Pandora's Box: Diamond Myths Demystified
Diamonds of all kinds have fascinated mankind since time immemorial…
However, some myths have been swirling around diamonds for almost as long, a veritable pandora’s box! Today, let’s bust some of the most common diamond myths…
MYTH 1: LABORATORY GROWN DIAMONDS ARE NOT “REAL DIAMONDS”
Laboratory Grown Diamonds – or created diamonds share all the visual brilliance, scintillation and fire of mined diamonds. In fact, side by side, one cannot tell any difference between two diamonds of similar size, weight, colour, shape etc. Even with a gemmologist’s loupe it is impossible to tell the difference!
What is a diamond then, one might ask? Well, according to the Federal Trade Commission – created or laboratory grown diamonds are 100% diamond as they share the identical molecular structure to mined diamonds. In the summer of 2018, the FTC published the advice that laboratory grown diamonds have parity with mined diamonds as they share the same essential “physical, chemical, atomic and visual qualities.” They also significantly banned the word, “synthetic” and any negative connotations which this term might imply. The difference between laboratory grown diamonds and earth-grown diamonds is simply their origin.
MYTH 2: DIAMONDS ARE “RARE”
Like all markets, the diamond market is subject to the market forces of supply and demand. While it is true that there is an increasingly depleting supply of mined diamonds – with the famous Argyle mine in Austrialia recently closing, there is also a finite supply of laboratory grown diamonds.
There are plenty of other rarer gemstones – in fact, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies are much rarer than diamonds. However, there are certain types of diamonds that are rare, like fancy pink diamonds and fancy blue diamonds.
One might wonder why diamonds can be so expensive if they are not rare. Demand is a large factor that goes into the pricing of diamonds. Everyone wants a diamond engagement ring or diamond jewellery. Another factor that goes into the cost of diamonds is mining, cutting, and polishing the stones. Cutting a rough diamond into a beautiful, sparkling stone is truly an art.
MYTH 3: DIAMOND COLOUR OR WEIGHT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT CRITERIA
We understand that learning about diamonds can be a daunting prospect for the first-time buyer –added to that the emotionally loaded context of an engagement. For this reason, CHELSEA ROCKS stands for the honest, open and transparent dissemination of information and education about all diamonds.
Whether mined or laboratory grown, (our preference!), we would always advise you to invest time in choosing the best possible cut for your budget rather than carat weight, physical size, (measured in millimeters), or even colour – colour being a particular topic which many people seem to be hooked on!
While larger stones are sought-after, you should prioritize cut grade rather than carat weight. Diamonds with excellent cut grades (an Ideal cut for round cut diamonds and Very Good cut for fancy-shaped diamonds) will sparkle more and have an overall more beautiful appearance.
Invest time and thought in understanding the different types of cut and how this impacts the light performance of a diamond. This is where the skill is – to release the fire and brilliance of the stone.
MYTH 4: DIAMONDS ARE ONLY A SYMBOL OF LOVE
While no one can forget the iconic marketing by De Beers, “A diamond is forever” and thus creating the engagement ring market in the 1950s, we believe that with the ascent of laboratory grown diamonds, the conversation has moved on…
Often favoured by self-purchasers, for them a diamond is no longer just a symbol of love and beauty (though it is that too), but a laboratory grown diamond is also a symbol of purity, integrity, authenticity, sustainability and a personal lifestyle statement.
MYTH 5: ALL DIAMONDS COME FROM AFRICA
For many people, diamonds are automatically equated with Africa, specifically South African and Botswana. While these are important diamond mining nations and home to companies like De Beers, it is not the full story!
For example, A 2019 report from the United States Geological Survey found that Russia mined the most diamonds - 25,000, to be exact, followed by Canada. Botswana was the third largest diamond producer. The fourth largest diamond producer in 2019 was South Africa.