OPPOSITION TO LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS IS NOTHING NEW
The strong opposition among diamantaires to synthetic diamonds is nothing new, as history shows. Production of synthetics started in the 1960s. Early on, synthetics were manufactured for various industrial purposes; with advances in the technology and the machinery used to create synthetic diamonds, the synthetic industry began to produce synthetic jewellery-quality diamonds.
It is interesting to note how diamantaires perceived the production and use of synthetic diamonds 50 years ago. They, too, realized that synthetic diamonds can be produced in unlimited quantities, and speculated about how such mass production might affect the price of natural diamonds.
In an article published in the late magazine Diamante, South African industry expert Andre Villier speaks about the extent of synthetics production: “[Production] has reached such magnitude that there is a real risk that natural industrial diamonds will cease to be used. And more importantly: This process has far-reaching implications on the marketing of precious gems as well”.
As for future implications on the natural diamond industry, he said: “In the longer term, precious gems are also at risk. People in the industry are worried that if consumers find that millions of carats of synthetic diamonds for industrial purposes can be produced, then the day when they will start producing synthetic diamonds in mass volumes for jewellery as well as the big department stores, is not far off…”.
Written by Iris Hortman