De Beers in the business of synthetic diamonds: the giant will produce 500,000 carats a year ♦ ︎
If you think about it, the news is almost paradoxical: DeBeers, the global diamond colossus, now also offers artificial stones. If, so far, De Beers has appeared as the bitter enemy of artificial diamonds, he has now decided to sell them. As the Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote about 2500 years ago: if you can not beat the enemy, join him.
As we have written several times on Gioiellis.com, artificial diamonds are increasingly less distinguishable from natural ones. A simple gemological examination, even by an expert, is not able to indicate which diamond is true and which is false or, better, created in the laboratory. Only very few centers of analysis, with very expensive and difficult-to-use machines, are able today to determine if a stone has been extracted from a mine in Leshoto (for example) or produced in a factory in China or the USA.
So synthetic diamonds start to be sold more and more often, and are sometimes sold with certificates (fakes) that attest to their authenticity. Why, then, did have not invade the market? For two reasons. The first is that producing high quality synthetic diamonds is an expensive process and, therefore, the price is lower but not too much compared to a natural stone. The second is that an invasion of diamonds would have the effect of bringing down the price on the market and is a result that no company that trades in diamonds wants to achieve.
In short, now the artificial diamond is still forever? De Beers tries to dampen the clamor of the news: it will be, the company explains, a secondary business, marketed under the Lightbox brand. Maybe. But the fact is that to produce artificial diamonds De Beers has invested 94 million dollars for a synthetic diamond factory in Portland, Oregon (USA). And he already has another factory active in England. According to forecasts, the American plant will produce diamonds for 500,000 carats a year. De Beers’ synthetic diamonds will have an advantage: they will not be sold off for natural stones, a nightmare for jewelers and customers. Will they be appreciated by consumers? Federico Graglia