BIG Newsletter: Diamonds are Rare…Not


by Ann Arnold,  CSO The BIG Network


What is going on in the diamond industry?




I don’t think I can remember a more volatile time in this part of the industry.  Every day I am getting a ton of emails, from speculation on pricing, to new labs, and most disturbingly, synthetics.  And let’s be clear, whether you call these diamonds man made, or lab grown, they are still synthetic diamonds.




GIA’s definition of a synthetic is the following:

A synthetic gem is a man-made material with essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure and optical and physical properties as the natural gem material.



The two most basic facts about synthetic gems are:

  • Although they are the result of processes that approximate conditions that exist in the earth, they are products of the laboratory, not nature. 
  • Their physical, optical, and chemical characteristics are the same as those of their natural counterparts.


I have spoken to retailers as well about their take on all of the progress and press that synthetics have been getting recently.


  • Some are understandably worried
  • Others are ready to embrace the new world
  • Others still think that there is more being made of it than necessary and that they will not become a large segment of the industry


Regardless of your opinion, the one thing you should do is be aware of what is going on in the marketplace.



I read a few recent articles on the subject that really brought this subject home.


The first was a memo written by Chaim Even-Zohar, on Idexonline. I have to say, this article got the hairs standing up on my arms.  To think that this is happening and is the next thing to worry about – we have enough to worry about, thank you.  I shared this last week, but it’s worth repeating here.  An interesting and eye opening read about how Alibaba, the online internet platform, is offering CVD Lab-Grown diamonds with GIA Natural Diamond Certificates.



The next article that really had me go wow was the recent GIA lab note about the largest Blue HPHT Synthetic Diamond.


All I can say is WOW!




So what does this mean for all of us?  Our own Abe Sherman wrote an article about his take on Synthetic Diamonds in our December newsletter.  It discusses the possible long term effect synthetic diamonds will have on the marketplace and what you can do about it.


The important things to keep in mind:


  • Stay educated on this subject
  • Know the detection instruments available
  • Know your suppliers
  • Train your staff on how to discuss this subject with consumers


You can read it here if you missed it.




One thing is for sure, this subject is here to stay and getting more mainstream by the day.



Make sure you are not only prepared, but well versed on the subject so that you can talk to your customers in an educated and informed manner.