When buying a diamond the options are clear: the 'real thing'... or synthetic ones, also known as lab-grown, which have no lasting value.
A diamond by definition is a mineral created by nature; a “diamond” always means a natural diamond. A synthetic diamond, by definition, is an artificial product that has essentially the same physical characteristics as a diamond. They are sometimes marketed as “laboratory-grown”, “cultured”, “created”, “cultivated”, “synthetic”, “simulated”, or “man-made”, but it's important to understand the differences.
Jewelry expert and writer Marion Fasel writes, "The lab grown gems hitting the market give the question a sense of urgency....What is a diamond? I have been giving the question a lot of thought lately with the abundance of lab grown diamonds hitting the market. A scientist will tell you a diamond is pure carbon. I believe it is much more."
In January 2018, nine leading international diamond and jewelry industry organizations agreed on a universally-accepted diamond definition. Their goal was to help consumers avoid confusion between natural diamonds and simulated ones, also known as synthetic or lab-grown diamonds.
"Synthetics or lab-grown diamonds are mass-produced in factories, made in a matter of weeks and primarily used for industrial purposes. None of these qualities is commonly associated with the rarity, beauty and luxury that embody a diamond," writes Jean-Marc Lieberherr in the Washington Post.