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It’s a shocking move that The Washington Post succinctly sums up in their headline “De Beers has scorned lab-made diamonds for years. Now it will sell them.” In a head-scratching marketing campaign, this scorn hasn’t been replaced by acceptance. Instead, they’re marketing their lab diamonds as “fashion jewelry” that is “not special, they’re not real, they’re not unique.”

“The idea would have been unthinkable even two years ago, when De Beers was part of the “Real Is Rare” campaign to combat the promotion of synthetic stones as alternatives to mined diamonds led by the Diamond Producers Association Campaign.”

New York Times

So what does this all mean to you, to consumers? Why is this story being reported on by everyone from CNN to Forbes to the New York Times?

While it will take time to fully understand the impact, I can share my immediate thoughts with you, my community, my friends, and my tribe.

First off, lab created diamonds are the real deal, and that’s accepted industry wide, coming straight from the Gemological Institute of America: “They’re not fakes. They’re not cubic zirconias. They have all the same physical and chemical properties of a mined diamond.” The GIA is the independent nonprofit that protects the gem and jewelry buying public, and they’re the world’s foremost authority on diamonds.

At Abby Sparks Jewelry, we agree with the GIA. Lab grown diamonds are identical to mined diamonds, and they differ only in their origin- one is grown inside the earth (mined diamonds) and the other is grown in a laboratory (lab created diamonds). Lab created diamonds offer people an environmentally and socially responsible alternative, and they cost about 25% less. We love them here at the studio, and we’ve been fascinated by how they’ve been shaking up the industry. They’re a great option for some people, but others will always be more drawn to natural diamonds that take billions of years to grow deep in the earth. It’s just a personal preference and it’s different for everyone. For the record, we value and appreciate both origins of diamonds.

If you’re one of our clients that has a lab created diamond in your ring, you might be wondering what it means for its value, or if the diamond in your ring is “real”. Yes, your lab created diamond ring is real!! And it’s special. And it is unique. Even lab grown diamonds are completely unique, full of their own character just like mined diamonds. We buy our lab diamonds from US-based companies, not overseas, and we only buy high grade, certified diamonds. Always have, always will.

What we don’t know is what will happen long term to the value of lab grown diamonds and mined diamonds. Lab grown diamonds may gain more awareness and therefore become more popular of an option because of this media attention. It’s also possible that they won’t though. If lab grown diamonds do gain ground and in effect become an even more commonplace diamond option than mined diamonds, this might stand to equalize the value of lab grown and mined diamonds. It’s possible that the value of either could increase or decrease. The truth is that I really don’t know what will happen. No one does.

The reality is that the fate of the diamond market regarding lab grown diamonds (and mined diamonds too) really depends on you, the end consumer. It comes down to what you are buying, lab grown or mined diamonds, and it matters who you are buying it from. You will decide the outcome by where you put your dollars. Only time will tell!

Remember that all things are not the same, though they may appear similar. And remember that change is hard, as it causes those in control of the industry concern when newcomers and new adopters cause disruptions.

We’ve written a lot about the lab grown diamonds vs mined diamonds in the past. If you have any questions about any of this, lab grown diamonds, mined diamonds, your diamond, or your potential diamond–let’s talk! Give me a call. Send me an email. This is new territory for everyone, and I’m here to be transparent and available to you.

All the best and much love,

Abby