The thoughts of celebrities, industry pros, and just plain folks on the year’s hot topics—everything from lab-grown diamonds to NFTs —and on jewelry in general.

Below are some of the most interesting, most insightful, and in some cases strange jewelry-related quotes we found during the last 12 months—a year that, once again, offered people in the jewelry industry plenty to talk about.


“For the most part, people let you down. So I might have to go with diamonds being a girl’s best friend.”
Mariah Carey

“These earrings. I get asked all the time about them. The truth is, these are worth just enough for someone to buy me a coffin if I die in a strange place. That’s why sailors used to wear them and that’s why I do.”
Morgan Freeman

“Omg. I’m watching Madonna on Jimmy Fallon and she cannot speak at all. Her grills are literally impeding her ability to speak. It’s insane.”
Someone on Twitter, who wasn’t a fan of Madonna’s “mouth jewelry”


“I am in an Arnault sandwich.”
Tiffany CEO Anthony Ledru, The Wall Street Journal. Ledru works for LVMH chair Bernard Arnault, while Arnault’s son Alexandre heads its product and communications

“People didn’t go to Blue Nile for a branded experience. They wanted a big sparkly diamond, a sign of their success. For a lot of buyers, there was a video game element to it. They wanted to win. They would spend hours with the spreadsheets finding the best deal for a diamond.”
A former Blue Nile employee


“I did other accounts at N.W. Ayer, but I was always fascinated by diamonds.… I could never get that excited about some of the accounts I was working on at Ayer, where we’d have three-week-long meetings about what words to say on the packaging.”
Retiring De Beers executive vice president for brands and consumer markets Stephen Lussier

“Once AGS Laboratories closes, there will be no diamond grading laboratory that grades to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards.”
A post on the AGS Laboratories site, following the announcement the lab is closing

“We see streetwear as the next big opportunity for diamonds.”
David Kellie, Natural Diamond Council, Financial Times

Diamonds and Social Responsibility

“What we have with the Kimberley Process is not good enough, and we need more.”
World Diamond Council president Edward Asscher

“I wish the miners would come and spend a night in the house so that they actually feel it. Because just mere talking doesn’t make them understand, so they must come and sleep in there.”
Nickson Zihu, an 81-year-old villager who says he’s feeling adverse effects from a Zimbabwe diamond mine, Voice of America

“Peace is way more valuable than diamonds.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to Belgium’s parliament, urging a ban on Russian diamonds, as quoted by Reuters

Lab-Grown diamonds

“Due to supply constraints, these earrings may include natural diamonds.”
A notice from Kay Jewelers accompanying lab-grown diamond earrings

“There is a certain novelty, and maybe a fad mentality, associated with lab-grown diamonds right now. If you get to the point where it’s not as cool, not as interesting, then it’s just a lower price point piece of jewelry.”
Industry analyst Paul Zimnisky

“Lab diamonds are not luxury. The whole concept of affordable luxury is an oxymoron.”
Lab-grown consultant Stanley Wong

“Lab diamonds, it doesn’t seem like they’re that valuable. If you return a real diamond, apparently, people will take it back, and you’ll get money for it. If you return a lab diamond, you have to pay for them to take it back.”
Comedian Cash Levy at the Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association event at JCK Las Vegas

“Lab-grown is an amazing opportunity for us to venture into segments that we have never ventured into before. Think about the creativity that is possible in this segment.”
Tanya Nisguretsky, cofounder and CEO of Virtual Diamond Boutique, during a lab-grown panel at JCK Las Vegas

Jewelry as a business

The jewelry business is a friggin’ blast. It’s the perfect combination of left brain, right brain. You get to interact with people. You get to geek out on the gemological side.
Padis Jewelry president Alexis Padis on JCK’s Jewelry District podcast

“If, in the beginning, someone said to me, ‘This is how your career is going to land,’ I would have said, ‘What are you—crazy? That’s not going to happen. I’m going to live in the suburbs and have two kids and a credit card.’ I would have never predicted this in a million years.”
Former Helzberg Diamonds CEO Beryl Raff, who retired in July


“Luxury is about the client, not about the brand. The brand is simply an enabler of the anticipated perception shift. And it’s almost entirely driven by the story of the brand. No story, no value. It’s that simple.”
Daniel Langer, CEO of brand strategy company Équité, Jing Daily

“Having symbols of power within your tribe is a powerful thing. Those symbols of power still matter tremendously within the tribes of the ultra-wealthy.”
Milton Pedraza, founder and CEO of Luxury Institute, CNBC


“There are a lot of people sticking their noses into the artisanal miners’ world. Imagine if they came from the Third World into our world and said that we could and should be doing things better. We would tell them to bugger off really quickly. We would ask them what the hell do they know?”
Artisanal miner photographer Hugh Brown

“Recycled gold is just not a great term for the product. When people think of recycling, they think of items that are put in the garbage, like a milk jug.”
David Siminski, vice president of sales and marketing for United Precious Metal Refining


“At this stage, we are very much in the real world, selling real products. We are not interested in selling virtual sneakers for 10 euros.”
LVMH chair Bernard Arnault on the metaverse