Carbon copy

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Kensington & Chelsea 

As you wiggle your finger, it dances and sparkles in the light, throwing out rainbow hues that make you gasp and coo. But what if I told you that the diamond you are admiring came not from beneath the Earth’s surface, but a pristine lab in Silicone Valley? Would it change how you feel about it?

This is a question worth considering as science now gives us the option of buying diamonds created by humans. In labs across the world, from Germany to China, men and women in white coats are recreating the exact same conditions that turned carbon into diamonds all those millions of years ago. And it’s working.

Not to be confused with cubic zirconia or rhinestones, lab-grown diamonds are real and have the same optical and gemological properties as mined diamonds. Even trained gemmologists sometimes can’t tell the difference…

This story was published in the March 2018 issue of Kensington & Chelsea magazine. Click here to see a digital version of the magazine (starts p34) and continue reading to see layouts and download full-sized PDFs. Main image: Anabela Chan. 

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One thought on “Carbon copy

  1. This is a very interesting debate.
    I understand that lab-grown diamonds lack the value they have because of their rarity, because of being mined, because they are million-year-old… But I do also understand those players in the industry that do not want to miss the business opportunity and give access to a dream that, otherwise, would be unattainable, thus enhancing their trade…
    “Schools of thought”, as we say in Italian, both understandable. The risk is the non-disclosure, the fact that lab-grown diamonds can be (and sometimes are) sold as natural.
    This is the real danger, in my opinion.


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