What You Should Know About Synthetic Diamonds

At temperatures of 800-950ᵒCelcius and pressures exceeding 4.5 gigapascals, natural diamonds crystalize deep within the belly of the earth, from 150 to 800km below its surface. Since 1945, scientists were able to duplicate such extreme conditions above ground and succeeded in producing tons of synthetic diamonds for industrial use.

In the past decade, new technology produced gem quality synthetic diamonds, which, today, are available on the internet and at certain specialty stores where they can be bought at about 30% below the price of an equivalent natural diamond.

 

To buy a synthetic diamond, or not?

Modern High Pressure / High temperature press in which synthetic diamonds are grown

This is an individual choice.  It is not illegal or unethical to buy or sell a synthetic or enhanced diamond or even a diamond imitation such as cubic zirconia, as long as the seller fully discloses the nature of the product.  For many decades, jewellers have been selling synthetic sapphires and rubies with great success. Why not also synthetic diamonds?

 

However, would you buy a diamond from a shop selling both natural and synthetic diamonds?  The naked eye cannot distinguish between the two. Natural and synthetic diamonds thus can get mixed up.

The DiamondView imaging system enables gemmologists to separate natural and synthetic diamonds.

Fortunately, De Beers and others knew gem-quality Lab diamonds would become available, and thus, have developed instruments to identify them. Unfortunately, few diamond dealers and jewellers have the expertise and instruments to differentiate between Natural and Lab diamonds.

 

Negative aspects of lab-grown diamonds

*   Lab-grown diamonds can be produced at will, thus have no scarcity value as with the natural stone.

*  Lab diamonds have no historical, cultural or emotional value as natural diamonds have.

*  Current retail price of a lab-grown diamond is about 30% below that of a similar mined diamond, which is far too high.  In future, de Beers will be selling synthetic diamonds at $800/carat,  positioning it as a fashion product.

*  The cost to produce lab diamonds will continue to decrease – it never will be a store of value.

* To produce the extreme pressures and temperatures under which synthetic diamonds can grow, requires much energy, probably more than is used in the mining of natural stones.

 

ADVICE

Chose your jeweller carefully.

Get advice from experts on natural vs man-made diamonds.

Make sure your diamond comes with a grading report from an independent grading laboratory.

Ask your jeweller to prove that the grading report belongs to the diamond you buy.

 

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THE HOME OF NATURAL DIAMONDS