China has become so good at synthesizing diamonds that experts can not distinguish them from “real” ones
The current diamond mines are running out and the diamond has come down in price. To understand why, we must look at China: the Asian country has become so good at synthesizing these gems that no expert is able to differentiate fakes from those extracted from mines when using their naked eye.
The issue is posing such a threat to the global diamond market that even De Beers, one of the big companies dedicated to the exploitation and trade of diamonds, has been forced to invest tens of millions of dollars in new technologies with which to identify diamonds made by man.
The problem is that a diamond, after all, is just a bit of crystallized carbon in a concrete way. The synthetic diamonds , which can be created in laboratories within weeks, are chemically identical to the natural ones and indistinguishable with the naked eye. They are manufactured in a microwave chamber that operates at extremely high temperatures and pressures.
It is estimated that China produces between 160,000 and 200,000 carats of gem-quality diamond each month, which makes it the first nation in the world in terms of synthetic production. Most are for industrial use (apart from being a jewel, the diamond has unique properties that make it useful as a cutting tool or conductive material), but part of these diamonds has reached the jewelry market.
According to a report from South China Morning Post, synthetic diamonds will represent between 7.5 and 15% of global sales in 2020. Meanwhile, brands such as Swarovski are getting on the bandwagon with their own lines of “created diamonds”, more cheaper than natural diamonds.
This accelerated growth is making the popular belief that diamond always goes up in price obsolete. The demand for natural diamonds reached its peak after a strong demand from Asian countries. Now the Asians themselves are getting new diamonds in the market, thanks to the laboratories that synthesize them.
Photo: Africa Studio (Shutterstock)