Synthetic Diamonds

What you need to know about synthetic diamonds:

  • These are diamonds produced in a factory under conditions of extreme heat and pressure to mimic the natural formation conditions in the mantle of the earth.
  • The first technique was developed in 1953 by ASEA from Sweden and improved by General Electric (1955) and De Beers (1959). Other techniques were also developed subsequently.
  • The original aim was to produce industrial diamonds.
  • Further refinement has lead to the production of gem quality diamonds. These synthetic diamonds are now found in the market as gem diamonds.
  • The synthetic production of diamonds has become a fast growing industry and is here to stay.

Synthetic Diamond Buying Traps

A few facts should be kept in mind:

  • Synthetic diamonds are difficult to distinguish from natural ones; the composition and characteristics of synthetic diamonds are quite similar to that of natural stones. Both consist of carbon.
  • The value of synthetic diamonds is lower than that of natural diamonds.
  • It is unethical and fraudulent to sell synthetic diamonds as natural diamonds therefore, it should be disclosed as synthetics and priced accordingly.

Identification of Synthetic Diamonds

It is not easy to distinguish synthetic diamonds from natural diamonds therefore:

  • A higher level of identification expertise than usual is required to be able to recognise synthetic diamonds.
  • The identification techniques entail an advanced level of sophistication. For example:

- microscopic evaluation;
- reactions of the diamond when exposed to different wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation; and
- intricate laboratory techniques and instrumentation such as fluorescence, spectroscopic and photometric methods.

Be cautious when:

  • A price is too good to be true (it usually is!), and completely out of range with recommended prices (see articles to follow in this section)
  • Advertisements use descriptions such as “Genuine Diamonds”; “100% Carbon Diamond”; “Guaranteed Diamonds” and “True Diamonds” etc.