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Why do people purchase MMD?

sprinklesparkles

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
62
Say someone offers you two cookies. Identical. Same ingredients, same flavor, same size, same freshness.

The first costs $1, it's baked by people being paid living wages.

The second is identical in every way, baked by people who may or may not be being exploited, and costs $100.

Which cookie do you buy?
Also, either cookie, once you've taken a bite out of it no one's likely to pay you much for it, regardless of how special you think it is.

Maybe you'll get 20 cents for the $1 cookie, or $50 for the $100 cookie.

But would you rather have lost $1 or $50 in the end?

I like this analogy. In case you can't tell.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
4,970
Also, either cookie, once you've taken a bite out of it no one's likely to pay you much for it, regardless of how special you think it is.

Maybe you'll get 20 cents for the $1 cookie, or $50 for the $100 cookie.

But would you rather have lost $1 or $50 in the end?

I like this analogy. In case you can't tell.
I had a $1.99 packet chocolate mouse last night
it made 2 serves
it was surprising good
The OH couldn't tell the difference from one 6 times as exspensive
Im buying it again !
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
4,970

monipod

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
285
Definitely just economics for me. I've enjoyed my share of gorgeous earth mined stones and to fulfil my desire to have an Asscher cut of a decent size and clarity, I'll be turning to lab grown for sure.
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
827
I don't know where the idea that MMD have no ethical concerns came from. The stones are still cut by low wage workers in third world countries. How you feel about that is personal, of course.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,742
Say someone offers you two cookies. Identical. Same ingredients, same flavor, same size, same freshness.

The first costs $1, it's baked by people being paid living wages.

The second is identical in every way, baked by people who may or may not be being exploited, and costs $100.

Which cookie do you buy?
It is willfully-uneducated proselytizing like this that fuels blood diamond propaganda.

Diamonds have destroyed Zimbabwe lives. Many establishments, big and small, eschew Zimbabwe diamonds. Blue Nile and CBI come first to mind.

Diamonds have created and supported Botswana lives - the diamond trade has funded infrastructure, education, healthcare. Diamond mines guarantee Inuit employment in the Canadian Northwest Territories that would be otherwise impossible to procure. Success is of course predicated on governing authorities choosing to use revenue in ways that benefit the community.

How, precisely, do you guarantee that MMD creators and cutters have reasonable working conditions and are making a minimum/living wage? (Rhetorical - you don’t). What is the environmental impact of creating MMDs at scale? (Again, rhetorical - we don’t know yet).

Everyone needs to make decisions that they’re comfortable with. But swallowing the party line and regurgitating it does not constitute ethical, self-aware decision-making.

If ethics are truly top priority, then in mid-2020
A) Choosing a preloved stone ensures that you, personally, are not contributing to others’ exploitation, and
B) Choosing a mined stone from a trustworthy company that provides sourcing information and guarantees that all people in its source-to-sale pipeline are paid fairly takes “do no harm” a step further by actively benefitting societies that rely on that income.
 
Last edited:

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,402
It is willfully-uneducated proselytizing like this that fuels blood diamond propaganda.
Diamonds have destroyed Zimbabwe lives. Many establishments, big and small, eschew Zimbabwe diamonds. Blue Nile and CBI come first to mind.
Diamonds have created and supported Botswana lives - the diamond trade has funded infrastructure, education, healthcare. Diamond mines guarantee Inuit employment in the Canadian Northwest Territories that would be otherwise impossible to procure. Success is of course predicated on governing authorities choosing to use revenue in ways that benefit the community.

How, precisely, do you guarantee that MMD creators and cutters have reasonable working conditions and are making a minimum/living wage? (Rhetorical - you don’t). What is the environmental impact of creating MMDs at scale? (Again, rhetorical - we don’t know yet).

Everyone needs to make decisions that they’re comfortable with. But swallowing the party line and regurgitating it does not constitute ethical, self-aware decision-making.

If ethics are truly top priority, then in mid-2020
A) Choosing a preloved stone ensures that you, personally, are not contributing to others’ exploitation, and
B) Choosing a mined stone from a trustworthy company that provides sourcing information and guarantees that all people in its source-to-sale pipeline are paid fairly takes “do no harm” a step further by actively benefitting societies that rely on that income.
Thanks for the balanced view Yssie. I wrote this for our sales people because they are getting these questions - it seems the marketing campaigns of man made diamond budgets are very effective - but it does not make them true or accurate

1. We welcome back our diamonds from clients. We often get them back as trade-ups. We give full credit for what was paid for them. We can’t do that for man-made diamonds - they are falling in value.

