Laboratory Grown Diamonds

The conversation concerning synthetic diamonds continues to spread and evolve and we want our customers to understand our position on laboratory-grown diamonds in 2019.

Synthetic diamonds (laboratory grown) have been evolving since the 1960’s when General Electric began researching and developing technologies to manufacturer laboratory created diamonds with the same physical and chemical composition of those mined from our earth. They consulted with both the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and DeBeers (the largest distributor of rough and polished diamonds) on this early research.

Over the year’s diamonds have not just been for adornment in jewelry but highly sought after for precision manufacturing in a diverse universe. As the hardest known natural substance and with the highest thermal conductivity of any natural substance, diamonds are used for various cutting and polishing uses as well as in the beauty industry and medical research fields because of their unique properties. The quality that is used in manufacturing is lower than what we generally find in jewelry which uses the top 5% in terms of quality. Both DeBeers and the GIA have spent decades and millions of dollars continuing their research on the development and growth of synthetics. Until recently, the research was mostly to be able to identify a synthetic/laboratory-grown diamond versus an earth grown or natural diamond. Having witnessed this during my tenure as the chairman of the board of governors at the GIA research laboratories on several occasions, it’s fascinating; it takes a lot of technical expertise, a tremendous amount of monies to set it up, sophisticated machinery and a huge carbon footprint to grow these diamonds. Just like large screen television sets and computers the costs are coming down and the value of lab grown diamonds are decreasing with economists predicting further declines.

The manufacturing of synthetic diamonds, which to date are predominantly created in China, requires a tremendous amount of fossil fuels and are in no way environmentally friendly. According the diamond producer’s association an independent study was conducted showing that natural diamonds produce 69% less carbon emissions per carat than laboratory created stones. To learn more go to www.total-clarity.com Yes, they have the same chemical and physical properties as a natural diamond and are cut and polished using the same methods as a natural diamond. They are less expensive than earth-grown diamonds, yet they have little to no value in the secondary market and neither have a provenance nor a history. Natural gemstones, on the other hand, have a history, a mythological story and are helping communities around the world. “Diamonds do Good” www.diamondsdogood.com , The positive impact of diamond mining.

Over our history of 122 years, Lux Bond & Green Jewelers has neither promoted synthetics to our customers nor seen the value of synthetics/lab grown as an alternative for natural gemstones. Synthetic colored stones have been around for well over 100 years, specifically with emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. We have sold synthetic material per customer requests and have presented a few bridge fashion jewelry collections in sterling silver and other non-precious materials as well as gift lines with cubic zirconia which is technically a diamond alternative material. Yet we have never promoted synthetics of any kind as fine jewelry with lasting value. We fully expect the value of synthetics to continue to decline, very similar to what has happened to the television and computer industries. We believe that the prices will continue to decrease until technology, cost and demand become in balance, setting the ultimate lower value.

Lux Bond & Green is about the value, the relationships and trust we have with our customers. Selling synthetics today is a gamble and LBG doesn’t want to gamble with our reputation and our customer's hard-earned money for short-term profitability. This also includes the real concern of the environmental impact of laboratory grown versus mining natural diamonds. Here is the link to an independent analysis of these industries. This gives us comfort that the mining industry is improving the lives of many in their countries and the steps they are taking to minimize the impact on the environment realisadiamond.com buying guide.

Lux Bond & Green continues to be involved in our communities and our industry, endorsing and encouraging ethical, environmental and social responsibilities and sound business practices. As leading members of the Responsible Jewelry Council, Jewelers of America, American Gem Society, Manufactures Jewelers & Silversmiths Association, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, American Gem Trade Association, Diamonds do Good and other industry organizations we uphold their code of conduct for our company and staff each day.

We believe in the intrinsic value as well as the emotional and historical value of diamonds and colored gemstones for today and the years to come.