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[Source] Cultured Diamonds


#1

I have a client who is interested in purchasing a 1.00ct. colorless
cultured diamond for an engagement ring, not a moissanite. He is
familiar with Gemesis and read and article about the Apollo Diamonds,
but it does not appear that either of these companies sell colorless,
loose 1.00ct. or larger diamonds. Is this true or am I misinformed
and if these cultured loose diamonds are available, how can I get
one? From where? My client is very excited about this type of diamond
and has a friend in Canada who would like one also.

Thanks for your help!
SaraSara D. Commers
Studio C Designs


#2
I have a client who is interested in purchasing a 1.00ct.
colorless cultured diamond 

Currently the phrase “cultured” diamond is considered (by everyone
except the synthetic diamond manufacturers themselves) to be
misleading and unethical to use. The diamonds should be referred to
as “synthetic diamonds”.

It is very difficult for them to produce colorless diamonds, but
according to some of their literature they are able to do this. I’m
nor sure of their size range. The question is have you actually
called and asked either Gemisis or Apollo and asked them directly?
If they’ve said no they’re not available to you then they aren’t
going to be available anywhere as these two companies are pretty much
the leaders in the pack of synthetic diamond producers.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#3

I deal with a fair amount of lab grown diamond and have yet to see a
truly colorless one in 1 c…close, but not really.

Moissanite is a poor substitute…if she decides to go with a
simulant, there are much better options than synthetic Moissanite,
ones that are NOT doubly refractive (facet doubling), hard and
colorless, too. I cut and sell them all the time, but they are not
commercially available anywhere that I know of…

Anyway, colorless lab grown diamond is getting very close.

Wayne


#4

I checked with Gemesis, General Electric Research Division, three
diamond dealers who sell synthetic diamonds and the head of the Gem
Trade laboratory at GIA and my friend Mike Robertson who is
intimately involved with the HPHT process OUTSIDE of GE.

The consensus is that it is possible to create a colorless diamond
crystal that will cut a one carat round, but…it is so costly to
do so, that the natural is still less expensive.

Wayne


#5

Apollo diamond claims to have the means for a synthetic white
diamond through chemical vapor deposit or CVD.

I have been trying to purchase one from them for years ! thier
website changes from time to time so they must be busy doing
something. My hopes are these, that if apollo diamond is waiting for
a billion dollar investor they would give up and start courting the
regular little people like me a chance yo put thier product out on
the market where everyone can see and enjoy it, especially now, on
todays market. People buy stainless steel jewelry! they will buy D
flawless CVD diamonds.

Is it not better to sell at a lower profit take what you get and move
on reinvest your money build up the market and demand for your
product ? Apollo people if you are listening i am most humbly
asking! please give me access to your product and take a look at me
and how i do business the industry needs you

best regards g hoefs


#6
Currently the phrase "cultured" diamond is considered (by everyone
except the synthetic diamond manufacturers themselves) to be
misleading and unethical to use. The diamonds should be referred
to as "synthetic diamonds". 

I know I’m asking for trouble, but… I think this term is exactly
right. The term “synthetic”, while perfectly accurate, always
requires explanation or elaboration because it sounds too much like
"simulated". People understand that a cultured pearl is a real pearl,
made the same way as a “wild” or “natural” one but with manipulation
by man. Similarly, a manufactured diamond absolutely IS a real
diamond, though not “wild” or “natural”. So, to my mind, the term
"cultured" conveys the reality clearly without further elaboration or
confusion.

I acknowledge that I could be overlooking some important point. How
is it misleading?

Noel


#7
The term "synthetic", while perfectly accurate, always requires
explanation or elaboration because it sounds too much like
"simulated". 

In 35 years of talking to people about synthetic gems not one of
them has ever misunderstood me to mean simulated. Both of these terms
are gemologically correct for different types of products.

People understand that a cultured pearl is a real pearl, 

Well no, a cultured pearl is NOT a real pearl. It is a pearl that is
started with the help of man. A “real” pearl would have no man
supplied starter in it whether that be a round bead nucleus or a
piece of mantle tissue from another mollusc. A “real” pearl occurs
completely naturally and they are exceedingly rare.

The term cultured, as used gemologically implies the growth of nacre
around a starter and it is used only for pearls. This is not what is
being done with synthetic diamonds. They are being synthetically
produced by man, in a similar fashion to the way other synthetics are
made. We don’t refer to synthetic sapphires as cultured sapphires and
there is no reason to refer to diamonds that way. It is being used as
a marketing term by the companies making and selling them and it is
misleading, apparently in the same way you’ve been misled to believe
that a cultured pearl is a real pearl.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambrige, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#8

Through some recent Googling I came across the term “created
diamonds” used by Apolo Diamonds and Gemisys in Florida as the
industry prefered term.

Incidentally I have some fancy coloured stones which came out of the
old Soviet Union (lavender, pink and sky blue) and clear, these are
diamonds (the tester says so, by thermal/electrical properties),
were quite cheap at the time. I don’t think the vendor even exists
anymore so I won’t name names. However this might still be an avenue
of enquiry, the Soviets (Russians now) were the pioneers in this
field, so they might still be in business just working along on the
quiet, I don’t know if this is true, but might be worth looking into.

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.
www.tjlittlegems.com


#9
It is being used as a marketing term by the companies making and
selling them and it is misleading, apparently in the same way
you've been misled to believe that a cultured pearl is a real
pearl. 

I don’t like to be in the position of arguing with you, Daniel,
but… A cultured pearl is made by a bivalve mollusk around a bit
(large or small) of stuff that man puts in the oyster instead of it
getting in there through some act of nature. It is made by an
oyster-- it’s “real”-- not simulated or artificial. It is not a
"natural" pearl, but it is still a pearl. Just in the same way that
a lab-grown gem is “real”, but not “natural”.