2. De Beers are making and selling all carat weights of diamonds for US$800 per carat. Other factories prices are based on natural diamond rarity. A 2ct diamond costs 4 times more per carat than a half carat diamond. That is 4 times more than De Beers pricing. When De Beers finish their new factory in Oregon USA, prices will plummet! 2ct high color and clarity diamonds will cost one tenth - yes 10% - of what many comapnies are selling man made diamonds for.

3. We do not want to risk making a mistake by mixing factory grown diamonds with our natural diamonds.

4. Much of the marketing around factory grown diamonds is unethical. Even the name. These diamonds are grown in huge factories, not 'labs'. Google images of it.

5. 1 million African and Brazilian artisanal diamond miner’s livelihoods depend on natural diamonds. Skilled engineers plan cutting and polishing of natural diamonds in India. Synthetic diamonds need only low skilled polishing workers or robotics. No inclusions to cut around or misshapen rough.

6. Companies that claim to turn your loved one’s ashes into a diamond buy a synthetic diamond and throw out the ashes. We discovered cheating here in this very forum a decade ago.

7. The cheapest method grows a diamond layer by layer. The growth planes make the diamonds dull. It may take a decade to improve manufacturing quality. Diamond grading labs have no measures for transparency.

8. Claims that manufactured diamonds are environmentally friendly do not pass audits. The machinery is energy intensive. India and China manufacture’s use coal fired electricity. De Beers chose Oregon because that state has an amazing amount of cheap hydro power.

What is the difference? Visually none. With a jewellers loupe, none except for some with have metallic inclusions (catalyst). They are magnetic.
1595822881418.png

Can I be sure your diamonds are natural? Natural diamonds have nitrogen impurities (99% are Type I). We identify fakes in minutes. Screening tools range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Labs like GIA screen out synthetic diamonds. This image is taken by our gemologists using a high powered long and short wave UV testing device. Gemtrix scanning about 100 natural 0.01ct diamonds in a few seconds.

1595823153355.png
Are your diamonds blood/conflict diamonds? We buy our diamonds from members of the Responsible Jewellery Council. We were the first Australian firm to pass the RJC audit, even before Rio Tinto. Rio were foundation members along with the who’s who like Tiffany and Cartier. Whenever we deal with a new RJC supplier they audit us with a several page form. They only sell to ethical clients.

Is child labour used? As an expert diamond cut consultant, I have visited most of the factories where our diamonds are polished. Incomes are 5 to 10 times above average. Workers are highly skilled. A lot of technology and processes are used (including my cut grading tools). There are children involved in African artisanal mining. The same children work in village fields. We support the Diamond Development Initiative. DDI lobbied governments to allow children to become registered and licensed. That makes AIDs and other orphans and the poor safer from abuse.
1595823237639.png
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
6,119
I like rocks. I have none of these and would like to have some to compare. Of course price helps immensely. I would like to see prices come down some more though. I still can't afford something the size I'd like, which would be about 2 carats. Just slightly bigger than my ER, but an OEC cut. I have dreams. I usually only buy vintage, that is my first love.
Lyra, a little thread hijack...can you tell me about your adorable avatar?
 

Roselina

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
369
They are physically and chemically the same as earth diamonds yet significantly cheaper.

I have not bought one yet though, however, if I were to get one, it would be an OEC and/or a Heart cut.

DK :))
I have always wondered: if physically and chemically the same, can - once on the marked - be told, if a stone is created by nature or in a lab?
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
6,192
I have always wondered: if physically and chemically the same, can - once on the marked - be told, if a stone is created by nature or in a lab?
I am not an expert and could be wrong, however I believe MMDs would be like lab grown CSs, in that experts can spot the growth lines etc. under high magnifications.

DK :))
 

MelloYello8

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
282
Long time lab diamond consumer here. I used to believe I had some assurance that lab diamonds were ethically sourced because most producers were in the United States until recently. If mined diamond sellers continue to improve transparency by adopting blockchain technology and the proliferation of diamond lab producers overseas continue to make lab diamond manufacturing more opaque, then my next major purchase, perhaps for a milestone, will likely be a mined diamond.

