A diamond is a testament to endurance and strength – and not surprisingly, one of the ultimate symbols of love. Each diamond reflects the story of its arduous journey from deep inside the earth to a cherished object of adornment. Natural Diamonds are considered a rare material as their supply is finite, the majority being too low in quality for use in fine jewellery. Carina Tucci, Gemmologist and Diamond Grader states that “Diamonds hold their rarity as most diamonds are as old as 3 billion years, forming beneath the earth’s crust within the upper mantle where the temperatures and pressures are high enough coming to the earth’s surface via volcanic eruptions. You cannot control the quantity or quality of natural diamonds and it is believed that all major active mines will cease production within the next 65 years.”

Group of natural diamond crystals.

Unlike other Diamond imitations including Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite, Laboratory-Grown Diamonds are essentially Diamonds that are chemically, physically, and optically the same as their natural counterparts. The main difference is that they are produced in large factories and not mined from the earth.

China and India are the top 2 Countries that produce Laboratory Grown Diamonds. Carina Tucci says, “It can be very misleading when some companies claim to be 100% more sustainable than their natural counterparts, this is in fact not true. To produce laboratory-grown diamonds, factories need to use both carbon dioxide and methane which are potent gases that damage our ozone layer.” The process to grow a diamond in a laboratory requires 350kw of electricity to produce a single diamond, in simple terms this equates to between 10-15 days of electricity. Diamond Guild Australia states, “The by-product of the manufacturing process is non-degradable, industrial waste that cannot be effectively disposed of. Synthetic diamond production generates three times the environmental impact of the process of removing natural diamonds from their source”.

HPHT (High-Pressure and High-Temperature) presses enclosed in a factory which can produce gem-quality diamonds within a large range of sizes. Photo: Wuyi Wang/GIA

Laboratory-Grown Diamonds do not hold their value like natural diamonds because they can be created in unlimited quantities and are not subject to the same supply limitations as natural diamonds. Chairman of Rapaport, Martin Rapaport says, “Synthetic, man-made, laboratory-grown diamonds are the Bitcoin of the diamond trade. In fact, they are worse than Bitcoin because they lack any element of scarcity. The value of these diamonds is consistently falling. Despite their lack of natural scarcity, they are sold as (being) comparable to natural diamonds without full disclosure as to their inability to retain value.”

Rapaport Full Disclosure on Laboratory-Grown Diamonds – “Man-made diamonds do not appreciate in value like natural diamonds because they can be created in unlimited quantities and are not subject to the same supply limitations as natural diamonds.”

Watch Martin Rapaport’s Quick Video about Synthetic Diamonds at the Israeli International Diamond Exchange – March 2023

Industrial use of Laboratory-Grown Diamonds started in the early 1950s when they were used as abrasives. Carina Tucci says, “Factories have been producing tens of millions of carats (of laboratory-grown diamonds) each year. In 2019 up to 14 billion carats were grown for industrial use.” Laboratory-Grown Diamonds have become a staple in the retail market in the last 5-10 years. As production increases, the price of Laboratory-Grown Diamonds decreases, which means they are a volatile item for the retail market.

HPHT Cubic Press Machines Source: Ali Baba

Since the inception of synthetic-coloured gemstones in the late 1800’s, there has been a significant downward trend in the price of synthetic-coloured gemstones, which is a cautionary tale for those who are seriously considering a Laboratory-Grown Diamond. Diamond Guild Australia says, “De Beers has sought to set an industry standard price of USD $800 per carat for all synthetic diamonds. As a result, many synthetic diamonds purchased as little as two years ago are now worth significantly less than the price they were bought for.”

At Artisans Bespoke Jewellers we believe that any retailer that sells a Laboratory-Grown Diamond is conducting in fraudulent activity. Tammy Keers – Jeweller, Jewellery Designer and Founder of Artisans Bespoke Jewellers states, “Engagement rings are not costume jewellery. Consumers are only being told one side of the story, the side that Retailers and Diamond Manufacturers want them to hear, but they are not aware of the implications that it’s having on our environment. Laboratory Grown Diamonds do not belong in the Jewellery World.”

Full disclosure and education around Laboratory Grown Diamonds should be at the forefront of all retailers in the jewellery industry, the correct use of terminology is crucial for both business owners and consumers alike. A failure to disclose correct details can be misleading and against consumer rights.

Tammy Keers inspecting natural coloured gemstones

If sustainability and ethical mining is something that is important to you, talk to a qualified jeweller who can help find the right gemstone for you. A jeweller can also help you to support the circular economy by extending the life of an Estate or Antique Diamond piece by refreshing it through a remodelling process. During a consultation, you may also consider a Natural-Coloured gemstone instead of a Laboratory-Grown Diamond. Natural Sapphires and Spinels are suitable for everyday wear, are available in many colours of the rainbow, are more affordable than natural diamonds and most importantly hold their value. Book your jewellery design consultation with our Artisans Bespoke Jewellers team today!

Natural Diamond Engagement Rings handmade and designed by Artisans Bespoke Jewellers