a battle over diamonds: made by nature or in a lab? - the jewelry store
If you walk into a family, the Michael jeweler
Run a chain jewelry store in North Connecticut and browse diamond jewelry as a Valentine's Day gift and you may not notice any difference in gems.
But since last fall, customers there have been given an unusual choice: diamonds from the ground or above.
Diamonds, one of the hardest materials in the world, are formed by millions of years of geological pressure and must be mined from mines deep in the Earth. This labor-
Intensive processes, as well as strict industry manipulation and marketing, have led to the perception of rarity and mystery that have driven their prices.
However, the above-ground version is not a diamond-like cubic zirconium or mois stone.
They have the same chemical properties as diamonds, but are manufactured in the laboratory.
The quality of artificial diamonds in the past five years
First produced in 1950 for industrial use such as cutting and polishing
With gems set in rings, necklaces and earrings, they have entered the jewelry store.
At the Michaels jewelry store, the stones are sold in white
Label brands, treasure chest planting, differentiate them from natural diamonds in the same series.
The jewelry chain buys diamonds from pure growth diamonds, a New Jersey company that produces diamonds in Asia.
A term disputed by the Diamond Producers Association is misleading
Consumers are 30 to 40% cheaper than natural diamonds.
It is not surprising that companies such as De Beers, Rio Tinto and other members of the Diamond Producers Association have said that laboratory diamonds are untrue.
On the other hand, manufacturers of synthetic diamonds are promoting the environmental benefits of their craft, hoping to attract millennials to care more about green and save money than to accept the label "diamonds are always there.
"But the result may be that buyers of these synthetic diamonds, especially those who are trying to get more diamonds for less money, may end up losing money.
Let's start with the method of making synthetic diamonds.
The process can be completed within three months.
There are two ways.
People simulate the crushing force of the Earth by applying high temperature and high pressure to dissolve carbon into diamond seeds.
The other is similar to 3-
D. printing method, in the vacuum chamber, layer the carbon sheet on the diamond seed.
The result is a diamond, which has the same properties as a natural diamond, but the crystal pattern is different and can be distinguished.
This is not the first time a gem has been made.
In the 1800 s, the French chemist, Auguste Verneuil, made the first synthetic ruby.
His craft is also used to make synthetic sapphire.
Cultured pearls have been produced in Japan since the 19 th century, putting irritating substances into oysters to make pearls.
The first man-made diamond was made in the 1950 s by companies such as General Electric for industrial use.
It wasn't until 1970 and 1980 seconds that they started to touch the quality of the gems, starting with colored diamonds.
Tom Moses, who is in charge of the laboratory and research of the American Gem Institute, said that it was not until the last five years that man-made diamond producers began to make stones that could compete with natural diamonds --
Fool people into buying them.
Their naked eyes look the same, but many in the diamond trade say they cheated the buyers.
"From an economic point of view, it's almost a fraud to buy the public to say they're the same as diamonds," Tom Gelb said.
Founder of the diamond durability lab, diamond industry consultant. Mr.
Gelb bet that the value of synthetic diamonds will drop as production costs fall.
The precious stones that keep their value are rare, he said.
If the price is the problem, he suggests insisting on using a proven fake cubic zirconium: "You can buy one for $25, then why would you buy one for $3,500
But not all jewelry designers agree with the rarity of the industry.
"Diamonds are a commodity that is strictly controlled in purchasing and marketing," says Jeffrey D . "
Filo, managing partner of Alex Sepkus
"Apart from rare natural diamonds, I think most of them are not rare and unusual
Colorful diamonds in green, red, pink, purple and bright yellow.
This argument aside, there are two main areas where buyers may be economically hurt.
The first is their ability to resell artificial diamonds.
One reason to buy gems is that they are a treasure trove of wealth.
This is correct for large rare diamonds
Or Ruby or sapphire.
But, like the little diamonds on the engagement ring, they are too valuable to add value, and often do not keep the prices that retail stores pay for them.
"Maybe 4% of diamonds have the opportunity to appreciate over time," said Alan Brownstein, president of the trade group natural colored diamonds Association.
This is bad enough for natural diamonds.
But at least there are buyers who are willing to buy at some price. Mr.
There is no secondary market for artificial diamonds, says Brownstein, largely because diamond traders will not trade.
"If people think they are bargaining when they buy artificial diamonds, when you think that if they need to sell it, they may not be able to recover some of the economic benefits, the discounts they get are not big enough, "he said.
The second risk, however, is that the buyer may buy a man-made diamond that is considered a natural diamond. Mr.
Filo says he only uses gems that appear in nature, and he says he is worried about fakes because the quality of artificial diamonds has improved so quickly.
"I have no problem with the lab --
"I created gems, but I have a problem with the lack of disclosure," he said . ".
"Disclosure will be an element of savings.
"The American gem Institute and other groups have created tools to distinguish between these two types of diamonds.
Kelly Good, director of marketing for well-known diamonds, said the company tends to disclose.
It marks each diamond with a laser, indicating that it is grown in the laboratory.
She said the artificial diamonds were valuable and she encouraged buyers to insure them like they would buy natural diamonds.
"It's not like you can turn on the machine and pump the Diamonds out all the time . "Good said.
"Sustainable funding is needed to produce these products.
These labs are not cheap to run, and this product is not cheap.
James Leigh, head of research at the Gem Research Institute, said the more common risk consumers face is tiny diamonds known as melee, which are used as accents for jewelry.
"It's hard for them to test," he said . ".
"There may be only a few crats for thousands of people.
"There are machines to test them, but trade buyers are worried that someone will mix small synthetic stones with real diamonds and that they will be discovered.
Fifth place-Mark Michael
The acting chief executive of the jewelry retailer named after him said his company carefully began selling artificial diamonds in September.
He is not worried that artificial diamonds will be confused with natural diamonds because his company distinguishes the two in advance, but he is worried
Expensive options may affect the sale of natural diamonds.
But during the festival, more than half of his store's synthetic diamonds were sold to those who might not have purchased them.
Most of the rest are those who have a fixed budget and they choose a larger man-made diamond.
Diamond producers are now worried about the shift.
But on the road ahead, it may mean lessor no —
The value of the diamond owner.