NATURALLY MINED vs. SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS
There’s been lots of press lately discussing the availability of larger size synthetic diamonds and why consumers choose one over the other. As the owner of Maurice Badler Fine Jewelry, where we specialize in fine jewelry and cutting edge fashion, I would like to address this issue and why I think naturally mined gems are still the way to go.
First, a bit of explanation: The machinery to create synthetics was originally developed to create synthetic rough for industrial purposes like cutting. The process was expensive but the product was useful for industry. Over time, as they figured out how to create a clearer, whiter piece of material, producers converted their machines to make those synthetics for the retail market. Since this market was promising, producers invested in more and more machines. As a result, there is an ever growing capacity to produce the synthetics. Naturally, in order to move the product, prices have to fall. According to a NY Times article from February 10, 2018, lab growns are now selling for “30-40% less than natural diamonds.”
This may seem like a huge bonus for the retail consumer, but it comes with a huge catch. Diamonds have long been given as a gift for engagement and other significant events because of their beauty and rarity. What is rare about a synthetic product that can be mass produced? At Maurice Badler Fine Jewelry, we often appraise diamonds and jewelry in order to help heirs divide the estates of their loved ones. When we come across fine quality diamonds, they are often worth many times the original purchase price, so that they are worth keeping and making them into a new piece of jewelry or selling them. Either way, these diamonds have continuing value because of their rarity!
Recently I was asked to appraise an engagement ring. It had a lab grown diamond in the center. The young man had paid over $10,000 for it. “I figured I was getting more for my money,” he said. I felt badly when I had to explain there is a value for that product today, but it is likely he will never recover any of it if it needs to be sold in the future. There is virtually no resale market for synthetic diamonds. What expert would knowingly purchase a product that keeps dropping in price? There is no rarity. This important issue should have been discussed with him at the time of purchase but was not.
I will be writing more about synthetic diamonds in future blog articles to address methods detection of synthetics, how we are protecting our consumers, and more. All articles will accessible in the blog section at badler.com If you have any questions about diamonds, feel free to call (800) M-BADLER (800) 622-3537, or visit us at 485 Park Avenue (between 58th & 59th Streets) in NYC.