An Introduction to Manmade Diamonds
By Bill Boyajian
Introduction to the series. A note from Gabriel & Co.:
Gabriel & Co. has long supported clear, accurate, and unambiguous disclosure of natural mined diamonds as well as all man-made and treated gem materials. In support of full disclosure, Gabriel & Co. has chosen to use only natural diamonds that can be verified through our stringent sourcing and tracking processes.
This series of articles on synthetic diamonds is designed to educate and inform readers on the importance of proper knowledge and disclosure of man-made diamonds. The diamond industry has long strived to create an industry standard for natural diamonds formed over millions of years and are now mined with conflict free processes, transparent sourcing and valid tracking principles – the same industry standards should be created for man-made diamonds that support full disclosure.
Gabriel & Co. has invited Bill Boyaijian, graduate gemologist, former president of the GIA, and founder and CEO of Bill Boyajian & Associates as a guest blogger to write a series of articles for “Are Diamonds Forever” blog. This blog’s intention is to inform consumers on what they are actually purchasing to better suit their needs. You can also find more on the subject by going to the article about Lab-grown diamonds on JCK website.
When Mary Frances Gerety of the advertising agency, NW Ayer, famously coined the slogan “a diamond is forever,” she may not have imagined that diamonds would one day become manmade creations. But progress and technology wait for no one. And so it is with even the hardest – and arguably one of the most beautiful – substances known to humankind.
In 1954 Tracy Hall of General Electric Corporation created the first industrial-quality synthetic diamond. Since then, the wheels of heavy machinery (and even delicate tools and equipment), have rolled on the massive production of synthetic diamond. Yet the human quest to create larger and better quality manmade diamonds began, and though it has taken decades to perfect their gem-quality production, they are now a factor to deal with for the natural diamond trade, and an emerging alternative for the diamond buying public.
Diamonds are made up of almost 100% pure carbon, and under tremendous heat and pressure form diamond crystals of potentially great value. So for years these precious stones have been copied in appearance by numerous “look-alike” gem materials, some natural, but most manmade. Many people are familiar with the common imitation, Cubic Zirconia (also known as CZ), a manmade product that looks like diamond, but doesn’t replicate the unusual and lasting qualities of a true diamond. CZ is best referred to as an “imitation” of diamond.
Manmade diamonds (synthetics) have essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as their natural counterparts. To be sure, they ARE diamond, yet made by man. Perhaps even Mary Frances Gerety would appreciate that.
Bill is a Graduate Gemologist and expert in the diamond and gemstone trade. He is the former long-time president of the Gemological Institute of America, and is currently founder & CEO of Bill Boyajian & Associates, Inc. His company consults for a wide variety of businesses in the gem and jewelry industry, specializing in leadership, business management, organizational development, family transition, and succession planning. Bill is the author of Developing the Mind of a Leader – Your Path to Lead and Inspire People. He is a sought-after business coach, advisor, and speaker, and can be reached at email@example.com.