Synthetic diamonds continue to attract media attention.
On and around Valentine’s Day, there were stories in the Washington Post, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Indianapolis Star on synthetic diamonds. The Post story also was syndicated to newspapers throughout the country.
Most of the articles noted that synthetic stones are not simulants like cubic zirconia and are chemically the same as naturally mined diamonds. “Who wants to wait a million years and then have to do all that digging when the precious gems can be created in three weeks?” the Sentinel asked.
The articles included quotes from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) noting that the trade is working on ways to identify the stones—though most also noted that, right now, the synthetics cannot be distinguished from natural diamonds by most jewelers. But when consumers were informed that the synthetics will sell for as much as 30% less, some expressed an interest.
“I would probably go with the less expensive diamond … as long as the quality is good, it wouldn’t matter to me,” one customer told the Star. Jewelers also expressed concern, though most in the end said consumers would prefer “Mother Nature’s diamonds.”
Synthetic diamond manufacturers pitched their product as an “environmentally sound” one that carries no risk of being a “conflict diamond.” The Sentinel, referring to Florida’s Gemesis, noted that its “indoor diamond mine … is no Namibian hellhole.”
Synthetic diamonds also made the cover of the February issue of Chemical and Engineering News, the journal of the American Chemical Society. At press time, that story could be read at http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8205/8205diamonds.html. A separate story contains information on HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) treatments.