Both industries need to improve their transparency game. As do many non-gem industries.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,589
2. De Beers are making and selling all carat weights of diamonds for US$800 per carat. Other factories prices are based on natural diamond rarity. A 2ct diamond costs 4 times more per carat than a half carat diamond. That is 4 times more than De Beers pricing. When De Beers finish their new factory in Oregon USA, prices will plummet! 2ct high color and clarity diamonds will cost one tenth - yes 10% - of what many comapnies are selling man made diamonds for.

5. 1 million African and Brazilian artisanal diamond miner’s livelihoods depend on natural diamonds. Skilled engineers plan cutting and polishing of natural diamonds in India. Synthetic diamonds need only low skilled polishing workers or robotics. No inclusions to cut around or misshapen rough.
Thanks for your detailed reply, Garry :))

May I ask a couple of (annoying :razz: lol) questions about 2 and 5 in the list?


2 -
Do we know if De Beers / Lightbox will create 2ct MMDs? Their position to date has been 'nothing over a carat' and so far they have been very slow to even get to that 1ct mark (without a drilled hole in it) so 2ct would be a substantial change in position!

It is fair to say, though, that 2ct MMD in G+ VVS specs and even reasonable cut would be considerably below the rest of the market's offerings to date :)


5 -
I recall that there are 'auto blocking' machines now, to remove the initial stages of the rough-to-polished process and reduce costs somewhat (in both MMD and Mined??) but are the sort of cuts we on PS would prefer within the capabilities of 'low skilled polishing workers'?

I think this question also relates to my other ramblings recently posted re: custom cutting/ordering MMDs - in that if we get to the point that MMDs can be ordered with whatever Ct/Colour/Clarity we might like, and to whatever angles and grading standard we wanted, all done by a machine that has the required numbers plugged into it, that would be an incredible opportunity to get what works well and to experiment as well :) albeit at the risk of jobs in the countries that such processing currently takes place. (Of course, if MMD is an additional market segment, rather than a replacement market segment, then surely that is win-win for everyone!)

[/off topic]
 

Bayek

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
7,044
Because they can be fireballs, cheaper and ethical. Same reason people buy synthetic sapphires, emeralds etc. I'd love one my self.
 

mommylawyer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
99
Phew i thoughf i was lossing my mind
I will dedinatly check out that thread ASAP
I wonder why lightbox won't ship to NZ ?
A worry for another day
Someone asked their jeweler about using the pierced stone for a ring, and the jeweler replied that dirt would collect in the hole once the piercing was removed, making the stone look cloudy. I can't find the thread now, but I remember reading it a few weeks ago.
 

mommylawyer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
99
For me, cost is the only factor. Diamonds are luxury goods, and my jewelry purchases fall within my discretionary spending budget. I recently purchased a Lightbox pink diamond pendant during the Bloomies sale because the price was excellent, and foregoing a mined pink diamond left me with enough room in my budget for an exquisite pair of antique pearl earrings and a miner's cut diamond ring.

Take any luxury item: handbags, for example. Everyone has their floor and their ceiling. Personally, I wouldn't buy a Birkin when I could get four or five Chanels and/or Goyards for the same price. Others feel differently. To each her own.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,402
Thanks for your detailed reply, Garry :))

May I ask a couple of (annoying :razz: lol) questions about 2 and 5 in the list?


2 -
Do we know if De Beers / Lightbox will create 2ct MMDs? Their position to date has been 'nothing over a carat' and so far they have been very slow to even get to that 1ct mark (without a drilled hole in it) so 2ct would be a substantial change in position!

It is fair to say, though, that 2ct MMD in G+ VVS specs and even reasonable cut would be considerably below the rest of the market's offerings to date :)


5 -
I recall that there are 'auto blocking' machines now, to remove the initial stages of the rough-to-polished process and reduce costs somewhat (in both MMD and Mined??) but are the sort of cuts we on PS would prefer within the capabilities of 'low skilled polishing workers'?

I think this question also relates to my other ramblings recently posted re: custom cutting/ordering MMDs - in that if we get to the point that MMDs can be ordered with whatever Ct/Colour/Clarity we might like, and to whatever angles and grading standard we wanted, all done by a machine that has the required numbers plugged into it, that would be an incredible opportunity to get what works well and to experiment as well :) albeit at the risk of jobs in the countries that such processing currently takes place. (Of course, if MMD is an additional market segment, rather than a replacement market segment, then surely that is win-win for everyone!)

[/off topic]
Thanks for your detailed reply, Garry :))

May I ask a couple of (annoying :razz: lol) questions about 2 and 5 in the list?


