Real lab-grown diamonds have constantly offered the tantalizing prospect of making the beauty of true, real diamond affordable to jewelry lovers around the world. Unfortunately there is still a large gap between typical media articles and the reality of what diamond growing labs can actually grow as of November 2009.
This article is thus designed to educate diamond buyers who are interested in purchasing a real, lab grown diamond to ensure your expectations are 鑽石 realistic and understand what is and is not available (and why). In addition, this article can help prevent you from being taken by unethical CZ sellers who advertise their product as ‘lab grown diamond’ or ‘man made diamond’ when their product is actually deceptively advertised CZ.
Since our last article in 2007, there has been minimal progress on larger, lab grown white diamonds, though not for lack of effort by scientists. Buying a 2ct, real gem grade, lab grown white diamond is currently about as likely as you encountering a unicorn… the reality is neither, as of November 2009, currently exist.
There are only two labs that have publicly noted that they are working on growing white lab diamonds for the consumer market at this time. While one lab has had a few as large as 1ct, these were rare occurrences and not readily reproducible to date. Even after years of research and effort, the typical diamond produced is less than. 50ct, and often the color is below the typical gem grade white mined diamond. The few that are available typically sell for the same price as or higher than a comparable natural mined white diamond and wait times for larger sizes (. 75ct and higher) can exceed one year with no guarantee of if or when you will be able to purchase. Thus the reality remains that there is no diamond seller able to offer lab created white diamonds on a consistent, readily available basis and in sizes over 1ct (as of November 2009).
Because of this disparity between supply and demand for real lab grown white diamonds, there are still a number of CZ sellers who run ads, likely even showing next to this article, proclaiming ‘Flawless Man made Diamonds’, ‘Perfect Lab Created Diamonds’ or similar false claims. These are unethical sellers peddling ordinary CZ under bait and switch advertising tactics. Their product is not actual lab grown diamond (carbon), but rather CZ (cubic zirconium), a widely available simulated diamond material that mimics the look of white diamond, but is not real diamond. Plain CZ has been available since the 1980s and is nothing new to the jewelry market. The only twist is how many sellers have succeeded in taking advantage of the consumers knowledge gap between media articles over-proclaiming the availability of real lab grown diamonds, and the limits of what truly is available in real lab created white diamond.
Larger, 1ct and higher lab grown white diamonds will hopefully eventually come to fruition, but for now, the market is still constrained by the extreme difficulty of growing white diamonds in sizes desirable to consumers.
Lab grown blue diamonds are the one high point of the current lab diamond market. Natural mined blue diamonds are created when grown in the presence of boron, which accounts for their rare and unique blue color. Mined blue diamonds showing a rich, saturated blue color (Fancy Vivid Blue is the diamond term) of any reasonable size are exceedingly rare, and when available are nearly always sold via auction (Sotheby or Christies) in order for the seller to obtain maximum value for what will likely be a once in a lifetime sale. As a result, natural vivid blue diamonds can command prices from $565, 000 per carat to as high as $1. 3 Million dollars per carat. A vivid blue diamond at auction is a media event, and regularly covered as such by the press due to the extreme rarity, beauty and eye popping prices presented by mined blue diamonds.
The goods news for diamond lovers not on the Forbes 500 richest list, is that as of two months ago, real lab grown blue diamonds are entering the market in sizes from. 50ct to as high as 1. 00ct. Supply is still quite tight, with an average of 5-10 Vivid Blues per month becoming available, but it is the first time such an option has even been available on a consistent basis. Just like mined blue diamonds, lab created blue diamonds are grown in the presence of boron in conditions identical to what happens under the earth (high pressure and high temperature) and they are the chemical, optical, and physical equivalent – the only difference is where they were born.
The pricing on lab grown blue diamonds ranges from $5000/carat to as high as $10, 000/carat ($2500 is an average price for a. 50ct stone). Not cheap, but an incredible bargain compared to the pricing of the mined equivalent. One point of mentioning pricing here is to show the contrast between real lab grown diamond, and the CZ’s being sold as ‘lab grown diamond’ for $150/ct. $150/ct would not even cover the costs of cutting the material, and thus by pricing alone you can readily discern which sellers are selling real lab created diamonds versus engaging in bait and switch advertising.