</p><p>But he says the risk and benefit is not equal among all students ages 5 to 18.</p><p>"Elementary schools are arguably higher priority for face-to-face schooling, since younger children are at lower risk for infection and transmission, and since parental supervision of younger children's distance learning may be particularly challenging," added Sorensen, who penned a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2767411" target="_blank">June article in JAMA</a> with reopening tips. "That means middle and high schools are more likely to emphasize distance learning."</p><p>Specific student populations, such as special education students and students with disabilities, would also benefit greatly from more time spent in face-to-face environments, Sorensen said.</p>
What Parents Can Do<p>Parents should ask for and receive frequent updates from schools about plans for the fall. They should also be informed about plans if and when COVID infections are identified, Sharfstein said.</p><p>"I'd like to see parents investing now, during the summer, in doing things that can slow and stop the spread of the virus in their communities," Widome said.</p><p>"Now is a good time for kids to practice wearing masks and get used to them as they may be wearing them for longer stretches if school starts up in person," Widome suggested.</p><p>She recommends parents try different mask designs and materials to see what children are more comfortable wearing.</p><p>"If you are using cloth face coverings, it's good to have extras on hand," Widome added.</p><p>Parents should model healthy behavior at home and while out in public — another thing that could affect how well children adapt to reopening practices, Sorensen said.</p><p>"Children may want to know more about face coverings," added <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/leescott/" target="_blank">Lee Scott</a>, chairwoman of the Educational Advisory Board at <a href="https://www.goddardschool.com/" target="_blank">The Goddard School</a>. "Dramatic play, such as creating or wearing a face covering, may help some children adjust to this concept." Schools can also show children photos of what faculty members look like in their masks so the students are familiar with that appearance.</p><p>Johns Hopkins University recently released its eSchool+ Initiative, a slew of resources surrounding education during the pandemic. These include a <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-checklist/" target="_blank">checklist for administrators</a>, report on <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/ethics-of-reopening/" target="_blank">ethical considerations</a>, and a tracker of <a href="https://equityschoolplus.jhu.edu/reopening-policy-tracker/" target="_blank">state and local reopening plans</a>.</p>
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