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By Faith Summers | Aug 2, 2015
Announcing some important news from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). With the publication of International Standard 18323 the ISO explicitly defines the term “diamond” as one created by nature.
When referencing anything man-made it is only permissible to use “synthetic diamond”, “laboratory-grown diamond” or “laboratory-created diamond” with no abbreviations.
This a big relief to reputable professionals. And it should be to you too. Why? Because technology will eventually make “laboratory-grown diamonds” cheaper over time. This kind of guaranteed devaluation is not a property of a true precious gemstone. By clearly defining DIAMONDS (natural) as separate from “laboratory-grown diamonds” (tech-made), synthetic diamonds will remain a substitute for a natural diamond, not the real deal. And it’s a pretty expensive substitute compared to CZ, for instance.
Laboratory-grown diamonds lack the allure associated with natural diamonds' connection to our planet's origins. Sellers looking to ease the reality that these gems are being freshly delivered from Chinese or Russian presses have used terms like "cultured" or "evolved" as a substitute for synthetic or laboratory-created, which logically created confusion for some shoppers.
There is no denying the basics; diamonds grown in presses are less expensive to bring to market than natural diamonds. They are also produced under controlled circumstances. However the "green-friendly" promotions which often accompany them is debatable, as it takes enough power to fuel a medium sized city to drive the presses which cause these crystals to grow over a months-long production process.
Traditional jewelers have voiced concerns that synthetic-diamonds will devalue natural diamonds. But industry authorities like Rob Bates of JCK caution against jumping to any conclusions. After all, natural diamonds are in finite supply. This makes them inherently valuable. It's also why I believe this ISO separation is a clear step in preserving the value of diamonds, which now legally refers only to the precious gemstones naturally birthed by mother earth, millions of years ago.