LABORATORY GROWN DIAMONDS – What’s in a Name?

If a stone is called “diamond” it implies a 3 billion-year-old, natural diamond, mined from the earth. Sellers of lab-grown diamonds must add a qualifier and describe their product as either “laboratory-grown diamonds”, or “man-made diamonds”, according to rules laid down by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well as our own Consumer Protection Act.

Sellers of lab-grown diamonds detest the term ‘synthetic’ or ‘man-made’ and use a variety of misleading names to describe their product, such as: ‘real diamonds’, or ‘true diamonds’, or ‘cultured diamonds’ or ‘above-ground diamonds’, etc.

The term ‘synthetic’ confuses the consumer as many people incorrectly think cubic zirconia or moissanite are synthetic diamonds. These are diamond simulants (look-a-likes) whereas a lab-grown diamond is a stone with the same chemical and physical properties as a natural diamond, but, today, can be recreated at will, as much as required and at a fraction of the price of natural mined diamonds.

PLEASE NOTE: It is not illegal to sell a lab-grown diamond.  In fact, we welcome them as a new category of luxury goods suitable for fashion jewellery.

THE CHALLENGE WE FACE:
Nearly 80% of all diamond jewellery sold in SA is imported and contain small diamonds that are not certified by an independent laboratory.

Unfortunately, most retail jewellers do not have the skill nor the equipment to identify man-made (aka lab-grown diamonds) and have no idea whether the small stones in the jewellery they import, are natural or mixed with lab-grown stones. If consumers thought they had bought natural diamonds but later found their jewellery contains inexpensive lab-grown stones, our industry will have thousands of unhappy clients to deal with – a future fire-bomb, for sure.

 

PRINS & PRINS has been the HOME OF NATURAL DIAMONDS since 1982, and will not allow a lab-grown diamond on our premises. With our expertise and our iD100 synthetic tester from GIA, we are of the few jewellers who can guarantee our diamonds are from the earth and not man-made.