Noel


#10
I acknowledge that I could be overlooking some important point.
How is it misleading? 

Noel, there are two points to make.

First, cultured pearls are a natural oyster (farmed, but still the
natural animal) into which a foreigh object is placed. That operation
is, of course, not natural, nor is the bead that is implanted a
duplicate of the natural process. But the subsequent growth process
of the nacre IS entirely natural. A lab grown diamond is totally
human controlled. nothing natural about it. The growth environment
and process most likely do not duplicate the natural environment,
only the end result. And the end results are different. The
synthetic diamond is, as you say, a fully real diamond, except it
comes from a lab. It may differ minutely in chemistry, or in the
nature of inclusions, but it’s pretty darn close in most important
aspects. The cultured pearl, by contrast, is much less a "real"
pearl. Only the outermost skin, the nacre, is like the natural
original. Most of the bulk of the pearl is not the same. So saying
they’re both cultured isn’t really as valid as it seems.

But the real objection I have to your “feeling”, is simple. The term
synthetic is a quite precisely defined gemological term, well
accepted by the gemological community. Same thing with “simulated”.
“cultured”, by contrast, is not so precisely defined. Much of the
field of gemological nomenclature is aimed at eliminating the
misleading and imprecise use of old style terms. We can’t call
diamonds “blue white” or “perfect” in most cases, simply because
those terms were in the past so overused as to make them useless.
“Cultured” runs a similar risk. Simply because it does not have such
a precise gemological meaning, it has much less value to the field,
and offers less protection from misrepresentation. I read, for
example, in some advertisement (which may not be true, but this is
what it said) of a simulated diamond that consisted of cubic zirconia
over which had been deposited a thin layer of vapor depostion thin
film diamond (not sure the technology used, but the thin surface of
diamond over the CZ was the claim. You had to read this very
carefully in semi-hidden links on the page to actually get to the
info that the core was CZ, but there it was. The promotors claimed
that the diamond surface film gave the stones much greater hardness
and durability (which may have been correct, depending on the
thickness of that layer), as well as modifying the usual optics of
the CZ core, so the stone much more closely duplicated the optics of
diamond itself. This too may be true to some degree, or totally (I
don’t know which). But frankly, compared to cultured pearls, this
stone seems to me very similar to a cultured pearl. Shall we call
this cultured too? That advertisement site did not. The correctly
called it “simulated”, when push came to shove, but most of their
promo was lots of relatively flashy but not precise terms that would
make a potential lay person buyer think this was as good as diamond,
almost, but without such a high price.

And similar reasoning is why the growers of synthetic diamonds would
very much like to call their stones cultured. Most likely, I’m
guessing they’ll be allowed to in the end, since some other synthetic
stones are also marketed this way without legal interference, the
last I checked. (I could be wrong there. Am I?)

The term synthetic is objectionable to some folks not so much
because it sounds like “simulated” but simply because the word itself
seems to have acquired some cultural meanings of cheapness. Man made
instead of natural often seems to get this treatment, even when the
man made may be very costly to produce and superior to the natural
product.

Nevertheless, the word synthetic is the precisely defined, and
gemologically correct term. Using it should confuse fewer people than
would other less precise terms, including “cultured”.

that’s my take on it.

cheers
Peter


#11

I appreciate the clarity you all are trying to provide to my misuse
of the term “cultured diamond” - I guess I read it somewhere, my
bad. What is interesting is even though I misused this term,
everyone seems to know and understand what I was asking.

But what about the question I posed? So far, only three people had
provided adequate and helpful to my question about
sourcing these non-naturally occuring diamonds, including Daniel
Spirer, thank you.

The discussion of minutia over terminology is abusive to my original
post. As the discussion is valid, the topic of conversation should
be changed, shouldn’t it?

Thank you.


#12

Hi Noel…

So…how does one make the jump to call a diamond synthesis process
product “cultured”… No parallel of any kind…

Daniel is correct on in his analysis…it’s marketing hype for the
unknowing…not gemologically correct, and to perpetuate it, is to
buy into that bogus hype…

Now C&C calls there stuff (moissie, emerald, etc.) “created”…

Seems much more up front…

Gary W. Bourbonais
L’Hermite Aromatique
A.J.P. (GIA)

Who once had a niece vehemently insist…her sapphire jewelry was
not synthetic… Perish the thought…!

Her (famous name chain jeweler deleted) jeweler stated and could
prove her sapphires were “lab created”…


#13

Sara,

The discussion of minutia over terminology is abusive to my
original post. As the discussion is valid, the topic of
conversation should be changed, shouldn't it? 

Since you acknowledge that I did respond helpfully, perhaps I can
comment on this too (especially since I seemed to start it). Almost
all the threads on Orchid evolve over time. Occasionally someone has
the foresight to alter the topic line, but this I find, makes it
much harder to follow the threads and check back in on what was said
earlier (this of course could just be part of my aging process).
Besides, your topic line is “Cultured Diamonds” and all of the
responses to this have been about them in some form or another.

Generally speaking I have noted that on specific questions such as
yours, anyone who has the ability and knowledge to answer them will
have done so within two or three cycles (days), except for the
occasional vacationer. So I think, in all honesty, that you got all
the answers that Orchid can provide. And I think it is still as I
said to you at the beginning. Go to the sources (Apollo, etc.) and
ask them if the stones are available. These companies are so hot for
business right now that I’m sure they’ll talk to anyone who has some
proof of being in the trade. Unfortunately, given the other answers
that came in, I doubt that there will be any top color, top clarity
1 ct+ sized synthetic diamonds out there. For all their bluster and
big talk, the synthetic producers have not, for the most part, been
able to come through with what they keep promising.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com