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How do Lab vs Earth mined Diamonds retain value- or trade up?

DejaWiz

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@DejaWiz
You- and many of the consumers reading this possess knowledge so far beyond that of the typical consumer. So imagine we’re speaking about of average consumers.
I was speaking of how LG’s force questions......
I realize that I really don’t like the word “Synthetic” to describe the stones I’ve taken the time to locate and purchase.
Why?
They’re like my little babies. Just like the ones we buy from Mars. I mean earth:)
Seriously- speaking for myself.....I adore what I do for a living exactly because I find something truly special about certain diamonds.
How could I love something “synthetic “.....eeewie!


I totally get it.
More often than not, I have to put myself in check because of the stigma associated with the word synthetic whenever I see/hear it used...especially in advertising...and then dig a little further to find out what the intended representation of the word is: "real exact copy" or "simulated fake"?
 

DejaWiz

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@Rockdiamond to discuss the crux of your intended focus further:

As a consumer, here is how I used to perceive lab diamonds before I ripped through the science of them and then compared numerous LGD's and naturals side-by-side from a variety of sellers.

1. They're fake
2. They won't look the same as natural
3. The seller is trying to fool me
4. They're expensive for being fake
5. I should just stick with a CZ or Moissanite instead

After merely a few days of research visiting a handful of amongst the millions and millions of websites and videos around the world geared towards the education about LGD's, I was utterly shocked that synthesized diamonds were at the amazing state of existence that they are now, instead of just industrial grade for things like augmenting the blades of saws.
 
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Rockdiamond

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You and me both!
I was drawn into LG’s because of consumer demand ( people asked for them)
I bought the first one, for a client, about a year ago and, like you Deja, I was amazed.
Up till that point I had my head firmly in the sand.
And- like you before the research, many times people confuse LG with moissy or cz
 

Rockdiamond

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So, I was relating the debate about semantics to my 10 year old.
“What does synthetic mean dad?”
Synthetic
noun
Definition of synthetic (Entry 2 of 2)
: something resulting from synthesis rather than occurring naturally
So read the Webster definition to him

“What’s synthesis dad?”
 

DejaWiz

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So, I was relating the debate about semantics to my 10 year old.
“What does synthetic mean dad?”

So read the Webster definition to him

“What’s synthesis dad?”

And down the rabbit hole of genuinely accurate knowledge he goes!

When I worked as a quality coordinator writing ISO9001 compliant procedures and documents for a former employer, I was told by my QA manager to write everything at a 6th grade level for ease if interpretation and understanding...for skilled technicians!
I can only harbor a guess that average consumers still won't understand, to differing degrees, the truthful technical information about LGD's out there now and new info being published daily in order to conclude that there is no structurally molecular difference between synthetic and natural diamonds.

I'm glad to know that there is specific demand for them, which means that many average consumers are becoming educated consumers!
 
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DejaWiz

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While we're on this semantic discussion, what's the difference between a lab and a factory?

Nothing, other than "lab" sprinkles the invocation of "big science" mystique into people's minds.
 

Rockdiamond

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This actually brings another point into the discussion.
One of my first questions when we got into LGs
“Why not make all of the D/ IF?”
I leaned that the consistency of heat and pressure determines if the resulting rough is colorless, or has imperfections.
Be it factory or lab, this aspect comes into play. Feels better calling it a lab for this reason ( to me)
 

DejaWiz

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This actually brings another point into the discussion.
One of my first questions when we got into LGs
“Why not make all of the D/ IF?”
I leaned that the consistency of heat and pressure determines if the resulting rough is colorless, or has imperfections.
Be it factory or lab, this aspect comes into play. Feels better calling it a lab for this reason ( to me)


To be super technical, I think the most appropriate term would be "foundry" or "fab" instead of lab or factory.
 

John Pollard

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Genuinely interested in why you see “right and wrong (implied) in the semantics John.
My own personal experience is that both consumers and dealers benefit from honest representation. The term “Earth Mined” seems both complimentary as well as accurate from my perspective. I also have an issue with seller claiming “Green superiority” of Lab Grown diamonds. Which might be part of Garry’s issue.
But for those of us doing our best to honestly represent both.....I just don’t get the issue.

