What exactly are Laboratory grown diamonds?

Laboratory grown diamonds
[Image Courtesy: Soha Diamond Co.]

First and foremost, without the mined diamond industry, there would be no Lab-grown diamond industry. With varying opinions from industry experts, jewelers, and consumers, there is currently no consensus of what place Laboratory grown diamonds have or will have in our industry. As of this writing, consumers are forming their opinions on both mined diamonds and Laboratory grown diamonds.

Among other things, what makes a diamond special is that it’s on top of the gemstone food chain. It has and always will be the true heirloom quality gemstone that every other gemstone is benchmarked against in terms of Gemological properties and beauty.

In order to protect and educate the end-consumer from misinformation about Laboratory grown diamonds, everybody involved in the supply chain all the way to the retail jeweler needs to disclose the laboratory grown nature of the diamond. The integrity of our industry depends on it. As retail jewelers, we are the key decision makers of where to source, what to stock, and how well we educate our shoppers. We are on the front lines of making or breaking our shoppers impression, experience, and confidence in what we offer. All of the above are dictated by our decision and actions, of which either aid or degrade our industry’s credibility.

The good news is that third party Gemological laboratories worldwide like GIA, IGI, and GCAL all have reports that disclose laboratory grown origins, and laser inscribe the girdles denoting “Laboratory Grown” or “LG” followed by a unique serial number.

Laboratory grown diamonds are commonly referred to in the market as:

  • Synthetic
  • Lab-Grown
  • Man-Made
  • Cultivated
  • Cultured
  • Manufactured
  • Produced
  • Grown

 

In Gemological terms, they are not any of the following:

  • Simulants
  • Glass or Plastic
  • Assembled Stones (like doublets or triplets)
  • “Hybrid” (combination of materials with diamond-like overgrowth)

 

In Gemological terms, they are identical to mined diamonds in the following ways:

  • Refractive Index
  • Specific Gravity
  • Chemically
  • Physically
  • Optically
  • Durability (Hardness, Toughness, & Stability)

 

The ability to grow diamonds is something that is still, even in 2018, hard to believe. It’s truly an amazing feat of humankind to have replicated the process to such a high degree of accuracy that the end result bears its name. With proper documentation and disclosure, they, along with other gemstones, have a place in our industry.

1 COMMENT

  1. Nice article. Unfortunately, you failed to mention that that there are clear nomenclature rules – in the USA those of the FTC and internationally those of CIBJO and IDC, and more importantly the ISO. The terms cultivated, cultured, manufactured, grown, produced, and even man-made are NOT acceptable in the international realm. If consumer confidence is important to you, get educated on these issues and implement the acquired knowledge in your next article and all information you may distribute.

Leave a Reply