Thierry Silber’s opinion on synthetic diamonds
Recently I was asked by David Brough, a well known UK industry journalist, about my opinion on the above question. Because of the lack of interesting news this month I thought that sharing with you my reply would be a nice thing to do.
About the term “synthetic”
The natural diamond industry loves the term ‘synthetic’ for many and varied reasons. But this term is confusing. The average consumer can easily interpret the term synthetic to mean fake or look-a-like and they will associate the term with materials such as zirconium or moissanite.
The 3 major international diamond grading laboratories GIA, HRD and IGI provide diamond grading reports specifying that a laboratory grown diamond is a diamond with exactly the same optical, physical and chemical characteristics as mined diamonds. The point of origin is the only difference. One is grown above the ground while the other is extracted from the ground. Laboratory grown diamond is a term that consumers easily understand and a term that is officially endorsed by the Federal Trade Commission and the International Diamond Council.
My intention is to be completely transparent and not to foster further consumer misinformation. Industry infighting has already caused enough damage! Infighting over diamond terminology can only result in inaccurate information and negative impressions that will dissuade end users from purchasing both ‘diamond’ products.
About laboratory grown diamonds business
I’m selling laboratory grown diamonds since the very beginning, about eight years. I knew the natural diamond business, saw a new opportunity and went for it. I see laboratory grown diamonds as an alternative and viable product, not as a substitute for mined diamonds. I believe that with the proper education, the consumer then will be able to make their own choice based upon personal preferences and requirements. Some of those requirements are price, environmental and ethical choices or rarity. It is obvious to me that more choice will result in more business. In the end, I think that if retailers chose to embrace both types of diamonds then the product ‘diamond’ is the big winner.
This leads me to the question are laboratory grown diamonds a friend or foe to the industry? I believe that as long as the sellers of all diamonds are transparent and honest then the answer must be ‘friend’. Every industry needs to embrace new ideas and new technology. There is no reason why the diamond industry should be an exception.
About the future of laboratory grown diamonds
The future for laboratory grown diamonds is extremely promising. Acceptance is growing rapidly, sales have tripled over the last year and demand is coming from all parts of the globe. Many companies that originally refused to consider laboratory grown diamonds as a sales opportunity are now eagerly participating and understand the potential market share growth quotient.
Tom Moses, the executive vice president of the GIA correctly stated that “laboratory grown diamonds are a fact of life and they are here to stay”. I will add: it is a merchant’s choice either to get aboard the train or stay on the platform and wave while the train moves forward to new destinations.
CEO Diamaz Int. & Founder Madestones®