This may never be an issue in your circles @Rockdiamond. I wasn't aware either. I credit @Garry H (Cut Nut) for first alerting me.

When he did, I confirmed it with the principals of a luxury brand for whom I've been instructing a series of online courses for the last year. This brand has spent millions on CSR research so I don't doubt their findings or position. Whether the "issue" is confined to natural collection quality diamond luxury sellers or not, it's enough for me to know it's a loaded term among some prominent pros whom I respect.

I think awareness also breeds more awareness. More recently I instructed a webinar for the U.S. retail clients of a progressive LGD producer and took note of how many times their facilitator (a very well spoken lady) chose to use the term "mined diamond." YMMV.

RE Green: Pop down to "Environmental Responsibility" in this post. Unless my info needs updating there are only two companies who have achieved SCS Global's Sustainability Certificate. The vast majority of LGD growers are in areas with no hydroelectricity and burn fossil fuels to power their reactors.
 

John Pollard

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When I worked as a quality coordinator writing ISO9001 compliant procedures and documents for a former employer, I was told by my QA manager to write everything at a 6th grade level for ease if interpretation and understanding...for skilled technicians!
I can only harbor a guess that average consumers still won't understand, to differing degrees, the truthful technical information about LGD's out there now and new info being published daily in order to conclude that there is no structurally molecular difference between synthetic and natural diamonds.

That's the hammer whacking the nail @DejaWiz . Our immersion creates the potential for tone-deaf (on our part) mentioned before.

I am confident that the average person (6th grade to skilled technician) might confuse the word synthetic with fake. The FTC confirmed it. It's not a stretch to presume some people associate the word 'mining' with toxic runoff, contamination, unsafe conditions, cave-ins and trapped workers. That's not diamond mining. But the hoi polloi aren't immersed and aware of that, as we are.
 

MollyMalone

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All man made gems marketed and sold as their natural counterparts have been called synthetic David - by all branches of gemologists and Gemmologists (by some wired quirk of history - the two M's are actually correct, even though I do not agree).
The only change that ever came about is that the US FTC decided that synthetic was a bad usage. They have their geopolitical reasons which have nothing to do with the actual gem industry scientists.
* * *
GIA GTL pulled it recently because they want business and the FTC ruling supported their decision.
All other international gem orgs use synthetic because they don't see the reason to create different categories for different gems. But then they are not half billion dollar or more a year businesses and tax free ones at that!
This is mistaken view. IGDA had asked the US Federal Trade Commission to ban "synthetic" on the ground that it was misleading to consumers, many of whom thought it meant imitations/simulants/fakes like CZs (there were studies that showed that & we've seen it here on PS; it's consumers who are the FTC's concern). But although "synthetic" is no longer among the recommended descriptors for lab-created diamonds, the FTC's revised Guidelines, issued in 2018, do not prohibit calling a synthetic diamond a synthetic diamond:
"(c) It is unfair or deceptive to use the word 'laboratory-grown,' 'laboratory-created,' “[manufacturer name]-created,' 'synthetic,' or other word or phrase of like meaning with the name of any natural stone to describe any industry product unless such product has essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as the stone named." [emphasis added]​
-- 16 CFR 23.25 (c), noted in 16 CFR 23.12 (c) as providing additional guidance for laboratory-grown diamonds.​
Also see, e.g., this JCK piece after the FTC sent out warning letters in 2019
to 8 retailers of man-made diamonds and of simulants: "contrary to some assertions, the FTC did not say that sellers could not use the term synthetic...."

I did a deep dive into, e.g., the FTC and Westlaw websites. So far as I can determine, the FTC has not taken any action against a retailer who describes their man-made diamonds as synthetic. But odds are -- because of the negative connotation that synthetic has in the minds of many consumers -- synthetic, standing alone, is rarely used by vendors.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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I think this is a textbook example of “disruption”.
I have found that some of the stalwarts of the wholesale NY diamond scene just can’t accept the changes that are happening now- as well as trying to anticipate what’s on the horizon.
Which makes perfect sense if you think about it.
In some ways these old timers in NYC are living in a bubble.
The “natural” ( feel better Mate?:)diamond business is built on a series of rules which we all accept without question.
LGs force questions.



