Should I Buy A Synthetic Diamond – Synthetic vs. Real Diamonds


Synthetic Diamonds versus Natural Diamonds

If you’re new to the diamond world you may not even know synthetic diamonds exist.  The fact is they have been around for decades – being used as tools in optoelectronics and nanotechnology.  Only recently have scientists started marketing them as jewelry.  Here’s a brief explanation of what they’re all about.

 

 

What is a Synthetic Diamond?

Synthetic diamonds are diamonds grown in a laboratory.  They duplicate naturally-occurring diamonds in atomic structure and physical properties, making them real diamonds.  Though they have distinctive growth features which prevent them from being identical to natural diamonds, the only way to tell the difference is by using very sophisticated scientific instrumentation found in major gem-testing laboratories.

Synthetics For Sale
Synthetic diamonds are now commercially available in a range of sizes, shapes and colors.  Labs are able to produce colorless and near colorless diamonds weighing up to  1/2-carat, and fancy-color diamonds weighing as much as 3-carats.  Because these diamonds are grown in a controlled lab in a matter of days, synthetic diamonds are much cheaper than natural diamonds.  

How much cheaper?

Although consumers have few retailers to choose from, there are two pioneers in the field currently selling synthetic diamonds for up to 50 percent less than natural diamonds.  Apollo Diamond Inc., located in

Boston, is selling colorless and near-colorless synthetics up to 30 percent less than their mined equivalents and Florida-based Gemesis Corporation, a lab specializing in fancy-colored diamonds, claims to sell stones for up to one-fifth of the cost of a comparable natural diamond. Though estimates vary – a synthetic diamond will be at minimum 10 percent less expensive.
 

Why are they cheaper?

Simple.  They are grown in an industrial laboratory over a matter of days – it’s not a very romantic picture.  Diamond loyalists favor natural diamonds because they take billions of years to form in the Earth’s mantle, before they are discovered in some remote mine, and polished to perfection for us to admire.  The thought of diamonds coming from a canister-like reactor in some warehouse is just not as appealing, and the ease with which these diamonds are created inherently lowers worth in diamond lovers’ eyes. 

If you don’t fall under the loyalist category and are able to look past their pragmatic point-of-origin, synthetic diamonds are a great low-cost alternative for consumers.            

 

Where can I find them?

Since the diamond industry frowns upon synthetics, your options are limited.  You can buy these stones directly from Apollo and Gemesis or look up Gemesis’ website and check out the list of additional retailers.  A quick online search should pull up a number of other options.

What’s the catch?

 Because scientists are still perfecting diamond making there are a few limits to what you can get.  For instance, the classic colorless and near-colorless synthetic are not available in anything over ½-carat.  Further, some of these retailers do not sell loose diamonds, or have brick-and-mortars you can visit to inspect the diamonds in-person. 

There is also the issue of certification.  Though these labs offer their own certification reports, we have no idea how their standards measure up to the standards of GIA and other well-respected labs, so you might have to take an extra step and send your diamond in for a second analysis.  Last, you may be limited in the variety of shapes from which you can choose.  

In Case She’s Not On-board

If you’ve decided to buy a synthetic, but you’re not sure how she’s going to react, you may want to have a few “non cost-related” reasons to win her over.  One good reason is tied to the blood diamond controversy – no mining means no blood – she can wear that engagement ring worry-free.  A second reason may be that synthetics often have fewer flaws than mined diamonds.  Because these diamonds are grown from perfect slivers of other diamonds, you might be able to get a colorless, flawless diamond – something she’ll absolutely be excited about.

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12 Responses to Should I Buy A Synthetic Diamond – Synthetic vs. Real Diamonds

  1. Anonymous March 26, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    I was going through and saw a website for diamondnexuslabs.com. Are these synthetic diamonds or something else? I’m asking because I am interested in buying a synthetic diamond but not sure what to look at. Thanks for your help

  2. Anonymous November 18, 2008 at 7:26 am #

    There is a link in their site that discusses what they are made of. They contain more than carbon which is the only thing inside a diamond. I will likely get banned from ever setting foot in this site again for saying this but I am going to go ahead anyway.

