Though it has been scientifically established that Lab-grown diamonds are completely the same as mined diamonds in terms of physical, optical, chemical and thermal properties and differ only in the venue of their growth, Lab-grown diamonds have been usually called as ‘synthetic diamonds’.
The use of the word ‘synthetic’ however has aroused the question in the mind of consumers regarding the origin of Synthetic diamonds, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan – “Diamond Growing Greenhouses”. The study conducted in order to investigate consumer perception finds that the term ‘synthetic’ while describing Lab-grown diamonds is confused with simulants or fake diamonds and is technically inaccurate and misleading. 94% of the respondents described synthetic diamonds as “fake/ artificial” or “man-made diamond, but not identical to original”.
The underlying reason for this unfortunate perception is the fact that CIBJO in its ‘Diamond Book’ allows only the terms ‘synthetic’, ‘laboratory-created’ or ‘laboratory-grown’ to describe Grown diamonds and disallows terms like ‘cultured’ that is widely used in describing similar other gems & stones including pearls.
To deal with the situation, the report concludes that there should be focus on educating consumers on grown diamonds, developing complete transparency while selling grown diamonds next to mined ones, while dropping the term ‘Synthetic’. The term ‘Grown’ instead accurately describes the Lab-grown diamond and is also supported by the World Jewelry Confederation.
Source: Chan, S. (2014), “Drop Synthetic label for diamonds”, Jeweller, Gunnamatta Media