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Posted in: Diamonds
Synthetic diamonds, or lab-grown diamonds, are becoming commonplace in jewellery stores around the world. They are chemically exactly like natural diamonds formed over millions and even billions of years beneath the earth’s surface.
However, even though lab-grown diamonds are now readily available, that doesn’t mean they are everybody’s first choice. Most people still prefer natural diamonds for some of the following reasons.
Just as your significant other is unique and can’t be mass-produced, neither can natural diamonds. They are naturally formed, which means each diamond is as unique as the person receiving it in an engagement ring or wedding ring.
The uniqueness of diamonds, even in pre-set jewellery, can make them even more desirable and romantic than lab-grown diamonds. After all, there’s nothing romantic about a mass-produced diamond that comes from a factory.
Lab-grown diamonds have their place, but they are not always a ring buyer’s first choice when you’re trying to purchase something to reflect the uniqueness of your union.
Natural diamonds are real diamonds, and synthetic or lab-grown diamonds are chemically the same as well. However, the difference lies in public perception. In a 2018 Harris poll, 68 percent of United States diamond consumers didn’t believe that lab-grown diamonds were ‘real’ diamonds, and only 16 percent thought they were.
What’s more, when some consumers learned about the value difference between synthetic and natural-grown diamonds, they were no longer interested in lab-grown diamonds for such an important purchase.
As challenging as the diamond industry’s past has been, many measures are now in place to protect both diamond consumers and those who mine them. Natural diamonds from reputable suppliers follow the Kimberley Process to ensure that diamonds come from ethical sources.
For example, diamonds.co.nz has a zero-tolerance policy for conflict diamonds, so we aligned ourselves with De Beers Sightholders, who follows the Kimberley Process. This makes sure that diamonds come through the correct channels, regardless of where in the world they are mined.
The same assurances can’t generally be made regarding lab-grown diamonds. The majority are produced in China, India, and Singapore, where claims of eco-friendliness, integrity, and transparency can’t always be verified.
Sustainability and eco-friendliness are more of a priority than ever before, so it’s worth thinking about carbon emissions before you choose between natural and synthetic diamonds.
According to some sources, estimated carbon emissions of synthetic diamonds are three times as high as those from naturally-mined diamonds.
In many factories and laboratories, synthetic diamonds require electricity from fossil fuels, particularly in India, China, and Singapore. In the mining industry, recycled water at high pressure is relied on to separate diamonds from rock. In some mines, up to 83 percent of water used in natural mining processes is recycled.
Perhaps even more surprising is that nearly 10 percent of energy powering Canada’s Diavik Diamond Mine comes from wind farms.
Many couples don’t mind the price of a diamond engagement ring as long as it’s beautiful. However, purchasing a diamond ring that holds its value is undoubtedly part of the appeal.
Natural diamonds are most often worth more and also hold their value. This is in the wake of more affordable lab-grown production costs bringing down their retail value. What you pay for a synthetic diamond today may be significantly more than what you could sell it for in the years to come.
There is also a significant price disparity in cost per carat. Large synthetic diamonds often have a lower cost per carat. In most situations, natural diamonds cost more per carat due to how rare they are.
Economies rely on people to be employed, which is something that natural diamond miners are assisting with. The diamond mining industry supports at least 10 million people and their families.
Diamonds mined in Botswana are also having a positive impact, with the industry’s revenue allowing children to benefit from free education until age 12. The diamond industry has even allowed hospitals to get the funding they need, and 1.5 million artisanal and small-scale miners are employed due to the demand for natural diamonds.
While factories producing synthetic diamonds also keep people employed, it may not be to the same extent. They may also not have the same positive impact on vulnerable communities as ethical diamond mining often does. Diamonds.co.nz donates to diamondsdogood.com on a monthly basis.
Diamond shopping is a personal choice, and it’s up to you to decide if you prefer lab-grown or naturally-mined diamonds. However, it’s clear to see that natural diamonds produced in the earth over millions of years will likely always remain more precious and valuable than those we can mass produce in factories.
When you purchase diamond jewellery with diamonds.co.nz you’ll receive a complimentary retail valuation.
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