If you were asked to list the luxury jewelry options a few years ago, you would unlikely mention artificial diamonds among the others. There is nothing strange since only four years ago jewels grown in the lab deserved an honorable right to be called a diamond. It was 2018 when Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allowed describing “a mineral that consists of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system” as a diamond regardless of the fact of origin – man-made or naturally-occurred. Actually, it was the moment of equation between two products that made possible a further move towards the luxury segment.
Before speaking about artificial diamonds’ first steps on the scene of the luxury world, let’s talk a little about the product itself. So, what do you know about man-made diamonds?
We predict that the majority of the readers know a lot about natural gems and, considering this fact, we are going to talk about lab-grown jewels from the point of the difference between natural and artificial diamonds.
FORMATION PROCESS: the same
Natural diamonds are formed from carbon seeds being crystallized under the conditions of high temperature and high pressure.
Artificial diamonds are formed identically – from crystallized carbon seeds.
The conditions under which the natural diamonds are formed are a result of natural processes occurred deep in the soils. The process is not controlled by people and man needs to dig up thousands of hectares of land to get a natural diamond from beneath the Earth.
Artificial diamonds are born in the laboratory by mimicking natural processes in two possible ways – High-Pressure High-Temperature or Chemical Vapor Deposition. The first one is mostly used in China while the second is more popular in USA and India. It allows crystallizing carbon seeds in weeks by placing them into microwave chambers and superheating them into a glowing plasma ball
PROPERTIES: the same but….
Being formed from the same material under the same conditions, both natural and artificial diamonds predictably have identical properties. They are certified using a single quality standard system – 4Cs that includes evaluation of diamond color, diamond cut, diamond clarity, and diamond carat weight.
Properties are the same but the rule “Whoever pays, orders the music” is not the case with natural jewels as it does with artificial diamonds. When buying natural diamonds, you can choose from the already mined pieces. Man-made diamonds give you an opportunity to order a special diamond of a desired color and size. And this difference matters.
You know and everyone knows that natural diamond is an expensive pleasure. You cannot allow yourself to buy it many times a life. Why? There are two explanations – economic and marketing. First, mining is indeed costly. Second, mining is not mass production and it does not allow reducing costs for the process. Third, a cloud of mystery around natural diamonds was formed thoroughly by marketers. Even if you do not like diamonds, you most likely have heard something like “one-of-a-kind”, “diamonds are the women’s best friends” or “Diamonds are forever”.
Artificial diamonds are twice cheaper as a natural mystified product because their value is tied strictly to the cost of production. And no special demands influence the cost of this production. If you need a billion of identically the same diamonds – you can get it. If you need the huge colored stones – you can also get them without paying an enormous bill.
But what’s about mystery? Thierry Silber, Madestones’ CEO, is sure that the best jewelry story is a personal consumer’s story. Any buyer can create his or her individual mystery with artificial diamonds.
So, the choice of many luxurious brands in favor of artificial diamonds looks reasonable. They do not lose in quality but can reduce jewelry production costs and get additional value – responsiveness to consumers’ demand.
Artificial diamonds are becoming a luxury option with choosing them by such brands as Pandora, Swarovski, and now LVMH Luxury Ventures, which recently invested in the lab-grown diamond industry.