It’s about time!


I was interested to read that Pandora, the world’s largest jewelry brand, will switch completely to artificial or synthetic diamonds instead of mined stones.

CEO Alexander Lacik said the move will make the gems ‘accessible’ to more people as well as further the company’s efforts to make its supply chain more sustainable, ethical and traceable.

. . .

Lacik told the BBC the jewelry can be made and retailed at much lower costs than mined diamonds.  

‘We can essentially create the same outcome as nature has created, but at a very, very different price,’ he said, adding that they are made for as little as ‘a third of what it is for something that we’ve dug up from the ground.’

. . .

But the company said there is no compromise in the quality, with the lab-made jewels ‘physically, chemically, and optically identical to their mined counterparts but they are created above ground’.

There’s more at the link.

De Beers for decades tried to prevent the free trading of diamonds, instead trying to persuade producers to enter a monopolistic cartel-like arrangement where prices could be forced artificially high.  Diamonds are basically very common;  even gem-quality stones aren’t all that rare, and artificial equivalents have been around for the past forty to fifty years.  The cartel began to splinter in the early 2000’s, as new producers broke away from the monopoly.  Now that technology has reached the point where an artificially created diamond is literally indistinguishable from its natural equivalent, I expect the final elements of the cartel to collapse.

Diamonds should be far, far cheaper than they are, when one considers how relatively abundant they are in nature.  Perhaps a step like this by a major jeweler will finally allow prices to find their own natural level, rather than see unfairly high prices being extorted from the consumer.



  1. Being old, and having bought diamond rings for two wives (first one died), I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna buy another. Wife #2 is 15 years younger than me.

  2. Synthetic diamonds have been around since the '50s, but in the size, clarity and color required to be gem grade they're more recent. There were some very pretty yellow diamonds (nitrogen contamination) but big, clear to blue-white are a newer thing.

    DeBeers would limit diamond production to numbers based on the expected numbers of weddings in the US and Japan. When diamonds started coming out of Russia, Canada and other places, the handwriting was on the wall for DeBeers.

    I've got to tell you, though, one of the most … interesting experiences in my life was holding a handful of diamonds. They were out of Africa, an unknown source a friend was developing. Yeah they were all "few point" stones, side stones for most jewelry, but it was still pretty novel.

  3. I think the DeBeers family members have a warrant for their arrest still pending in this country. Glad they can make diamonds artificially now. The use of diamonds in industry is well known.

    The most pretentious of ads from DeBeers was "I learned from my jeweler that I should spend two months salary on my engagement ring" Imagine that!

  4. As I recall, DeBeers didn't just try to restrict free trade in diamonds. They succeeded quite well at it for decades.

  5. As I explained to my beloved, beyond industrial use, diamonds are worthless. An artificial value created to represent wealth and, to most suckers, “love”. I would not and will not spend thousands of $ to prove my love to a woman. If she can’t glean it from my daily actions, she’s not the woman for me.

    This hit home for her when she pawned her engagement ring from her previous marriage. The gold had some value, several hundred $ worth, but she didn’t have the paperwork to support what the quality and weight of the stone was, so it was essentially worthless – to the buyer. He’ll resell it at about 10,000% profit.

  6. It also doesn't help the diamond brokers that marriage rates are at an all time low and that the diamond engagement ring is rapidly going out of fashion.

    The general consensus I've been able to glean is that younger Gen Y neither wants nor can afford such things so its necessity to push new markets and new stones.

  7. Most younger people simply find diamonds boring.

    Also the spread of information has tainted, sometimes rightfully so, the image of precious stones.

    The only reason to pay more is for bragging rights.

  8. Screw Debeers, their propaganda, their monopolistic cartel practices, and the whole lake of blood on their hands.

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