The synthetic diamonds vs. real diamonds debate continues. Natural diamond rarity means that the real stones continue to be valued more highly by customers. Will this change? The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) is determined to make sure shoppers remember to distinguish between the two.
A Global Movement
The WFDB is made up of 29 affiliated bourse members and serves as an oversight organization for the accredited diamond bourses the world over. It protects the interests of diamond bourses and their members, helps arbitrate disputes, and promotes the world trade of diamonds.
Natural diamond rarity means that the relatively small number of real diamonds is what makes them valuable. They can take billions of years to form and rise back up to the surface. Synthetic diamonds created in a lab have many of the same characteristics, but even the best-made synthetic stones can still be recognized by experts and sorted out by melee diamond analysis.
Are Synthetics Like Clones?
Dior jewelry chief Victoire de Castellane has gone so far as to compare synthetic diamonds to clones. She's not the first to focus on the art inherent in working with a natural material, compared with the science of simply pumping out volume. What's natural is precious, and designers want to work with what's precious and unique.
There's a feeling that customers, too, are invested in jewelry remaining rare and precious. Nobody wants to buy jewelry that will depreciate quickly, and this is a fear that remains consistent when it comes to synthetic diamonds vs. real ones. Natural diamond rarity means that real pieces will retain their value. Lab-grown stones haven't had the time to build a history of retaining or losing their value one way or the other.
Customers Prefer the Proven Value
What remains certain is that natural diamonds will hold theirs. They will remain a valuable gift for customers, whether for loved ones or for themselves. Synthetic diamonds will simply see more product pumped into the market – that makes them far less likely to retain their value.
Customers are willing to spend a bit more for natural stones when they're educated about the difference between natural and synthetic. Everyone has a revulsion to the cheap knockoff when purchasing a luxury. Of course, this means that retailers must learn to impart this knowledge without browbeating customers.
It also means retailers need to work with suppliers who put every stone through analysis to ensure its nature. Instill in customers a confidence that natural diamonds will remain the better buy long into the future, and then give them beautiful designs using stones analyzed for their natural origin.