Dear Nancy No hoax. To learn about synthetic diamond production and
the history thereof, I would recommend viewing the very good
documentary that NOVA put out a few years ago. Titled, "The Diamond
Deception", it is appropriate for all audiences spanning from the
lay person to the fairly knowledgeable. Somewhere in the Orchid
archives is a URL for NOVA where a video tape of the program can be
purchased. It's very well worth the $19.95 or $29.95.
There are a few companies producing gem quality synthetic diamonds
from traditional materials as well. One is Gemesis
). Gemesis is also featured in the above
documentary, as is De Beers and General Electric.
Additionally, the GIA covers the topic of synthetic diamonds in
their diamond courses. I took several of GIA's extension classes in
Tucson back in 1999, one being "Detecting Synthetic Diamonds" and a
letter of completion for it hangs on my office wall. The GIA is a
fantastic organization and I can't recommend them highly enough to
anyone seeking a gemological education.
If you are interested in reading more about synthetic diamonds, the
trade magazines all have articles available on their websites.
Simply type synthetic diamonds into their archive search option. In
case you aren't familiar with their websites, here are several URLs: