Laboratory Grown Diamonds

‘Diamonds are a girls best friend’ as Marylyn Monroe sang in the iconic film ‘Some Like It Hot’ and it seems that Lab grown diamonds are fast becoming a girls best friend!

In 2021 laboratory grown diamonds and laboratory grown gemstones is worth a staggering £1.35 billion and recent figures show that by 2023 that figure will pass in excess of 3.69 billion pounds, so state diamond industry analysts which directly effects diamonds and the traditional diamond trade in general.  In 2018 a collection of pink, blue and white diamonds were launched by Light Box.

De Beers, the diamond company tried to position lab grown diamonds for everyone and set the price at £567 per carat.  Whichever way you look at it, the laboratory grown stones are gaining momentum.

Laboratory grown diamonds are becoming available in every colour and size.  Environmentally far more gentle for the earth.  Lab grown diamonds don’t destroy habitats, are not mined in war zones and do not pollute water sources. Like the film Blood Diamond which featured Leonardo DiCaprio about the Serra Leone civil war in the 1990s. In reality nearly all gemstones can be artificially grown, the highest lucrative being diamonds as well as sapphires and rubies.  

As far back as the 1950s lab grown diamonds were tested for industrial use and it is widely reported that they are becoming extremely desirable, so much so that some leading diamond jewellers cannot tell the difference between lab grown and mined diamonds and here lies the issue!

As I enter my senior years, from my standpoint I find this to be a generational issue as science is creating mass produced diamonds and it is a game changer!

The grading is the same, be it a mined diamond or lab grown and  the traditional 4c’s being colour, cut, clarity and carat are still used – but lab grown are 30% cheaper to buy and the person on the street looking to buy, can make serious savings when purchasing for example an engagement ring or that special diamond piece of jewellery and yes, Bond Street jewellers I’m sure are not jumping for joy at this prospect.  Like it or not, if I had diamond brooches, diamond rings, diamond tiaras, earrings and even diamond necklaces etc left languishing in a bank, the safe at home or in a shoe box!  Would I sell?  Probably yes.  These are the reasons :- financially I do believe diamonds and jewellery, whilst traditionally were a safe haven for that ‘rainy day’  I wonder how much longer before prices are effected, as I’ve noticed ‘the new kid on the block’ is the ‘crypto’ currency  bitcoin era, something the new generation are taking to as a good hedge fund.

I have read other reports where laboratory grown diamonds were shown to main high street London jewellers and diamond brokers.  They could not distinguish the difference between lab grown and mined diamonds.  Recently, those who have set up websites selling these lab grown diamonds have received hate mail. Which considering they have done nothing illegal, has caused a stir to the point, that, some companies producing them have been told to watch their backs allegedly!

The fact of the matter is that laboratory grown diamonds are the BIGGEST THREAT that the diamond industry has ever faced.  A lab grown diamond can be produced in a matter of weeks, it is a massive cause for concern.

Here’s the science:-

Laboratory grown diamonds are grown in factories and once completed, take approximately one month then they are available to be polished and cut as beautifully as any natural diamond and they weren’t formed eons ago!

The established laboratories are in the United States, China, India as well as one in England.

The two techniques used are  CVD - Chemical Vaper Deposition and HPHT = high pressure, high temperature.

Last year alone, between six and seven million carats of laboratory grown diamonds were produced and that is a significant amount reaching the market!  Like it or not the Laboratory grown diamond market is here to stay.

It is also widely reported that in 2019 a high end diamond bracelet, necklace and earring set retailing  at 100k was entered into the Graff Jewellery Award by a designer and after twenty experts examined this  over a thirty day period it won!! It was not stated on the entry form that the diamonds had to be mined! - no one on the distinguished panel realised that they were lab grown diamonds. 

Finally, chemically and atomically, mined diamonds and lab grown diamonds to many experts look exactly the same and the stone is cut and polished as a mined diamond!

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