New synthetic diamonds are so closely resemble mined diamonds that the naked eye cannot tell the difference, often saving consumers enough money to make a down-payment on a new home or buy a car. Unfounded diamond jeweler arrogance, pretentiousness, and snootiness has gone too far!
My girlfriend has been parading around town with a magnificent 4-carat Round Brilliant cut synthetic diamond set in a stunning 14K solid gold filigree solitaire ring setting for a year now. She has been to restaurants, work, shopping, night clubs, museums, and parties. Family and friends have scrutinized her ring. She has been stopped repeatedly by others who were dumbfounded by her ring. Hundreds of people have seen her ring, astonished by its majesty, gushing about it. And despite its ostentatious size, no one has asked if it is a fake diamond!
How could this be? The latest breakthrough science in lab-created diamonds has brought them in line with mined diamonds. Long gone is the aurora borealis or “disco ball" effect that was seen in synthetic diamonds of the past decades. New millennium synthetic diamonds—with similar hardness, clarity, fire, and brilliance—are indistinguishable with the naked eye and simply don't look fake. High quality synthetic diamonds even have the coveted hearts-and-arrows effect.
This begs the question: If one were to saunter into a jewelry store with a synthetic diamond, can a jeweler tell the difference? Since all mined diamonds have color disparities (flaws), birthmarks (flaws), and inclusions (flaws), and lab-created diamonds have none of the above, a trained eye can tell the difference. A sneering glance under a loupe or even under discriminating examination with a magnifying glass, a jeweler will often proudly declare a synthetic diamond as a fake. Modern synthetic diamonds are too perfect in the world of jeweler snobbery when pushing over-priced high profit diamonds is the agenda at hand.
With the use of scientific testing equipment, mined diamonds will conduct electricity and synthetic diamonds will not. That is because mined diamonds are a carbon gem material and synthetic diamonds are polycrystalline. A thermal probe will produce different readings, differentiating the two. But does this really matter to a jewelry lover who is interested in aesthetic beauty and saving thousands of dollars? In the year my girlfriend has been showcasing her synthetic diamond on her finger; no one has walked up to her with scientific equipment asking to test her gemstone.
Why do virtually all brick-and-mortar jewelers carry only mined diamonds? Why do jewelers scoff at synthetic diamonds? You need to look no further than your wallet. A 1-carat high quality mined diamond is about $3000, a 2-carat about $18,000, a 3-carat about $40,000, and a 4-carat goes for about $90,000. Respectively, synthetic diamonds run about $79, $158, $237, and $326. It's about the money. Don't kid yourself.
It's also about indoctrination. For over a century, the diamond cartel has spent billions of dollars convincing the public that jewel quality mined diamonds have intrinsic value like gold. Not true. Why? During this time DeBeers has limited production, bought up supplies from others, stockpiled inventory, and imposed its monopoly position on jewelry manufacturers in the successful effort to keep prices inflated. And to make matters worse, the diamond industry as a whole has a checkered past with conflict stones, debt-slave child labor in India used in cutting operations, and shady techniques used to enhance perceived quality to further squeeze out ridiculous prices from beleaguered jewelry lovers.
Smart jewelry shoppers today are considering synthetic diamonds as an alternative to mined diamonds for some very savvy reasons: (1) They can acquire fine jewelry pieces set in solid 14K gold. (2) They will save literally thousands of dollars. (3) There is no need to buy insurance. (4) When wearing there synthetic diamond jewelry nobody will know that they are not mined diamonds unless they tell them!
Robert Joseph is an expert jeweler and founding partner of Diamond Nexus Labs , a renowned online jewelry store that specializes in pristine affordable diamond simulants set in Solid 14K Gold.
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