At a recent conference on the diamond industry, a panel discussed what role synthetics would play in the diamond industry.
Bryant Linaires, president of Apollo Diamond, compared his synthetic diamonds to California wines: “At first, some would only drink Bordeaux, but in the end, California expanded the market for wine. I suspect the same will happen with man-made diamonds.” We see this as a faulty analogy. California wines were produced the exact same way as other wines, from naturally grown grapes. They were the same product, just produced in a different area. But synthetics are produced not in a different area, but by a different method. This makes them a fundamentally different product than natural stones.
Natural diamonds are rare. They come out of the ground. They are something special. They are formed by nature in a mysterious process. Scientists can perhaps replicate that process, but they can never reproduce the specialness of owning something created by nature.
We agree with Des Kilelea, an analyst at the conference, who said: “Synthetic diamonds represent an emerging and exciting new component of the diamond industry, offering a partial solution to the problem of satisfying rising demand in certain categories. But they are no substitute for high-quality natural diamonds. Although (synthetic) diamonds are chemically and structurally identical to diamonds from the ground they are unlikely to directly compete with mined diamonds, whose long-term prognosis remains positive. Synthetics cannot compete with natural stones in terms of emotional and intrinsic value.”