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Synthetic diamonds


#1

I have a client who is wanting synthetic diamonds in his engagement
ring and I do not know where to buy synthetic diamonds. Any leads? I
do know about moissanite but I think he is looking for diamond…

Thanks in advance,
janet


#2
I have a client who is wanting synthetic diamonds in his engagement
ring and I do not know where to buy synthetic diamonds. Any leads? 

Synthetic diamond manufacturers such as Gemesis are not offering
their goods to the public. I’ve read that they are offering a limited
amount to a few manufacturers, but you’ll be very hard-pressed to
find any. Besides, they’re not priced as low as most people think, so
they’re not the alternative that the layperson thinks.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#3

Janet - try morion.com they come in yellow and blue


#4
I have a client who is wanting synthetic diamonds in his engagement
ring and I do not know where to buy synthetic diamonds. Any leads? 

Dare I bring up the name? Oh what the heck, Stuller has them, but I
believe they are small yellow diamonds.

Hoop jumping for some, bliss for others, but the bands playing my
tune…

Richard Hart


#5

I checked my Stuller catalog for synthetic diamonds and, whew!
Yellow, pink and blue synthetics are available from 0.01ct to 0.33ct
in SI to VS clarity. The cheapest start at well over $3,000/ct and
get close enough to $6,000/ct as to make no difference. That was last
year’s catalog, too.

I’m sure that Stuller’s catalog is right in line with pricing on
synthetic diamonds, so I’m not disparaging them when I say,
emphatically: I’ll pass.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#6

I checked my Stuller catalog for synthetic diamonds and, whew!
Yellow, pink and blue synthetics are available from 0.01ct to 0.33ct
in SI to VS clarity. The cheapest start at well over $3,000/ct and
get close enough to $6,000/ct as to make no difference. That was last
year’s catalog, too.

I believe that the prices in Stullers catalogs are tripple keystone.
Divide by three for your cost.

Joel Schwalb
@Joel_Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#7

“Synthetic Diamonds”? I will ask, what is a synthetic diamond? Maybe
it is something taken from a synthetic mine? Either this is a real
diamond, or it’s a only certified genuine synthetic…or what?

I was watching a program on my visit down to Atlanta last week. It
was about a diamond that was GENUINE, Pink Diamond of 10.45 carats it
had a value of ONLY $1,000,000 PER CARAT. It was sold “sight unseen”.
Now that was a tad pricey…:>)

I once set 217 coloured diamonds in to a pendant, those diamonds were
heat treated with a Blue colouring. These were genuine diamonds…but
not synthetics. In fact, this pendant adorns my first setting
book/manual…Gerry Lewy !


#8
Synthetic Diamonds"? I will ask, what is a synthetic diamond? Maybe
it is something taken from a synthetic mine? Either this is a real
diamond, or it's a only certified genuine synthetic...or what 

I suppose you could call the laboratory in which synthetic diamonds
are grown a “synthetic mine.” I also suppose one could “certify” a
synthetic diamond as “genuine” as well. I think I read somewhere
that many of them are laser inscribed as to their origin, so you may
be on to something.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#9
Synthetic diamond manufacturers such as Gemesis are not offering
their goods to the public. I've read that they are offering a
limited amount to a few manufacturers, but you'll be very
hard-pressed to find any. Besides, they're not priced as low as
most people think, so they're not the alternative that the
layperson thinks. 

They may have changed their sales methods in the past few months I
guess but when I spoke to Gemesis last year they didnt seem to have
any plans of making their diamonds “rare” or hard to get and didnt
seem to be limiting the number of dealers selling them. Pretty much
any dealer willing to spend $20,000 or so to buy a sampling of their
diamonds could get some as far as I know (Contact them at
http://www.gemesis.com to find out). They are competing (Attempting
anyway) with places like the isreali diamond institute and not with
the ebay sellers selling 99 cent gemstones so they have no worries
about dealers who resell their diamonds of recklessly damaging their
image.

You are right though when you say prices are not as low as you might
think. They gave me an example of a diamond that would cost $5000 and
a just as good one from them people can buy for $2000. They said that
once the consumer realizes that there is no difference except for
bragging rights and a 60% discount that consumers will buy their
diamonds instead. Thats marketing of course and I dont know how
accurate that is (And I guess we all wont know for another few years
if that statement will be true). They are competing in the hi end
market and I can tell you that they make a really nice product that
looks just as good as the real thing - will technically it is the
real thing (As opposed to the ebay sellers selling “lab created
diamonds” with an hardness of 9).

One other thing (This may also have changed I guess), but last year
they were only making colored diamonds and not the color of diamonds
that you would generally use in engagement rings.

