These days, it’s hard to know what has lasting value and what is just a passing fad, but some things have had lasting value for centuries. After all, diamonds are forever, right? They’re precious, rare, and valuable…unless they’re fake. Sadly, more than a few people have been led astray by unscrupulous jewelers (and occasionally fiancés!) who have passed off a lab-grown diamond as the real thing. It’s a shocking deception but an increasingly common one.
You Might be Fooled
Your first thought is probably, “Well, I would know if my diamond wasn’t natural.” But would you? How do you know? The reality is that lab-grown diamonds are almost indistinguishable from natural diamonds. Even experts can be fooled unless they have educated themselves on what to look for and have the proper testing equipment. Are you nervous yet? Afraid you might have been duped? Then consider having your diamond tested to make sure you’re getting the real deal.
How Do You Test a Diamond to See if It’s Synthetic?
While there are simple, inexpensive diamond testers on the market, these won’t help you when it comes to determining if your diamond is natural or manufactured. Since both kinds of stones have the same crystal structure and are made of carbon, a simple diamond tester purchased online for a few bucks won’t help.
However, there are advanced testing tools used by jewelers that can determine with certainty the origin of your diamond. These machines cost thousands of dollars and are used routinely by jewelers to ensure they are correctly classifying and selling their diamonds. Some unscrupulous jewelers don’t worry about this and sell both earth-mined diamonds and manufactured diamonds for the same price without letting buyers know that they may be purchasing a stone that isn’t rare or natural.
If you aren’t sure about your stone, taking it to a jeweler you trust who offers Diamondsure or Diamondcheck testing. These complex, carefully calibrated testing devices use UV radiation and spectroscopic analysis to determine the stone’s origin being tested.
Why Does It Matter?
You may be asking yourself whether it matters if your diamond is a natural one or lab-created since they are so hard to tell apart. It does matter, and it matters a lot. While lab-created diamonds are lovely, they are synthetic. They have been made by man, not formed in nature over millions or even billions of years. Natural diamonds are rare, and each one is unique, just like a snowflake. You’ll never find two diamonds that are exactly alike in structure, clarity, or color. Lab-created diamonds are created in strictly controlled conditions over a few weeks with only a slight variance in grade or quality.
The value of a man-made diamond won’t last over time because it isn’t rare and wasn’t mined. While diamonds will continue to be rarer in the future, synthetic diamonds could quickly flood the market as manufacturing techniques improve and become less expensive. In the future, earth diamonds will be cherished and passed on because of their rarity and uniqueness, while fake, lab-created diamonds may become the “poor man’s diamond alternative.” They will be beautiful to look at but not particularly valuable.
Perhaps the most damning information about the relative value of synthetic or lab-created diamonds is the Federal Trade Commission’s stance of advertising them. According to FTC guidelines, jewelers can NOT use the words “real,” “genuine,” “natural,” or “precious” to describe any diamond that is created in a lab. Clearly, the FTC understands that a lab-created diamond is not precious or genuine but an artificial creation that mimics something real. Looking like the real thing and being the real thing are, to the FTC, vastly different things.
Some jewelers follow the FTC guidelines, but in ways that can make it difficult for consumers to fully understand whether a diamond is real or not. They may bury the term lab-created, man-made, or synthetic in the description where it isn’t noticeable, or only have the description in small print at the end so that shoppers don’t look past the carat weight and sparkle.
Protecting Yourself Against Fake Diamonds
When shopping for diamond jewelry, be sure you always check the description of a diamond. It should use words like “natural” or “precious” in the description. If it doesn’t, be sure to ask the jeweler if the stone is a natural, mined diamond. If they assure you it is a diamond, but don’t tell you whether it is lab-created or not, press the issue.
The best way to ensure you’re getting a real diamond is by purchasing from a jeweler that only sells natural diamonds, never synthetics. SuperJeweler is proud to offer a wide range of precious, genuine diamonds in various styles, cuts, and carat weights. Every SuperJeweler diamond is clearly labeled as “natural, earth mined,” so you can be sure the diamond you buy is not fake or synthetic. It will always be a precious and rare diamond that will hold its value over time and become even more special as the years pass.