Diamonds Grown in Laboratories - We Like Them and Sell Them - January 19, 2021 10:05
Diamonds grown in laboratories are causing quite a stir and with good reason. They are turning the jewelry industry upside down - the phrase "disruptor" gets over used, but lab grown diamonds are certainly a game changing disruptor.
A little history - diamonds have been grown in labs since the 1950's or so. It was actually scientists at General Electric (yup, that GE) who started exploring the possibilities. They were not after jewelry, they wanted diamonds for their uses in industry and thought they could save money by making them in their labs - they were not concerned about clarity and color - they just wanted to manufacture diamonds and take advantage of the durability and hardness that makes this gemstone of pure carbon like none other.
Fast forward to 2002, when Chimera Design opened in Lowell, there were lab grown diamonds available then. Cliff earned his Diamonds Graduate from GIA in 1998 and diamonds fascinated him, so he kept an eye on the emergence of lab diamonds. Back then there were two strikes against lab diamonds. First, they were not very much cheaper than those coming from mines - maybe 15 to 20%. Secondly, they tended to be low on the color scale. So with high color not an option and such a small priced difference, Cliff's attitude mirrored the general public in not being overly impressed.
All of that has changed. Technology moves like lightning. Now you can have the beauty and lasting qualities of pure carbon gemstones in pretty much any clarity, color and shape - at WAY less than mined diamonds.
Here are some interesting facts about lab grown diamonds:
- They all start with a seed of a mined diamond.
- They are not "perfect" - even in a lab environment they come out with inclusions and variations in color. Very different from lab grown rubies, sapphires, and emeralds which are crystal clear and generally flawless.
- The price difference is amazing. Right now we have a .50 ct ideal cut round D color, VS2 lab diamond in our showcase for less than $1,000. A similar mined diamond would be twice that amount.
- No one can tell the difference with their eyes alone. In fact, the equipment to properly distinguish a lab from a mined diamond costs about $6,000 to $8,000 right now.
We try to have several examples of lab grown diamonds in the show case at any time so that you can see for yourself how great they look.
Here are links to a couple videos we did on the subject: