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Synthetic Diamonds Vs. Natural Diamonds


mads
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Fun graphic.

 

Why are you calling Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite types of diamonds?  Surely you know this isn't correct.  Muddling the three is definitely confusing your point.

 

Rather than mentioning simulants, it seems like it would be far more relevant to mention that the majority of both markets, but the VAST majority of the synthetic market, is in industrial grits.  For example, it seems relevant to the claim that 586 million carats are imported into the US that 99% of that is abrasives, not gemstones.  We're talking about nail files, not jewelry and they definitely don't cost $5,000/ct. or anything like it.

 

A few of the stats are pretty sensationalized.  For example the claim that 15M cts. of 'conflict diamonds' were laundered in 2009 is nowhere near agreed among people who follow these things.  No doubt someone did estimate that, but it has also been estimated that there are 10,000 UFO visitations per year too.  Different people have different agendas in these things but you might want to recheck your sources.  That doesn't make it true. It's definitely a stretch to call HPHT synthetic gems 'available' in 1954.  They existed in the lab, but they weren't a commercial product for another 50 or so years.

 

The price spans for natural fancy colors is WAY bigger than what you are showing.

 

What's the unit you're using for brilliance?

 

It's awfully hard to read your sources list but I do notice that both Davide and I are on it.  Is that what brought you here to the forum?

Edited by denverappraiser
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The "brilliance" row should be more appropriately called "Refractive Index" - or at the very least the data in it is quite consistent with the refractive index of the different materials. FWIW, they aren't quite the same thing; brilliance is at the very least a function of cut as well as of material.

 

I think the "use" (industrial vs. jewellery) info is there, but it's difficult to read - perhaps have something like a funnel graph where you get "natural" and "synthetic" diamonds at the top, and then split them going down the funnel into different uses, wastage (interesting 35% statistic!) and gems - which would also enable a visual appreciation of how few diamonds actually end up in jewellery compared to the extracted/manufactured total, and how different the split is between natural and synthetic stones.

 

The rest of Neil's comments are spot on - in particular the fact that if you are trying to position the graphic (and article - about which more comments...) as a "synthetic vs. natural diamond" guide, then CZ and Moissanite have no place in it.

 

One other pernickety detail is that the largest (so far) synthetic is a 3 ct cut and polished stone, which means the rough would have been probably over 5 ct... (since you are reporting the Cullinan as 3107 ct, it's fair to compare like for like)

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Good points from both of you. Thanks a lot.

 

We called everything synthetic diamonds since many people seems to call CZ, moissanite, etc. synthetic diamonds. But I guess you are right, it is a bit confusing.

 

The brilliance data was found in one of our sources, http://www.moissaniteco.com/guide_properties.html(where they call it refractive index and brilliance at the same time...)

 

Didn't know the biggest synthetic is cut stone. I'll keep that in mind if/when we make an updated version of the infographic.

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Where did you get the stat that 2% of jewelry diamonds are synthetic?  I'm pretty sure it's way under that, like 0.1%.  I also think the 'recycled' component is probably greater than 6% .  It certainly is on big stones but the little things in watches and the like don't recycle very well and there's a lot of that so it's hard to tell. Abrasives don't recycle at all.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Just for pricing fun, here's a package of 5 grams of synthetic diamond grit (25 carats) for $11.49 on Amazon.  Free shipping.  That's why the gem/industrial thing is so important and this is what the US imported 500M carats of.  It's a completely different industry.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Powder-22-36-Microns-25ct/dp/B009NJJ2DA/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=A3RO7H7BF5O5D3

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thanks,  I"ll dig into that Bain report but I think you've got a statistic taken out of context. The synthetic portion of the gem marketplace isn't anywhere near that much (yet).

 

Yes, the Amazon stuff is cheap because it's powder, and yes, readers of this sort of thing are usually interested in gems.  They barely even know the industrial market exists  That's the problem.  You throw out statistics about both combined and then switch to gems only without identifying the change.  99% of your stats on synthetics are about industrial goods,  Dates, amounts produced in various countries, and so on.   The slide about mining/producing countries is hugely inaccurate if you're just talking about gems, which is what you report your expected readers think you're talking about.

Edited by denverappraiser
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The Bain 2014 report, which is the underlying source of the kitco article, says that synthetics are <1% of the gem diamond business.  They don't say how much less but I'm pretty sure it's a LOT less. They also mention that they don't consider synthetics to be a relevant factor in the foreseeable future because of consumer resistance to the whole category.  (I disagree with them on this by the way)

 

(for some reason I can't include a link directly to the Bain report.)

Edited by denverappraiser
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