2 -
Do we know if De Beers / Lightbox will create 2ct MMDs? Their position to date has been 'nothing over a carat' and so far they have been very slow to even get to that 1ct mark (without a drilled hole in it) so 2ct would be a substantial change in position!
I believe so OS
It is fair to say, though, that 2ct MMD in G+ VVS specs and even reasonable cut would be considerably below the rest of the market's offerings to date :)
When Andrey and I attended a LightBox presentation in Vegas last year they claimed they were manufacturing to +G +VS standards. Remeber De Beers have begun suing companies for breaching their patents - and they have the best technology and experience in this space (along with GE and Sumitomo). And it is for that reason they do not see the point in grading certificates for a manufactured rpoduct - imagine a certificate for shoes or handbags to prove its leather????

5 -
I recall that there are 'auto blocking' machines now, to remove the initial stages of the rough-to-polished process and reduce costs somewhat (in both MMD and Mined??) but are the sort of cuts we on PS would prefer within the capabilities of 'low skilled polishing workers'?
Autoblocking for the 8 main crown and pavilion facets is used in some high end stones too because the final stage of brillianteering is still done by hand. Although Sergey and Co are working on all that technology too.

I think this question also relates to my other ramblings recently posted re: custom cutting/ordering MMDs - in that if we get to the point that MMDs can be ordered with whatever Ct/Colour/Clarity we might like, and to whatever angles and grading standard we wanted, all done by a machine that has the required numbers plugged into it, that would be an incredible opportunity to get what works well and to experiment as well :) albeit at the risk of jobs in the countries that such processing currently takes place. (Of course, if MMD is an additional market segment, rather than a replacement market segment, then surely that is win-win for everyone!)
I think that is the main point - De Beers see this as a costume self purchase bling market.
When I read many of the posts here that seems to be fairly true.
Sure some tech head nerds will propose with a man made diamond - and good luck to them and I hope their brides dreams come true. But by and large it does not seem that too many Joe in the street blokes are going to fall into that trap ;-)
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,589
Thanks, Garry! :)


It is fair to say, though, that 2ct MMD in G+ VVS specs and even reasonable cut would be considerably below the rest of the market's offerings to date :)
When Andrey and I attended a LightBox presentation in Vegas last year they claimed they were manufacturing to +G +VS standards. Remeber De Beers have begun suing companies for breaching their patents - and they have the best technology and experience in this space (along with GE and Sumitomo). And it is for that reason they do not see the point in grading certificates for a manufactured rpoduct - imagine a certificate for shoes or handbags to prove its leather????
Reading my wording back, I think I missed some words out and have made my comment confusing :lol: lol

What I should have said was "It is fair to say, though, that 2ct MMD in G+ VVS specs and even reasonable cut would be considerably below the rest of the market's offerings to date in terms of price" - in that 2ct stones with high colour/clarity for $1600 will sell like hot cakes! :D
 

makb1029

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Messages
12
the other day I heard someone say, "maybe diamonds are deep within the earth because mother nature doesnt want us taking them" and I agreed hahaha. Cost, ethical aspects, and the fact that it IS still a diamond. I just think spending so much on an earth diamond is pointless, JUST to be able to say that it came from the earth. A diamond is a diamond to me. Also, CZ is not a diamond at all. lab diamonds ARE real diamonds. The source is just different.
 

Ada Diamonds CEO

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
46
I was a very early adopter of lab diamonds, choosing fancy light blue diamonds for my wife's engagement ring back in 2012, pairing her natural sapphire with matching ~0.35ct side stones and a matching pavé band.

Why did we choose lab diamonds?
  1. My wife refused to buy any mined diamonds after watching this WSJ video in 2010
  2. I, as an engineer, thought it was so damn cool that humanity could make diamonds
In fact, we found our vendor via Pricescope!

Fast forward 3 years, I quit my day job and joined the trade. But at the time, I never would have dreamed of leaving tech to sell lab diamonds.
 

mommylawyer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
99
the other day I heard someone say, "maybe diamonds are deep within the earth because mother nature doesnt want us taking them" and I agreed hahaha. Cost, ethical aspects, and the fact that it IS still a diamond. I just think spending so much on an earth diamond is pointless, JUST to be able to say that it came from the earth. A diamond is a diamond to me. Also, CZ is not a diamond at all. lab diamonds ARE real diamonds. The source is just different.
That quote is cracking me up. :lol::lol::lol: I am actually crying from laughing.
 
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