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Articles from DIAMONDS BY TYPE - SYNTHETIC / LAB-CREATED (118 Articles)

Natural diamonds are the natural choice

No product, as shiny and sparkly as it may be, can take the place of a natural diamond. BOAZ MOLDAWSKY explains why synthetic stones are banned by the Israel Diamond Exchange.

The Israeli diamond industry is one of the strongest and most respected industries in the world. With more than 80 years behind us, we build upon a tradition that goes back generations. We respect our heritage, our longstanding experience and our commitment to excellence.

These are the components of our international reputation for excellence and reliability, and the building blocks of our industry. While history and tradition are important, the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) also embraces market change in the form of innovation, technology and internet trading platforms.

Together with the Israel Diamond Exchange, IDI has entered into partnerships with forward thinking organisations and we have also established our own technological incubator.

I mention the above to demonstrate our commitment to natural diamonds in the Natural vs Synthetic debate. We love diamonds and we appreciate their beauty. Diamonds are a gift of nature, created in the depths of the earth over many millions of years. We believe that, for most consumers, only natural diamonds symbolise eternity, commitment and love.

No product, as shiny and sparkly as it may be, can take the place of a natural diamond.

"No product, as shiny and sparkly as it may be, can take the place of a natural diamond."

Our commitment to natural diamonds has meant that the Israeli diamond industry has barred synthetics. The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) issued a regulation prohibiting the trade in synthetic diamonds on the bourse floor.

It has also conducted an educational campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of illegal trade in synthetics amongst its 3,500 members.

Synthetic, or what are now called ‘lab-grown’ or ‘man-made’ diamonds, have created challenges for the traditional diamond industry. However this is not because synthetic stones threaten to replace natural diamonds, since we are convinced, and research confirms, that consumers want their significant jewellery pieces to feature only natural, not man-made diamonds.

Some people may be willing to buy lab-grown diamonds for, what De Beers calls, ‘affordable fashion jewellery’, no different to buying cubic zirconia jewellery as a low-cost alternative. This is simply consumer choice. However, the greater problem that synthetics have caused is the penetration of man-made diamonds into the legitimate natural trade without disclosure.

The diamond trade is based on a long tradition of honesty and mutual trust that is essential to the industry. Unfortunately, as the technology for creating man-made diamonds advances it becomes increasingly difficult to identify them.

There have been many cases reported where duplicitous traders have mixed undisclosed synthetic and natural diamonds, or have passed off synthetic solitaires as natural diamonds.

These have eventually been detected and the offenders prosecuted, however there must be many more such transactions that are never discovered.

If undisclosed synthetic stones are set in jewellery and sold as natural diamonds, this may cause a huge disruption to consumer confidence. We cannot allow the criminal activities of a minority of dishonest dealers who choose to fraudulently sell lab-grown diamonds as natural to taint and severely damage the entire diamond and jewellery industry.

The solution lies in clearly distinguishing between the two distinct products – natural and lab-grown. The good news is that awareness within the global diamond industry is high.

Our international organisations are demanding full disclosure of synthetics diamonds and there is improved equipment for detecting this product.

Clear terminology is being created and standards are being set to protect consumers, including sanctions for non-compliance. It is still early days but the process has been set in motion.

The IDI sees a successful future for the natural diamond industry. We are confident that natural diamonds will continue to capture the imagination of consumers in years to come and will remain the precious gem of choice to celebrate love and commitment.

As for synthetic diamonds, they are a separate and distinct product category and may well offer a cheap solution for fashion jewellery, just as CZs have for many years.

The vital issue for everyone in the trade – supplier through to retailer - is to be honest, fully transparent and to clearly explain and educate the consumer about the difference between natural diamonds and the mass-manufactured, cheaper ‘cousin’.



'The Great Diamond Debate' Contents » 

Innovation vs Disruption: Spectators don't win games
Coleby Nicholson, managing editor of Jeweller
Diamonds and Youth: Millennials and Gen Z drive sales
Predicting a synthetic future
Garry Holloway, owner Holloway Diamonds
Lab-created diamond jewellery market to grow to US$15B by 2035
Paul Zimnisky, paulzimnisky.com - indepdendent analyst


Boaz Moldawsky

Chairman • Israel Diamond Institute

Boaz Moldawsky is chairman Israel Diamond Institute, a non-profit, public interest company acting to promote and advance the Israel diamond industry which helps Israeli diamantaires execute tasks and projects that a single company cannot usually manage itself.

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