There are many Companies around the world successfully producing lab-grown diamonds, with prices 15-20% less expensive than a natural stone of the same size.
But is that enough to make you buy one?
Buying a natural diamond is an emotional purchase and since the 1940’s and De Beers highly successful marketing campaign “A diamond is forever” has been the preferred choice of stone in an engagement ring.
There is something extra special in presenting an engagement ring with a beautiful diamond set into it knowing that there are not two diamonds in the world the same.
For me, it seems wrong to call a lab-grown diamond a diamond and marketing them as so pure that they are virtually indistinguishable from a natural diamond.
Of course after the ‘Blood diamond scandal’ and the subsequent film Blood Diamonds starring Leonardo DiCaprio which focused its attention on mining profits being used to fund conflicts in Africa the industry was challenged to change the mining culture.
Today the diamond mining industry report increased transparency now allows diamonds to be traced, guaranteeing that they come from ethical sources, and any reputable jeweller will no longer sell a diamond without these guarantees.
Nevertheless, Dicaprio was so moved by the movie he stared in he invested in a lab-grown diamond company “cultivating real diamonds in America without the human and environmental toll of mining”.
And there is no question that birth of the lab-grown diamond is causing a stir in the diamond mining industry, and that the man-made stones are now so good that is takes a £10,000 machine to tell them apart
Professor Oliver Williams of Cardiff University, says lab-grown diamonds deserve more attention.
“It’s man actually beating nature,” he said.
“We’re perfecting it. So for me, there’s an emotional thing to that too – because it’s an enormous accomplishment to grow a material that traditionally has been very difficult to grow.”
And the lab-grown diamond industry is now even able to make their stone yellow by adding nitrogen to the vacuum chamber, or blue by adding boron.
Diamond Producers Association
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, chief executive of the Diamond Producers Association, said the value of a gem is partly due to its sentimental quality.
He recently told Sky news “The fact they cannot be distinguished with naked eye does not make them identical, or equal.
“Think of perfect replica of a Picasso painting. We might not be able to tell it apart, but with the right equipment, an expert will be able to.
“One has enormous monetary and emotional value, and one is a replica with no inherent or resale value.
The diamond buying public
From a personal point of view I do believe in choice as well as fair competition, so yes there is a place in the jewellery market for lab-grown stones and their natural counterparts but calling them a pure diamond I am not so sure about that.
And for some jewellery stores to sell both could become extraordinarily confusing and end up being detrimental to both the lab-grown and natural diamond market.
Get In touch with David Law
If you would like to get expert advice on choosing your perfect natural diamond