It will be interesting to see how successful they become as it will
give an indication of consumer sentiment. Debeers went out of their
way to say that they didnt see them as a threat as people only want
natural stones. To me that says that debeers is very worried about
gemesis.

Cheers
DEAN


#10

Hi Gerry,

The other day, you’d asked the question,

Synthetic Diamonds"? I will ask, what is a synthetic diamond?" 

I don’t mean to sound less than respectful here (because, frankly,
I’m in awe of both many of your skills and your experience in using
them) but the answer to that one seems pretty straightforward to me,
especially in light of recent developments. A synthetic diamond is a
transparent, relatively pure carbon crystal (or the faceted gem cut
from one) whose origin is patently unnatural. Now, to be fair, I’m not
just talking about irradiated natural stones, or HPHT-treated goods
– although, by definition, they come about as close to fitting
within my definitions of ‘synthetic’ as some of the glass-filled
rubies and Be-treated padparadschas of late do – but synthetics, in
the purest sense. If you’d like to call the room that contains the
high pressure autoclaves, or the tanks of CO2 and ammonia, plus
whatever state-of-the-art circuitry is needed to print out layer upon
layer of this material until enough mass exists to facet it a
"Synthetic Diamond Mine", then so be it, though I’d just as soon
leave it to the JVC and FTC to decide where to draw the lines on that
one. But, just as a Vernueil ruby and a hydrothermal emerald are
synthesized in a commercial growers’ lab, so are at least a few
hundred carats of diamonds, each year, and a reasonable number of
them, like those other synthetics I’ve named, are readily
identifiable as such.

For me, the real questioning enters the picture with those synthetics
which are not identifiable as anything other than natural. It’s
then and there that the waters grow a bit murkier (for my
sensibilities, at least). This is especially truewhen the stones in
question can be grown, from scratch, in a matter of hours, for far
less than the cost of recovering a “mined” diamond, then cut and
polished exactly like their natural counterparts; when it’s up to a
bookkeeper to keep track of which stone was the one that came from an
octahedron, and which one came from a slab, I tend to grow nervous.
Once a gem is faceted and placed in a vault amongst a hundred other
stone papers, the question shifts from "What is a Synthetic Diamond?"
to “Which_one_was the Synthetic Diamond?”.

A few months back – in fact, the evening following my assistant’s
first day on the job, since she accompanied me to it – I’d attended
a JA seminar co-hosted by a manufacturer and marketer of a brand of
synthetic diamonds, which are created via the CVD (Chemical Vapor
Deposition) process. According to their president, his company’s
synthetics were causing the GIA-GTL, AGTA, EGL and a few other labs
considerable “gnashing of teeth”, because they were as yet found to be
absolutely_identical to naturally-occurring diamonds in every
measurable way – right down to both the presence and nature of their
inclusions – save for the inscriptions the company had lasered onto
the girdles. However, as he also pointed out, they really only bother
to inscribe those stones that weigh more than 0.25 ct.; smaller gems
don’t seem to warrant that much concern.

At this, the whole room erupted with a buzz of tense whispers from
the concerned jewelers in attendance, who realized that if these
synthetics were so easy and fast to create, and so utterly identical
to their natural counterparts, major pricing problems could lie ahead
for their businesses. He then mentioned that his company had already
test-marketed their products at full retail price, direct to
consumers over the internet, which set the room ablaze with
questions, comments and hand-wringing. And, to cap it off, he added
that his company foresaw a time, just a few years down the road, when
they’d be able to go from the initial stages of CVD to the finished
slab of monocrystalline diamond, to the cutter’s scaife, to the
designers’ studios, to overseas jewelers’ benches, to the retail
customer… all in under eight weeks, flat!

When Q&A time rolled around, I suggested that his lab etch all of
their goods, and then, after etching the ID numbers and company logo,
intentionally keep the lasers focused on the girdles a while longer,
so as to burn a pair of needle-like, 0.75-1.00mm deep drill-holes at
the beginning and end of each inscription. To the eye of a layman
with a loupe, they might look like just another bearded girdle, but
to a trained eye, their spatial relationship to the logo would serve
as an identification cue. At the same time, their depth would prevent
recutting or repolishing of these stones, since too much weight
would be lost in the process, whether it was cut uniformly or from
one side of the stone, to make the efforts profitable for those whose
ethics might inspire them to do so otherwise.

Doing so, I continued, would still maintain a high degree of clarity
in his products, while doing so in a way that would require the
involvement of a gemologist’s trained eye and loupe/‘scope skills to
detect. I told him that this would probably go a long way towards
setting retailers’ minds at rest about the new wrinkle in the field
of synthetics that his products posed. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been
so surprised by his answer, but it startled me, nonetheless:

“What? And sacrifice the clarity grades we’ve worked so hard to
achieve? Boy, I don’t know… We’d really have to think that one
over, a bit.”