    Carbon is one of the most plentiful elements in nature, as such Diamonds are the LEAST rare of all stones. DeBeers owns EVERY diamond mine (ok maybe a few are non-DeBeers) and controls all release of diamonds. That means some big wig in DeBeers gets to say what type of diamonds they are releasing this year and how many of them. Your ring style will ultimately be dictated by what they select, as will the “rarity” of the diamond. Diamonds are not limited in supply naturally, but rather “synthetically” (by DeBeers)

    Back to elements, half the elements in Diamond Nexus gems are some of the rarer elements on our planet. Not to mention that there are plenty of diamonds floating around, bet you can name 5, heck ten people with diamond jewelry. How many people with Diamond Nexus Gems can you name… bet the list is smaller. So those gems are rarer than any diamond.

    Ring selection and customization. If you are picky, and what woman isn’t, you have a HUGE book to pick from. If that still isn’t enough they will design for you ANY and I mean ANY ring you want. They also work in 14kt 18kt Platinum and Palladium. So you can reproduce any ring you want, even a Harry Winston.

    Finally and I say this only because I was egged on by the article. In response to:
    “The thought of diamonds coming from a canister-like reactor in some warehouse is just not as appealing, and the ease with which these diamonds are created inherently lowers worth in diamond lovers’ eyes.”

    Here’s another thought for you:

    The diamond you wear on your finger can come from two places:
    1. A lab where the latest technology and some of the rarest elements on earth are combined to create a flawless stone. A lab where everyone makes a living wage and gets to go home to their loved ones. Where the style, size and cut is dictated by your desired ring and not that of a large corporation.

    OR

    2. Comprised of one of the most common elements on our planet. Mined from deep in the earth by ecologically unsound means, by people who make less than a living wage. Due to their assigned value (NOT rarity) they are often cut off the hands of African woman and wars are often fought for them. The stone you wear on your finger is untraceable, there is no real way to know where exactly it came from. You must trust the diamond source quoted to you. Your ring is so precious someone might have died so you could wear it. Someone’s mother, someone’s father, someone’s child. That is how special you are.

    Grow up! TV and the Media tell you Diamonds are better. Your worth isn’t measured in what he paid for your ring. Your worth is measured by who you are!

  3. Anonymous November 23, 2008 at 11:32 pm #

    I was looking around and found a website called carat.cc they have a pretty good selection of synthetic diamond engagement rings.

  4. M_Matthews October 22, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    To be perfectly honest I’ve never even thought about the fact that the diamond you buy is probably being provided to you by really cheap labor that doesn’t see any of the overhead you are paying.  It’s making me consider buying a synthetic as you’d be the only one who would really know it isn’t real.  This should be shared with the creator of this article as if you are gonna bling yourself up, might as well go the route that doesn’t require impoverished labor. http://www.itshot.com/diamond-jewelry-watches-blog/top-10-ways-to-bling-yourself-from-head-to-toe/

  5. orwdwcp December 7, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    The thought of diamonds coming from a canister-like reactor in some warehouse is much more appealing to me than the thought of diamonds coming from slaves, war zones, corruption, etc. You can’t know if you have a blood diamond which really aren’t romantic at all. I think it’s silly to buy regular ones when you can get real diamonds from a lab that are just as beautiful and aren’t a result of bloodshed. And hey, they’re cheaper too, so that’s another win! (:

  6. Bertolucci July 21, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    I love the way the people here interact and shared their opinions too

    Thanks,
    http://www.watchesallstar.com/

  7. MrsS September 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I have purchased a 3 stone ring from Nexus Diamonds and there is just NO brilliance. People don’t know it’s fake, but it just doesn’t have the brilliance and sparkle my real diamond has. I say if you can afford it, go with the real thing.

  8. MrsS September 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I have purchased a 3 stone ring from Nexus Diamonds and there is just NO brilliance. People don’t know it’s fake, but it just doesn’t have the brilliance and sparkle my real diamond has. I say if you can afford it, go with the real thing.

  9. fnimuaemae October 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    My husband got me a lovely fancy canary yellow Gemesis diamond for an engagement ring. You cannot tell its a “synthetic” diamond. Its gorgeous. It looks very upscale and I like having something a little different than the typical white diamond engagement ring. We have no regrets. And he got me matching earrings for a wedding present. He did a good job! ;)

  10. makeityourringdiamond October 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    She thought I spent a lot 3/4 karrat
    Did not like them after I told her they were man made real diamonds

  11. Avatar of Bianca
    Bianca April 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    great point

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