Earth mined
Earth mined
Earth mined

I’m the devil:)

Dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaur

hahahaha - for those who have not been around a long time - when David first joined he bought so many points of view from the NYC 47th street here and we had some really great debates and fights.
David was called Dinosaur on many occasions.

David I have learned from you and am also proud of how you have taken on loads of new info.

As to the semantics debates - I find it all rather childish and appalling. But then I am an old fart who believes that innovation and advancement is more important than 'letter writing'.
(If you can't open this copy to a rarely used browser)

 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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This is mistaken view. IGDA had asked the US Federal Trade Commission to ban "synthetic" on the ground that it was misleading to consumers, many of whom thought it meant imitations/simulants/fakes like CZs (there were studies that showed that & we've seen it here on PS; it's consumers who are the FTC's concern). But although "synthetic" is no longer among the recommended descriptors for lab-created diamonds, the FTC's revised Guidelines, issued in 2018, do not prohibit calling a synthetic diamond a synthetic diamond:
"(c) It is unfair or deceptive to use the word 'laboratory-grown,' 'laboratory-created,' “[manufacturer name]-created,' 'synthetic,' or other word or phrase of like meaning with the name of any natural stone to describe any industry product unless such product has essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as the stone named." [emphasis added]​
-- 16 CFR 23.25 (c), noted in 16 CFR 23.12 (c) as providing additional guidance for laboratory-grown diamonds.​
Also see, e.g., this JCK piece after the FTC sent out warning letters in 2019
to 8 retailers of man-made diamonds and of simulants: "contrary to some assertions, the FTC did not say that sellers could not use the term synthetic...."

I did a deep dive into, e.g., the FTC and Westlaw websites. So far as I can determine, the FTC has not taken any action against a retailer who describes their man-made diamonds as synthetic. But odds are -- because of the negative connotation that synthetic has in the minds of many consumers -- synthetic, standing alone, is rarely used by vendors.
Funny that.
Synthetic was OK for 120 years Molly ;-)
 

Rockdiamond

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David, can you say more about this?
Sure!
In addition to fairly substantial changes to the “Rap Sheet”, certain Fancy Yellow grades are fetching about 25% more than 2 months ago.
We’d need that crystal ball to say for sure but I’m hopeful it’s a simple case of lack of supply ( Particularly Indian cutters affected by Covid) at the very same time demand is rising here due to our recovery
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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Funny that.
Synthetic was OK for 120 years Molly ;-)

As I noted above, it is still OK. Also, the FTC continues to condemn using
"'real,' 'genuine,' “natural,' 'precious,' 'semi-precious,' or similar terms to describe any industry product that is manufactured or produced artificially."
16 CFR 23.27
And as evidenced by the 2019 letter I linked above, the FTC has "called out" Diamond Foundry and others for not "clearly and conspicuously disclosing that the diamonds are laboratory-created." I.e., the naked use of diamond for MMDs is not permissible -- contrary to the impression some folks had when the revised Guidelines were first issued, despite the educational efforts of, e.g., the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

So I'm left wondering, "what's your beef?"
 
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Garry H (Cut Nut)

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As I noted above, it is still OK. Also, the FTC continues to condemn using
"'real,' 'genuine,' “natural,' 'precious,' 'semi-precious,' or similar terms to describe any industry product that is manufactured or produced artificially."
16 CFR 23.27
And as evidenced by the 2019 letter I linked above, the FTC has "called out" Diamond Foundry and others for not "clearly and conspicuously disclosing that the diamonds are laboratory-created." I.e., the naked use of diamond for MMDs is not permissible -- contrary to the impression some folks had when the revised Guidelines were first issued, despite the educational efforts of, e.g., the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

So I'm left wondering, "what's your beef?"
Medium well, with a preference for farmed bison. (bison medium)

Sorry for not reading carefully enough MollyM!