So, Gerry, considering what I’ve just related, what do you think? Are
synthetic diamonds – that is, those that neither you nor I, nor the
GIA, AGTA or EGL can discern from natural – something to be
concerned about?

P.S. – By the way, Gerry, that 10.45ct pink stone you’d mentioned…
Was that the 10.45ct round brilliant I’d read about, recently, that
began its “life” as a mocha-brown stone, was then HPHT treated to its
current shade of pink, and was being hailed by its owner as the
largest stone of its kind? I don’t remember where I saw that article,
but I remember wondering if anyone would actually wear it! (Then
again, if it was a Pink Ice CZ…) {;o)!

Best regards,
Doug

Douglas Turet, G.J.,
Turet Design, LLC
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242
Tel: (508) 586-5690
Fax: (508) 586-5677
doug. at.turetdesign.com


#11

Dean,

It’s good to know where they stand now. It will certainly be
interesting to watch and see how the synthetic diamond market
unfolds. At the moment, a $20k stake is too rich for my blood,
especially with the elitist view most jewelry consumers have toward
synthetic vs. natural. De Beers, along with Rio Tinto and other
diamond mining companies have a lot at stake. Their campaign against
synthetics speaks to something like “your marriage is real, why buy a
’fake’ diamond?”

Diamond miners aren’t the only ones to worry. Silicon Valley has a
lot to be concerned about, too. Synthetic diamonds are also being
developed as semiconductors that will be able to be clocked at
faster-than-ever speeds. There is a limit, of course (the speed of
light comes to mind, as does physical wavelength), but silicon wafers
can’t handle the heat(literally). Synthetic diamonds can.

Yes, interesting to see where the real money will be with synthetic
diamonds. The applications are much broader in scope than just
jewelry.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#12

Sounds to me as if Gemesis is on the deBeers payroll…why spoil a
good thing ? Seriously tho’, ultimately, synthetic diamonds will
prevail. It is the durability/ price/fantasy, marketing thing. Take
the case of jade…everyone sees a mystique in jade, but they
seldom differentiate between the really fine jade and that which is
basically just rocks. Same thing goes for sapphire…semi
transparent corundum is abundant, but if it is presented as
sapphire, it takes on a magical aura. There was an era when awe of
nature prevailed. In that era we were amazed at what nature produced.
We are now in the era of self absorbtion in which man is the
creator…( chew on that for awhile ) I have always held nature in
awe and I am not the least bit overwhelmed by human presumptiousness.
On the other hand…why should we continue to rip up mother earth
to satisfy our fantasies ? Ultimately what we are going to have to
weigh is how we are going to reconcile the totally inconsistent
committment to G R O W T H…do we really have to get bigger, and
(better)better ? or, should we strive to preserve quality environment
and comfortable lifestyle ? Our current model of the future aligns
with the horrific example of India where hundreds of millions of
people are verging on starvation while the upper atmosphere is being
overloaded with pollution resulting from the burning of cow paddies
for cooking. ( The Indian Ocean is overlain with a humungous cloud of
particulate matter arising from cow poop burning )(( Yes, climate
change ! )) Screw the concept of bigger is better ! Yes…it is
better for those who would yield to the treadmill of more is
better…but, how much more is better ? We simply have to realize
that there is a comfort level which recognizes that getting bigger is
basically a benefit to people who want to eat you !

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


#13

James,

I am not sure if they still have their hand in this business but
about 5 or 10 years ago DeBeers was experimenting with the
manufacture of Synthetic Diamonds

Greg DeMark
greg@demarkjewelry
www.demarkjewelry.com


#14
synthetic diamonds, which are created via the CVD (Chemical
Vapor Deposition) process. According to their president, his
company's synthetics were causing the GIA-GTL, AGTA, EGL and a few
other labs considerable "gnashing of teeth", because they were as
yet found to be _absolutely_identical_ to naturally-occurring
diamonds in every measurable way -- right down to both the
presence and nature of their inclusions -- save for the
inscriptions the company had lasered onto the girdles. 

