Natural vs. Synthetic Diamonds

Natural vs. Synthetic Diamonds

Real is Rare™ - The Growing Concern around Man-Made Diamonds

The introduction of lab-created, man-made, synthetic, or cultured diamonds of gem quality is becoming a growing concern in the diamond industry. Synthetic diamonds will sometimes be called HPHT or CVD diamonds, which are the two common manufacturing methods used today. There are large factories in China, Russia as well as the United States producing larger and larger sizes of synthetic diamonds. These including colored diamonds, as well as millions of carats of small or melee diamonds. Sadly, some of these diamonds have found their way into the diamond industry and into consumers’ hands, without being disclosed by the manufactures or retailers as synthetic diamonds.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and DeBeers have been investing and researching this issue for decades, and they are developing technology and instrumentation to detect these synthetics. GIA, which is the leading laboratory for diamond reports, can detect synthetic diamonds that come into their lab. Presently, there is no easy visual differences between the best of the synthetic diamonds and natural diamonds, unless a highly-qualified gemologist, who has state of the art instrumentation, carefully looks at these stones.

John Green, who has been on the board of Governors at the GIA for 9 years and just completed his term as chairman of the board in November 2016, Tom Moses, chief laboratory and research officer at GIA, and Wuyi Wang, GIA Director of Research and Development, haves been involved on behalf of the entire jewelry industry in encouraging the GIA to build an international research team to detect synthetics and develop instrumentation for detection.

Lux Bond & Green will be one of the first retailers in the country to test a prototype instrument developed by GIA that will detect 100% of the synthetic diamonds that are already set into jewelry. Today, synthetic diamonds are selling for about 30% less than natural diamonds, with some estimating that these prices will continue to go down as the technology and experience around detection improves. In addition, some estimations show that natural diamond resources will continue to decline and the prices of natural diamonds will slowly rise over the next decade. One exception to this forecast is that the prices of colored diamonds, which are extremely rare, have already risen 110-600% over the last decade.

Lux Bond & Green continues to be a leader in the detection of synthetic diamonds. They have strict quality control measures, and are one of just a handful of retailers in the United States to have successfully completed an audit by the Responsible Jewelry Council earning the RJC certification. Working closely with their partner brands and manufacturers, Lux Bond & Green is committed to building awareness around the growing concern of synthetic diamonds.

John Green, Marc Green and Trish Schwartz, the store manager in Westport, have earned their degrees as Certified Gemologist Appraisers thorough their education and experience with the GIA and the American Gem Society (AGS). Norma Green and Paula Testo are Graduate Gemologists as well. Having a team of qualified gemologists at our jewelry stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and access to the finest equipment available, give our staff and our customers the assurance that Lux Bond & Green is taking every precaution to insure the integrity and value of the jewelry and we offer.

It should be noted that some companies praise synthetic diamonds as being safer for the environment than natural diamonds; yet, the factories (not laboratories) that manufacture HPHT and CVD diamonds use enormous amounts of energy and chemicals to produce synthetic diamonds. There is a high probability that synthetic diamond factories, do, in fact, impact our environment to a greater extent than natural diamond mining. GE first created synthetic diamonds in the 1950’s and did not bring them to market, so this is not a surprise to our industry.

Today, the majority of synthetic diamonds in jewelry are disclosed. Nevertheless, Lux Bond & Green is taking no chances, and is proactively working with their partners and brands to mitigate the risk of undisclosed synthetic diamonds.

If you’re looking for a real, rare, and spectacular diamond, please visit our diamond search online or call 1-800-524-7336.