What Makes A Diamond?
Created one to three billion years ago, more than 100 miles below earth’s surface. They are made of pure carbon and are the hardest natural mineral on earth. The word diamond alone always means a natural diamond.
Diamonds come from the Earth.
A natural diamond’s creation began around 100 miles below the Earth’s surface. Each natural diamond is made of pure carbon, compressed by Earth’s pressure over time, and is the hardest substance on earth that exists naturally.
Today, there are many synthetic and laboratory-grown diamonds on the market. These are also made of carbon, but without the Earthly origins of real diamonds, they lack the unique diamond qualities infused by nature.
Diamonds are the oldest thing you’ll ever touch.
The first diamond was discovered in an Indian cave nearly 4,000 years ago. But the diamond journey? That began billions of years before. The stones you see in diamond jewelry today began forming from one to three billion years ago, making a natural diamond the oldest thing you’ll ever touch. A natural diamond’s markings and inclusions are symbols of their age, and can be considered small time capsules that tell stories of the Earth’s formation.
Diamonds are extremely rare.
Diamonds are becoming rarer every day because only one significant deposit has been found in decades. Now, there are so few one carat diamonds being recovered each year, the total number would fill only one exercise ball. Therefore, are diamonds rare? Yes, and they are becoming increasingly more valuable each day.
To keep up with the demand while resources diminish, scientists have started creating many replicas—from lab grown diamonds to simulated diamonds made of glass. However, even when a laboratory-grown diamond has the same chemical makeup as a natural diamond, their mass-produced origins are easily detected and prevent them from maintaining any real value.
Diamonds are a symbol of love.
The name “diamond” stems from the Greek word adamas, meaning unbreakable. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria wanted to orchestrate a wedding proposal for his love, Mary of Burgundy. To ensure she knew how he felt, he commissioned an engagement ring to be made with a diamond—a resilient stone as beautiful and enduring as his love. That day, the diamond engagement ring was born, a symbol of everlasting love.
Common simulants include glass, or cubic zirconia. These substances mimic the sparkle of diamond jewelry but are completely unrelated to diamonds at the atomic level.
Frequently Asked Questions About Diamonds
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE IN VALUE PROPOSITION BETWEEN NATURAL AND LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS?
Natural diamonds obtain their value from their uniqueness and rarity as billion-year-old precious gems older than life itself. Lab-grown diamonds are currently sold at a slightly reduced price compared to natural diamonds, but the cost continues to decline due to mass production. Therefore, they have little to no resale value.
DO NATURAL DIAMONDS HAVE A GREATER SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACT THAN LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS?
Yes. The natural diamond industry supports the livelihood of 10 million people globally. Leading diamond producers create $16 billion net positive socioeconomic and environmental benefits in countries in which they operate – 80% of these benefits are retained by local communities. The wealth generated by lab-grown diamond companies largely benefit only a select few venture capitalists and investors and have yet to demonstrate similar socioeconomic contributions.
ARE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS IDENTICAL TO NATURAL DIAMONDS?
No. Lab-grown diamonds are not identical to natural diamonds. Their origin is the primary difference, and the growth patterns from the artificial production process (in microwave reactors) are easily detected by jewelers with the right equipment.
IS IT TRUE THAT LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS ARE MORE ECO-FRIENDLY THAN NATURAL DIAMONDS?
No. In fact, recent third-party research reveals that natural diamonds produce 3X less carbon emissions per carat than lab-grown diamonds, equal only to the carbon emissions required to produce 3 iPhones. The research also confirms that leading diamond producers recycle on average 83% of water used in diamond recovery. Conversely, manufacturing lab-grown diamonds requires an immense amount of energy to replicate a billion-year-old natural process in just a few weeks, as well as significant water consumption to cool the reactors. Whereas natural diamond producers have independent data to back up their claims, lab-grown diamond manufacturers do not, and were recently warned by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about unsubstantiated eco-claims.
ARE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS UNIQUE?
Lab-grown diamonds are not unique, they are mass produced in factories, primarily in Asia in potentially unlimited quantities. Natural diamonds on the other hand are completely unique, each one is different, like a snowflake or fingerprint. Diamond recovery peaked in 2005 and supplies have been declining every year since there haven’t been any new significant diamond discoveries in the past 30 years.
MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS
The diamond industry has undergone a significant and positive transformation over the last 15 years. These questions address the realities of the diamond sector today.
WHAT ABOUT CONFLICT DIAMONDS?
Today, conflict diamonds, as depicted in the 2006 movie Blood Diamond (set in the 1990s), are virtually eliminated from the market. 99.8% of diamonds are certified conflict-free through the UN-mandated Kimberley Process. To learn more visit worlddiamondcouncil.org
IS DIAMOND MINING SAFE?
Yes. Modern diamond mining provides safe, high-quality, high-paying jobs and puts the safety and well-being of their employees and contractors ahead of any other consideration. There is just one lost-time injury incident per 1,000,000 hours worked within today’s large-scale diamond mining sector. For context, diamond mining is statistically safer than the retail, transportation and power industries.
IS THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY DOMINATED BY A MONOPOLY? AREN’T THEY JUST THE PRODUCT OF GOOD MARKETING?
No. There is no monopoly in today’s diamond market. Today’s largest diamond producers are spread across four continents (Canada, Russia, Africa and Australia) and are either publicly traded corporations or State-owned enterprises. Human fascination with diamonds goes back millennia. In fact, the tips of Cupid’s arrow were dipped in diamonds, and the first diamond ring to signify an engagement was given by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in the imperial court of Vienna in 1477. Learn More at Total-Clarity.com