Was the manufacturer in question Apollo? If so, they’ve been fairly
easily identified since 2003. The Winter, 2003 issue of Gems &
Gemology, and the GIA Insider had an article about identifying
Apollo’s CVD diamonds. Here’s a copy-and-paste:

Using a patented CVD process (U.S. patent no. 6,582,513), Apollo
Diamond Inc. of Boston, Mass., has successfully grown facetable
laboratory-created diamonds. Four crystals (0.34-0.87 ct.) and four
faceted samples (0.14-0.31 ct.) were submitted to the GIA Gem
Laboratory for examination. The faceted samples ranged from faint
brown to dark brown (see figure). Clarity was equivalent to VS1 to
SI2; some small and irregularly shaped gray-black inclusions were
observed in some samples, due to deposition of diamond-like carbon or
graphite (as suggested by Raman spectroscopy). Characteristic strain
patterns were observed, which were different from those seen in
natural diamonds. Also, since no flux is employed in the growth
process, the metallic inclusions typically seen in synthetic diamonds
grown by HPHT processes are not present in CVD laboratory-grown
diamonds. All of the samples fluoresced a very weak yellow-orange to
long-wave UV radiation, and a weak to moderate yellow-orange to
short-wave UV. As a characteristic feature, the CVD synthetic
diamonds displayed strong red fluorescence while exposed to
high-energy UV radiation in the De Beers DiamondView.

Unless there’s a new process besides Apollo’s, there isn’t much to
worry about, unless you’re totally unfamiliar with diamond
inclusions, strain patterns and UV fluorescence. If it’s a
significant stone (browns seldom are), most gem labs have a
DiamondView they’ll use to check it.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#15

Like it or not synthetic diamonds (And other have gotten
much better and also are used much more. In fact synthetic Diamonds
have gotten so significant that in the future GIA is going to be
grading them and issueing certificates as this article shows:

I doubt that the sellers of the 99 cent ones on ebay with an
hardness of 8.5 or 9 will be much effected by the GIAs new grading
plans though. They will likely still be there (And probably wont get
GIA certificates anytime soon). The new gemesis ones will assuradly
get graded though I am sure. Looking forward too meeting them again
in september and seeing how the synthetic diamond market is going.

Cheers
DEAN

  GIA to grade synthetic diamonds 

  JUNE 29, 2006 - Carlsbad, Calif. -- In an effort to
  distinguish the rising quantities of gem-quality, lab-grown
  diamonds entering the marketplace from natural diamonds, the
  Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced Wednesday that
  it will soon begin issuing synthetic diamond grading reports
  for the first time. 

  "GIA is a public benefit institution and, as such, has an
  official obligation to protect the public by providing the
  critical needed to make informed decisions," GIA
  Chairman Ralph Destino said in a statement. "As a nonprofit
  entity serving the public trust, it is simply the right thing
  to do." 

  GIA's new synthetic diamond reports will provide a clear
  description of the synthetic, containing color, clarity, carat
  weight and cut when applicable. The design of the
  report will be markedly different from the current GIA Diamond
  Grading Reports for natural diamonds, and reports will be
  printed on distinctive yellow paper to immediately signal that
  it is a synthetic diamond grading report. 

  To further help the public and members of the industry readily
  distinguish synthetics from natural diamonds, the GIA
  Laboratory will laser-inscribe the word "synthetic," along with
  the GIA report number, on the girdle of every synthetic diamond
  it grades. 

  Tom Moses, senior vice president, GIA Laboratory and Research,
  noted that GIA's research scientists have been studying
  synthetic diamonds for more than 30 years and have carefully
  monitored the new technologies that create these stones. 

  "Once we start grading them, we will be able to study a far
  greater number and variety of synthetic diamonds and we will
  report our findings as we proceed," Moses said. "As a
  nonprofit education and research institution, GIA has the
  ability to conduct comprehensive research into synthetic
  diamonds and other It is imperative that GIA
  continues to expand its understanding of synthetic diamonds and
  to share that with the industry and the public."

#16

Thank you, James!

Yes, it was Apollo, and they had us all going with their “identical
to natural”-cum-“undetectible” spiel! I was not at all aware of that
article; only of the night-and-day difference between the appearances
of their offerings and those from Gemesis. Mea culpa: they had me
going, right along with the rest of those in attendance… Thank you
for setting the record straight!

All the best, Doug

Douglas Turet, G.J.,
Turet Design, LLC
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242
Tel: (508) 586-5690
Fax: (508) 586-5677


#17
Yes, it was Apollo, and they had us all going with their "identical
to natural"-cum-"undetectible" spiel! I was not at all aware of
that article; only of the night-and-day difference between the
appearances of their offerings and those from Gemesis. Mea culpa:
they had me going, right along with the rest of those in
attendance... Thank you for setting the record straight! 

Doug, that’s why I love Orchid so much. I couldn’t possibly remember
the number of times I’ve been set straight after contributing here.
The combined areas of business our members participate in is so
fraught with weird hype and b/s that I feel privileged indeed to
belong to this group that helps protect each other. None of us can
read and remember every article, and I’m happy every time somebody
here corrects my own misunderstandings, too.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL