Natural vs. lab-grown diamonds: Why the world’s most popular stone is becoming increasingly affordable – by Erica Alini (Globe and Mail – June 9, 2023)

Among rising prices for just about everything, the world’s hardest stone is bucking the trend. If you’re shopping for an engagement ring or other gem-adorned jewellery, you’ll find diamonds are delivering increasingly more bling for your buck.

That’s thanks to falling prices for lab-grown diamonds, which are baked in high-pressure or vacuum chambers rather than mined from deep inside the earth. Better technology and a growing supply mean synthetic diamonds are now selling for between 75 per cent and 90 per cent less than their natural equivalents, according to New York-based diamond industry analyst Paul Ziminsky. The discount was only around 10 per cent in 2016, he said.

If you’re in the market for an engagement ring, that means you might be able to spend less than $2,000 on a one-carat diamond, instead of dropping around $7,000 on a natural one. But when it comes to buying what is possibly the world’s best-marketed symbol of everlasting love, there is more to consider than the price per carat.

Are synthetic diamonds as good as mined ones? Do they hold their value? And are they truly more sustainable, as manufacturers claim? Those are some of the questions consumers face amid a cacophony of conflicting information and half-truths from lab-diamond producers and the traditional diamond mining industry.

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