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Lab grown versus mined diamonds: Which is the better value?

Jewelers at odds over value of man made diamonds
Posted: 11:26 PM, Feb 09, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-09 23:26:20-05

Real is rare or is it when it comes to diamonds? Diamonds rated identical in color, clarity and carat weight can differ in price by as much as 40 percent or thousands of dollars per carat.

But the difference in cost is connected to each stone's origin. Where was it grown, above or below ground?

Diamond grower Pure Grown Diamonds showed us how it's done. Scientists start with slivers of diamonds. They inject the diamond wafers with methane gas and hydrogen to recreate 3 in months what occurs naturally in the earth over millions of years.

Pure Grown touts greenhouse diamonds as environmentally friendly compared to the mining process and indistinguishable from natural diamonds.

The only way to tell the lab grown from the mined, a laser inscription on the girdle of the diamond only seen under a magnifier. Julie Weintraub, owner of the Gold and Diamond Source calls the lab grown stones a bad investment. Weintraub warns consumers need to consider more than the difference in price.

She says, “The market is about to be inundated with the diamonds so that means they will be worth very little.”

Graduate gemologist Susie Crump agrees lab grown diamonds are difficult to distinguish under a microscope when compared to mined stones. She too questions whether the man made diamonds will hold their value.

Bond Diamonds Operations Manager Franki Brandt-Pethtel predicts the mines will run dry in 30 to 40 years increasing the value of all real diamonds a stone that has grown 75 percent in value since 2009.

According to an American Express report an estimated 6 million people pop the question on Valentine’s Day with the average ring costing $2400. But this year consumers have a choice about where the symbol of their love comes from and what it will cost.

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