Synthetic diamonds are practically identical to naturally grown diamonds physically, optically, and chemically, and are making a place for themselves in the diamond consortium. The carbon structure is the same, making it extremely difficult to tell them apart, not only by laymen, but even by jewelers. They are detectable but only using specialized equipment.
This creates the issue of lab-grown diamonds been passed off as natural diamonds, which, though cannot be labeled fake (because these are diamonds after all, just simply created in a different way) are definitely what the buyer pays for if they are expressly looking to purchase excavated diamonds. Its reason enough to revoke the credibility of companies, and diamond consortiums as a whole, if a mishap of this sort is ever detected and has motivated prominent firms to send their stock for evaluation to make sure they are selling what they are saying they are.
A few of the questions which comes up when considering the gradual growth of the artificial diamond industry is this: how are these lab grown diamonds different, how do they compare, and what are the advantages of buying a lab grown diamond over a naturally created one.
The advantages are that they are cheaper, sometimes by even 40% depending on the diamond. Unlike CZ or cubic zirconia (the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide) or moissanite, which are some of the standard threats to the diamond industry, these are actual diamond, so that’s a plus. The other thing that is often called a selling point. Is the fact that you have a guaranteed origin, therefore less of a chance of circulating blood diamonds. And, although there is some debate over this, they are also considered eco friendly.
Those are some of the marketing strategies these companies are going for – calling them environmentally friendly and guaranteed conflict free. But is this actually gaining traction in terms of appealing to people, or is the market swayed by the notion that if you want something that lasts forever, as symbolic of love – the way De Beers has pushed that campaign for years and years – it has to take forever to be created.
It depends on the consumers, finally. Right now there is a limited supply of lab grown diamonds out there so you can’t even find that many. The younger consumers are a lot concerned about these issues than perhaps the baby boomers and gen Xers. The other thing is that the natural diamond industry does have a case to make for itself; some natural diamonds do have an impact on the image of the country where they were mined. In a way it’s not as black and white. Millenials are a natural constituency for these because they did not grow up with the classic De Beers “diamond is forever” campaign. For a lot of them the association is with the Hollywood movie “Blood Diamond”. They are more socially conscious, and more economically challenged.
Does this dilute the value of diamonds as a whole? Perhaps not. What is being noted is that not many new diamond mines are coming up, and eventually the reserve of natural diamond will become scarce, and possibly artificial diamonds can fill up some of the void then.
While the traditional mining companies have not reacted well to the acceptability of artificial diamonds, the interesting thing is that De Beers actually has a subsidiary that makes synthetic diamonds. They make them for industrial purposes, but there’s always been a lot of speculation there if this becomes a big market, they could eventually jump into it. So, De Beers is already poised to get into the game. The advent of artificial diamonds reminds one of the cultured pearls of mikimoto that initially were rejected but now have become even more coveted one would argue. Point remains: one can expect to see more lab-grown diamonds making its way into jewelry boxes. The problem arises if it does so without the knowledge of the wearer. This is where the traceability of precious gems comes into play.** **Diamond consortiums such as Diamante have been created with the express aim to bring transparency and reliability to the diamond industry. It operates on a decentralized, immutable, and publicly accessible blockchain network, and invites data input from every participant of the consortium. These participants could be anyone who makes up any part of this industry – miner, manufacturer, polisher, jeweler, or end customer. Knowing where you diamond came from (as the blockchain network would keep a record of its point of origin) would remove any scope of confusion. For a long time there was only one kind of diamonds know there are two kinds of Diamonds natural and lab-created. United States remains the biggest market for diamonds, and could become the first big spot for the trade in artificial diamonds as well.