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Feature Stories, Diamonds, The Great Diamond Debate

Articles from DIAMONDS BY TYPE - SYNTHETIC / LAB-CREATED (99 Articles)

Easy Chart: Know the facts - Natural v Lab-grown diamonds

When a customer comes in and asks you this question, you need to be equipped with the right facts to help them make an informed decision. Learn to articulate the differences and benefits of both natural and man-made stones to find the best fit for your customer.

Download printable chart » 'Making the Right Diamond Choice'

Natural Diamonds

Lab-Grown Diamonds

Shared Traits

  • Both have a hardness of 10 on Mohs’ scale and are chemically diamond, with the same brilliance and sparkle
  • Both will last forever and retain their sentimental value as a family heirloom
Generally retain value and have resale value

The price per carat of colourless (‘white’) diamonds and fancy colour diamonds – particularly pink – has increased over time and retailers are generally willing to buy-back or trade-in natural diamonds

Low price per carat

Lab-grown diamonds cost less to produce, and those savings get passed along to the consumer. In general, lab-grown diamonds are priced 20–40 per cent lower than natural diamonds

Each one is unique

No two diamonds are exactly alike and each one features unique inclusions and other qualities

 Consistent quality

Manufacturing diamonds ‘from scratch’ means factors affecting quality can be controlled and more high quality diamonds can be produced

Rare – and getting rarer

Existing mines are closing and miners have struggled to locate new sites, adding to their rarity and preciousness

Large quantities available

Diamonds can be ‘made to order’ and supplies are, theoretically, unlimited, keeping prices low and ensuring availability

Fancy colours are incredibly special

Natural fancy colour diamonds account for a tiny percentage of all diamonds mined

Natural pink diamonds cannot be truly synthesised as the cause of their colour can’t be replicated in a factory; they are unique

Fancy colours are affordable

Lab-grown blue, pink and yellow diamonds are priced at a fraction of the cost of natural fancy colour diamonds, making them accessible to consumers with a smaller budget

Generate less carbon emissions than synthetic diamonds and miners mitigate environmental damage

Mined diamonds produce 69 per cent less carbon emissions per carat than synthetic diamonds

The top seven diamond producing countries protect more land than they use through conservation programs

Use less water and cause less animal habitat damage than mined diamonds

Lab-grown diamond factories do not have the same land or water requirements as diamond mines

Some lab-grown diamond manufacturers are certified carbon neutral and some factories are powered by 100 per cent renewable energy

Generate socioeconomic benefits in developing nations

Mines are largely located in developing nations –particularly in Africa – providing a stable and higher than-average income for local people

The top seven diamond producing companies contribute $US16 billion annually to local communities including direct employment, purchase of goods and services, and funding of social programs

Consumers can purchase diamonds mined in developed nations, including Australia and Canada, which have strong labour protections

Little risk of worker exploitation

Some lab-grown diamond factories are located in developed nations including the US, UK and Singapore, which have strong labour laws and protections

Other factories in India and China provide stable income to local people

Diamonds go through fewer ‘hands’ during processing, meaning the supply chain is easier to trace and exploitation is less likely

The result of billions of years of natural processes

They are a miracle of nature only found in certain areas, and that gives them an undeniable romance. They are mined, cut, polished, and sold in multiple different countries, so each one has fascinating story

The result of innovation and cutting-edge technology

Human beings have found a way to mimic nature to an almost imperceptible degree, after decades of research and scientific setbacks. They are a triumph of engineering and perseverance


Download printable chart » 'Making the Right Diamond Choice'


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'The Great Diamond Debate' Contents » 

Navigating change: how 2019 shaped the diamond debate
The natural diamond industry is facing disruption in every aspect
Sergey Ivanov, CEO of Alrosa
Don’t blame synthetic diamonds for the natural industry’s woes
Garry Holloway, founder of Melbourne’s Holloway Diamonds
Both sides of the diamond debate should verify their claims
Danielle Max, editor in chief IDEX Online



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The Great Diamond Debate Part II


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