Cultured Comments Continue at Congress

The debate over using cultured versus syntheticto describe lab-created diamonds rumbled throughout the CIBJO Congress in May, reports Jack Ogden, executive director for the Gem-A. “It seems to have become as much an emotional issue as it has a rational nomenclature discussion,” says Ogden. As Ogden points out, the scientific argument that cultured can apply only to organic materials is not wholly accurate. “Man-made quartz, with its huge use in the electronics industry, is called cultured quartz in the scientific literature,” Ogden says. “There is also a relevant quote from as early as 1992.” The quotation Ogden cites is this: “Some quartz engineers refer to cultured (man-made) quartz as 'synthetic' quartz. 'Synthetic' gives the connotation of 'not real,' so is to be avoided in this context, since cultured quartz is 'real' quartz” (“The Constants of Alpha Quartz,”

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