Selling Lab Grown Diamonds – a Really Old Debate.

There’s no shortage of recent articles on Lab Grown Diamonds , and most would think this is a relatively new debate, 4-5 years at best. After all, commercially available LGD’s aren’t that old, right?


This debate has been around for a very long time, just different semantics, but the same underlying arguments. To provide a brief history, I joined the diamond business in 1974. At that time, a scientist invented YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet – for you techies) the first of many manmade diamond simulants. When YAG was introduced, there was a virtual panic on 47th St.  Many dealers decided to dump their inventory at any price. Their fear surrounded the notion that diamonds will go out of style, especially if you can buy manmade simulants for a fraction of the price. Prices fell by 25% instantly.

My father, who had a unique ability of seeing very clearly through issues, brushed aside these fears. “So which lady will be willing to marry a man who gives her a worthless piece of glass?” And, in fact, he was proved right – very quickly. Within 3 months prices fully recovered, and the YAG threat never came to be.

YAG was followed by GGG, then CZ, then Moissanite, and finally Lab Grown Diamonds.  But, the underlying theory is the same. And actually, all of these were preceded by…glass. A millennia ago, the real diamond was challenged by glass imitations. And, once again, the threat proved to be harmless.

The real diamond, mined from the depths of the Earth, represents a symbol of commitment, love, and selfless giving. In short – it says Forever.  All these simulants, including Lab Grown Diamonds, say nothing. They have no resale value; they show no sense of commitment, and certainly no sense of Forever.

I predict, like my father did 45 years ago, the threat of diamonds grown in a lab (branded or otherwise) will disappear as soon as consumers realize their stone has no lasting value. As an industry, that’s the story we have to tell. That’s the “real” story.

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