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News on Artificially-Grown Diamonds Cause Jewelry Buyers to Worry Over Authenticity of Purchases in the First Quarter of 2018

Although man-made diamonds have been a prevalent topic of controversy in many western countries, the trend has caught up to the jewelry trade of Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Buyers now are much more cautious and have gained awareness of the possibility that their diamonds may have been grown in a factory. Synthetic, cultured, or man-made diamonds are all identical terms for these materials that have been made from pure carbon, using state-of-the-art technology.

The growing, televised features on synthetic diamonds and the capability of companies to produce them by the hundreds- have caused some concern among the local jewelry collectors in our society. Many who have visited the laboratory fear that the gem trade is becoming more "loose" and scary in terms of undisclosed diamond authenticity.

Fox News has recently aired a segment about an American company that grows synthetic diamonds ethically. Leonardo Dicaprio, the famous Hollywood actor has even invested in this progressive diamond growing operation with the hopes that their product may lessen the current plague of 'conflict' diamonds that are also a cause for concern in the industry. In essence, any item can be good or bad if used or sourced the wrong way.

The same company was said to be able to create hundreds of man-made diamonds in a span of just two weeks, as told during the news segment.

Despite the two opposing sides that are constantly battling between the pro's and con's of synthetic diamonds in the trade, we do have to consider the facts beyond the bias of sales.

With regards to artificially grown diamonds- their value is not the same as that of natural diamonds, and despite the near-impossible difficulty in telling them apart with your naked eye, our gemologists can separate the two kinds of materials with ease.

More and more news articles regarding the advent of synthetic diamonds are making headlines this quarter, with some commentaries stating that millennials are especially prone to falling victim to synthetic diamond scams. Some fraudulent vendors and suppliers aim to take advantage of the younger generations' lack of awareness in "heritage-type" items like jewelry and diamonds.

Here in the Philippines, it's extremely important to always be sure of your item's authenticity. Third party laboratories like Gemcamp help to support the trade by minimizing the chances of diamond fraud, and encouraging a safe and ethical environment for the Filipino jewelry collectors.

Synthetic diamonds are not inherently bad, they are just a different type of product. Many people actually appreciate their beauty and appeal. The only concern that poses a threat to the public, is when synthetic diamonds are sold as natural gemstones.

Many synthetic diamonds and gemstones unfortunately, are also being misused by illegal sellers and con-artists to fool buyers into paying more, with the guise that the products are natural gems. A man-made flame-fusion ruby for example can be bought at around 5-20 US dollars in high qualities, but a natural ruby counterpart may fetch over a thousand dollars due to its factual rarity.

These HPHT synthetic diamond machines (pictured below) are still being used today, despite the invention of many smaller sized growing machines (like those used for CVD synthetics). HPHT machines mimic the extreme heat and pressure needed for diamonds to form deep beneath the earth's landmasses.

Please also note that synthetic diamonds will fool the automatic diamond testers often used in pawnshops and jewelry stores. These testers are often based off of electrical and heat conductivity, which synthetic diamonds will be able to possess in similarity to their natural counterparts. Some other materials, such as cubic zirconia coated with synthetic diamond, and some types of Moissanite will also be able to fool even the most advanced thermal testers out there on the market.

In our efforts to spread awareness and education across the Philippine public sector, we are currently developing a workshop curriculum that will teach people about gemstones, gemology, diamonds and synthetics. It will be made available mid-2018, and you can join our updater's list by inquiring on our facebook page.
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