5 reasons to buy natural diamonds

Engagement ring Expertise

Written by Bérengère Treussard - Thursday, February 17, 2022

It is difficult to tell the difference between a lab-grown (synthetic) diamond and a natural diamond… Let's clear things up by giving 5 reasons why you should buy natural diamonds, so you can become an informed consumer who knows how to preserve his heritage.

1. Value

Currently, the price differential between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds is quite significant (30 to 50%), which can raise legitimate questions when making a purchase. It is however quite obvious – natural diamonds are becoming an increasingly scarce natural resource, while synthetic diamonds are produced in labs in increasingly large quantities. The value gap will thus inevitably widen in a much more significant way. We do not know this value gap yet, but it is very likely that the difference within 5 years will be over 50%.

Diamond deposits are more difficult to find and the number of diamonds that are mined has been decreasing since 2005. Put simply, the annual production of diamonds of 1+ carat could be held inside a large gym ball, and the production of diamonds of 5+ carats inside a basketball.

Moreover, the latest Rapaport Report (the primary source of diamond prices), dated January 21, 2022, already indicates a general 15% increase in diamonds and in particular small paving stones. It therefore seems that lab-grown diamonds are already falling considerably in these same calibers.

Therefore, one could easily conclude that upon resale, natural diamonds will always be more valuable than synthetic diamonds. The value of a natural diamond is more likely to increase over time.

2. Uniqueness

Natural diamonds are unique. Formed 1-3 billion years ago, over a hundred kilometers below the surface of the earth, created by the heat and pressure of the earth, natural diamonds are one of the oldest elements we can touch or hold, and that is what makes them so unique and wonderful.

Indeed, just like any natural element, no natural diamond is like another. It has inclusions or distinctive features, such as having perfect purity, which therefore makes it a unique and singular stone.

Synthetic diamonds, on the other hand, are synthetic carbon without history, singularity and therefore without any mystery or emotion attached to it. It was developed for industrial purposes by General Electric in the 1950s using a high-pressure and high-temperature chemical process.

For me, gemstones, and in particular natural diamonds, are fabulous precisely because they come from the depths of the earth, and because it is rare and difficult to extract them and cut them afterwards.

3. Symbolism

Diamonds are a symbol of eternal love. In particular, this is based on the stone's durability, which has gone through billions of years. Diamonds are used as engagement rings to represent this love and wish it lasts forever. Now, does a synthetic diamond carry the same symbolic value? I am not so sure.

“Solaire” ring by Laura Gallon © Laura Gallon

Diamonds were discovered in India only 4,000 years ago and the tradition of engagement rings dates back to 1477, when Archduke Maximilian asked for the hand of Mary of Burgundy.

Diamonds were also carried into Greek mythology - Cupid's arrows were tipped with diamonds. A quick etymological lesson: the word "diamond" is actually derived from the Greek word "Adamas", which means imperishable, unbreakable or untamable... just like Love, right?

4. Durability and traceability

Today, more than ever, consumers want to know where their products come from and the impact of their purchases on producing countries and local communities. Since then, natural diamond producers have reacted and got organized, in accordance with the Kimberley Process in particular, and diamonds have now entered the blockchain. It is easier to trace them from mine to consumer and populations are protected, cared for and educated.

Indeed, natural diamonds feed communities, help build schools and protect indigenous lands and their biodiversity. The diamond industry supports 10 million people worldwide.

In terms of sustainability and social commitment, the natural diamond industry recently presented its positive impact on health, education and biodiversity, with supporting figures. A true miracle of nature, natural diamonds are also a precious gift for the people and the economy of the countries where they are located. To choose this rare and precious gemstone is to treat oneself while helping to improve the world around us and especially to protect biodiversity on a surface area equivalent to that of Paris, London and New York.

Natural diamond producers are committed to controlling and reducing their environmental impact. 83% of the water used to extract natural diamonds is recycled (Analysis conducted by Trucost, a subsidiary of S&P Global, based on 2016/2017 data).

If you are Parisian, you may have had the pleasure of discovering the Natural Diamond Council (NDC)'s new campaign, supported by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) "THANK YOU, BY THE WAY" during the Fashion Week at the end of January with a huge billboard on the Paris Opera, illustrated with a photo of sled dogs.

Natural Diamond Council’s campaign “THANK YOU, BY THE WAY” © Natural Diamond Council

5. Inheritance

For all these reasons, I believe that natural diamonds are more durable and can therefore be more easily passed on to future generations. Nowadays, getting your grandmother's diamonds is no longer inevitable - many designers are able to upcycle jewelry in a smart and reasoned way, and thus to modernize jewelry pieces that might seem a little outdated. Ask yourself whether your grandchildren will want to keep your synthetic diamonds and wear them - I wouldn't be so sure, especially if they have lost more than half of their value…

Hence the importance of making sure you ask for a certificate when you buy a diamond of over 0.30 carat. This certificate will serve you in case you resell or pass on your diamond, and will prove its natural character, its uniqueness and its properties.

Source : GIA

In my opinion, to choose natural diamonds is to make an ethical, sustainable and valuable purchase.

Article written in collaboration with the Natural Diamond Council