Diamond versus diamond – by Carolyn Gruske (CIM Magazine – June 08, 2021)


Even though man-made diamonds have the potential to satisfy our appetite for sparkle, they may never rock the mined-diamond industry

It was just a single word, but by deleting one adjective from a federal guideline, a U.S. government agency redefined an elemental form and forced a North American retail industry – and its customers – to come to a new understanding of one of its oldest and most traditional products, diamonds.

That change created even more uncertainty for a segment of the mining industry that is already prone to cyclical highs and lows. The deleted word was “natural.”

Prior to the change in 2018, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Jewelry Guides – which the agency produces to help structure the market for precious metal, pewter, diamond, gemstone and pearl products – described diamonds as “natural stones that are formed of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system, as long as they have been symmetrically fashioned with at least 17 polished facets.

In addition the stones must have a hardness of 10, a specific gravity of about 3.52 and a refractive index of 2.42.” The change came about after a San Francisco-based company that produces synthetic diamonds, The Diamond Foundry, lobbied the agency and argued that what mattered was the optical, chemical and physical properties of the gem, not its origins.

The FTC agreed, although it did so with one condition: a qualifier had to be used before the word diamond to indicate the stone’s manufactured origin. Companies that sell diamonds that are not naturally produced or mined need to clearly indicate that, or face penalties.

For the rest of this article: https://magazine.cim.org/en/technology/diamond-versus-diamond-en/?mc_cid=6fe91e7511&mc_eid=a247770e89