Can we extend the discussion to Soy Milk, Vegan Meat etc?
 

Chas23

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This is near and dear to me. On the one hand, I detest when people “oversell” aspects of anything I’m shopping for. So when I see diamond sellers claiming they’re a good financial investment, I cringe ( or put up a PS post:))
But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Diamonds have traditionally held more value than most other consumer goods.
Speaking in broad terms- someone who bought a $25k diamond last year won’t easily be able to get back their $25k. But they certainly might be able to recover $12500. Sounds like a horrible investment- which you t is is the financial aspect was the primary reason for purchase.
Bit if you bought it to enjoy and fell on hard times ( heaven forbid) the $12500 might change your life.
*add to this that readers of PS are more likely to buy more desirable diamonds at non exaggerated prices

similar to a car. don't expect much back but you'll get something for it
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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similar to a car. don't expect much back but you'll get something for it
Not quite, A car will depreciate away for 20 years to $50 (unless it is a limited edition prestige maybe).
A diamond will fall immediately because they are not all the same and market matching is required. The cost of holding and reselling, re-certing, re-setting etc.

But after that initial drop the diamond will hold it's base price for ever.
That is of course if it is a natural diamond and not a syn syn syn OOPs man made diamond.
(David when are we going to get Woman Made Diamonds?)
 

Rockdiamond

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I have often used an automotive analogy… in a different way.
Buying a diamond is like buying a used car.
As opposed to the new Tesla, the used one has a lot of questions associated with it. Was it in an accident? Is the odometer accurate or has it been messed with?
This makes the quality of the seller far more important.
With the new Tesla, you can compare prices dealer to dealer ( actually Tesla is a bad example, let’s switch to Ford)
With the used car example, it’s not necessarily apples to apples.

But after that initial drop the diamond will hold it's base price for ever.
I love your confidence!!!
I don’t feel it’s based in reality. “Ever” is a long long time.
Certainly it’s plausible but really, there’s no guarantees in life.
Still, I’ve “bet the farm” on the value staying put.


(David when are we going to get Woman Made Diamonds?)


Never have the words “Man Made Diamond” escaped from my mouth :)
It’s “Lab Grown”, you Earthling!!!
 

Kaede

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Back when I was a kid, piano keys were made of elephant ivory; they were better for playing. We got mink stoles when we graduated from college. Tortoiseshell glasses use to be made from sea turtle shells. Not so anymore. There are good substitutes. Will mined diamonds ever be considered in the same light? A brutal luxury that belongs in the past?
 

DejaWiz

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Will mined diamonds ever be considered in the same light? A brutal luxury that belongs in the past?

Doubtful. Many strides have been made to ensure that ethical mining practices are enacted and followed. CanadaMark/Dominion (2003, relaunched 2014) is a good example, to my knowledge...even amidst the Kimberly Process (2003).
 

Kaede

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Doubtful. Many strides have been made to ensure that ethical mining practices are enacted and followed. CanadaMark/Dominion (2003, relaunched 2014) is a good example, to my knowledge...even amidst the Kimberly Process (2003).

Thanks, I was wondering.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Back when I was a kid, piano keys were made of elephant ivory; they were better for playing. We got mink stoles when we graduated from college. Tortoiseshell glasses use to be made from sea turtle shells. Not so anymore. There are good substitutes. Will mined diamonds ever be considered in the same light? A brutal luxury that belongs in the past?

Will you give up all your electronic devices until the DRC resolves conflict and makes mining Coltan safe?
 

DejaWiz

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Will you give up all your electronic devices until the DRC resolves conflict and makes mining Coltan safe?

Plus cobalt and gold, amongst other conflict minerals.
 

Kaede

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Will you give up all your electronic devices until the DRC resolves conflict and makes mining Coltan safe?

I see your point, but wearing a jewel isn't the same as having access to electronic devices. I may want a diamond, I need the computers that run my tractors.
 
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