web counter December 2010 Archives - 2/2 - Diamonds at Heart

Heard about this? It might hurt the classic reputation and appeal of diamonds for collectors, however, those feeling the pinch will be relieved. Gem-quality diamonds are now being grown in laboratories in the United States. Even to the trained eye, these diamonds look like the usual mined variety. Forget the non fool-proof trick of engagement proposals with cubic zirconia and Moissanite, lab-grown stones are the real deal. The only two differences are the million-year process in creating natural diamonds, is now done in a matter of days in the laboratory and the price is a lot better.

Another advantage of man-made diamonds is they can be size- and color-matched according to the wishes of the consumer; because of this, designers are able to create jewelry which would have been impossible or too expensive with mined diamonds.

Adding to this list of the major benefits of laboratory-made diamonds, those wishing for conflict-free bands are in luck, not to mention, conscientious objectors can rejoice because they won’t be plundering the precious treasures of the earth or supporting warlords.

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Man-made diamonds are referred to as “synthetic” and “cultured” stones. Though, no matter the nomer applied to them, all beholders agree they have the same optical and physical qualities of mined diamonds.

Also, you will not be able to get a GIA grading for these stones. That is a certificate which includes ranking on the “4 Cs” (cut, clarity, carat weight and color); however, the GIA will offer an identification report disclosing that it is indeed synthetic and listing its carat weight, measurements and transparency.

Other differences would only be discernible to a jeweler, like different growth patterns and a lack of inclusions. Put them under a loupe and a real jeweler will certainly suspect they’re looking at a synthetic. Other than this, the naked eye would have no clue to suspect the stone is not real.

In fact, the GIA is selling two machines to jewelers and labs, developed by natural diamond cartel De Beers, designed specifically to test for synthetics; one costs just over $10,000, the other $50,000. This is one way the natural diamond industry is reacting to the emergence of such lower-cost stones.

The man-made diamond manufacturer, Gemesis, is laser-inscribing all its diamonds and has put trace amounts of nickel in their stones, making identification easier.

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