What if you could make diamonds in a lab that are indistinguishable from mined diamonds? An article in this month’s Smithsonian magazine describes chemical vapor deposition (CVD), a process allowing chemists to make diamonds that even experts with a loupe can’t tell apart from the real ones.
Is this having any affect on the diamond market?
Says Professor Ketty Maisonrouge, a luxury market expert:
This process is not brand-new, and more important, lab diamonds are sold at the same price as the real ones, so it won’t have much of an immediate impact on the market. Also, people are still suspicious of lab-grown diamonds and don’t consider them “the real thing.”
And as we know, the price of diamonds is not really related to scarcity — there are a lot of diamonds out there. But somehow, the price of diamonds keeps going up anyway. This is because of the mystique around diamonds. Any luxury product, even when it’s not a diamond, is sold because people are buying the product’s heritage; they buy the story, they buy legitimacy and they buy quality. And with a mined diamond, you get all those things.
However, it is very possible that a product like this might impact other industries, because as the article mentions, diamonds aren’t only used in jewelry. This might eventually lead to repercussions in the jewelry field, but it’s not going to change the dynamics, at least in the foreseeable future.