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Real diamonds are forever

Updated on October 3, 2012
The cursed Hope Diamond
The cursed Hope Diamond

Diamonds are a symbol of eternal love, not only because they are among the hardest substances around, but also because they are millions of years old.

But what if a two-carat pink diamond could be made in a week for less than $500?

Synthetic diamonds are nothing new. Successful synthesis of diamonds dates back to the 1950s.

Natural and synthetic diamonds share the same physical and chemical properties as they both have a cubic crystal lattice consisting of carbon atoms.

The difference, however, is in their growth and storage history. Natural diamonds are unique and are often stored for millions of years at high temperatures.

Synthetic diamonds, on the other hand, follow a standard 'recipe' and are removed from the presses as soon as their growth is accomplished. The growth patterns and defects present in natural and synthetic diamonds differ as a consequence.

About 3 billion carats of synthetic diamonds, worth $1US billion, are produced a year, compared with 130 million carats of natural diamonds.

Production of synthetic diamonds had not affected the natural diamond market much. The market of synthetic and natural diamonds does not overlap much. The intrusion of synthetic diamonds is not a problem for real diamonds.

And apart from their chemical properties and impurities, real diamonds have a story behind them. Let’s take as an example, the biggest raw-diamond discovered to date, the Cullinan Diamond. It was discovered over 100 years ago and although now it is in pieces, it is stored in the world-famous Tower of London.

The Hope Diamond, another world-famous diamond is said to be cursed, and its value is much bigger because of its past owners as well, including Louis XIV.

Natural diamonds have somehow become a branded product. Its symbolic meaning is more valued than its physical or chemical properties and its appearance - just like girls wouldn't be pleased if they received a bunch of fake flowers. People might buy synthetic diamond fashion jewelry, but when they want to mark a special day like an engagement, they don't want a synthetic diamond.

In the end consumers have the right to choose. Synthetic diamonds are not bad as long as the consumers know perfectly what they are getting for the value.

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