Man made diamonds have rocked our world (pun intended). Many man made diamonds look just like natural diamonds and thousands are being created, cut and polished at this very moment. What is a man made diamond? Will they effect the price of natural diamonds? How can you protect yourself from getting scammed?
In the search for the next cutting edge technology, the race for making low cost large synthetic diamonds is on. A diamond is not only the hardest thing on the earth, it is also an excellent conductor of heat, it has negligible electrical conductivity and a low coefficient of thermal expansion. Each of these traits have big potential for making serious money in different aspects of the technology industry. As they work towards economy of scale, manufacturing man made diamonds for jewelry is a logical way to fund the continuing journey.
Man made diamonds are not new. However, in the past, labs were only able to make very small diamonds. Most were only novelty specimens with an unnatural brownish orange or yellow color. This made them fit only for industrial use. Today, they can be large, colorless and sometimes even free of clarity characteristics. Natural and man made diamonds have the same chemical composition as well as physical and optical properties. Only through the analysis of gemological, fluorescence and spectroscopic methods can we find their origin story.
Currently, they cost on average 40% less than natural diamonds for similar "4C's". Thats a lot of bling and for less ka-ching.
As an appraiser and gemologist this is unknown territory. I feel like I have been launched from my theater seat into the movie itself. Is this a horror show, action film or the best breaking news story ever?
Most diamonds mined in the earth have clarity characteristics that prove they are natural. However, clarity characteristics are not clear without magnification; even if they are seen, how does a consumer know if it identifies a stone as natural or not? While some reputable man made diamond companies are strong advocates for making it clear that their diamonds are man made, others are not. Consumers need gemologists that love to teach and gemologists need cautious discernment and to be on top of their game. We both rely on independent and reputable labs with technical equipment and extensive databases.
Whether buying, insuring or passing down a natural or synthetic diamond; more than ever consumers need a trusted expert in your corner. None of us know exactly where this is going, but lets enjoy the ride and hang on for dear life.