Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Lab Made Diamond", "Lab Created Diamond"... What Is It Really?

"There's a sucker born every minute."  That's a quote attributed to P.T. Barnum (although he never said it---it was banker David Hannum, talking about one of Barnum's circus displays!).

Sadly, that is a very true statement, especially in the world of online shopping.  Etsy, like Ebay, has SO many items for sale, and SO many unscrupulous sellers.  Someone is always ready to make a buck saying anything to make that sale.  And all I can say is, "Buyer beware!!!" 

Just a CZ Ring---Pretty! But Not a Diamond!
Case in point:  on my Etsy feed (their suggestions for me to follow...) I saw some typical CZ rings that I've seen in person at Kohl's and Walmart, and at countless online wholesale vendors.  They are the usual engagement-type rings----halo styles, micropave bands, and so forth.  But the titles of their rings caught my attention.  "Lab Made Diamond..."  And I clicked on it and read the first line, "This patented cushion cut lab made diamond..." and at first I had to laugh, but then I felt angry.

How many people fall for this?  Apparently a LOT.

What Is This Stone?

This seller, along with other Etsy and Ebay sellers, who offer "lab created diamonds" or "lab made diamonds", are knowingly selling nothing but CZs.  Cubic Zirconia stones.  These are lab created stones that are an actual stone called Cubic Zirconia!  NOT diamonds.  These are simulated diamonds----stones that are made to LOOK LIKE diamonds.  But they are NOT diamonds and will fail the diamond test at any jeweler in any mall.  

Of course, I personally LOVE CZ rings.  I'm not a "genuine diamond" person at all.  These CZ are beautiful and sparkling stones and are a fabulous and affordable alternative to a diamond.  But it should be disclosed that it is a Cubic Zirconia, and nothing more than that.  

Why Do They Say "Lab Created/Lab Made Diamond"?

Simple answer:  to fool you into buying it.  This is usually referred to as fraud.

Why Does Etsy Allow This?

Etsy positions itself as a "venue", a marketplace, for sellers.  Each seller has their own "storefront" and Etsy leaves it up to other sellers or defrauded buyers to let them know about it.  Many items are reported, but for whatever reason, Etsy still allows them to sell.  SAD.

Is There Really A Man-Made Diamond?

YES.  There are a few companies (such as Gemesis) that do manufacture a genuine diamond, made entirely of carbon like a real diamond---because it is a real diamond.  It's just grown in a lab.  These are called "synthetic diamonds" or "man-made diamonds" or "created diamonds" or "cultured diamonds" and are ACTUAL diamonds, not CZ or any other stone.  These companies have every right to call these "diamonds" because the stones ARE diamonds.  But they are VERY expensive, almost as expensive as a genuine diamond.  DeBeers controls the entire diamond industry and was upset (to say the least) when these cultured diamonds were introduced, knowing these created diamonds would undercut the expensive diamond industry.  DeBeers still maintains that mined diamonds are "superior" to the flawless created diamonds.  Creative marketing!

A created diamond can cost as much or more than a natural mined diamond.  For example, a created diamond that is 2.11 carats, round brilliant cut, is about $10,000.  A 1-carat is about $6200.  It is however sustainable and "green" with no fear of  "blood diamonds".

How Much Is a Good Quality CZ Worth?

Not much.  There are "grades" of CZ, and the very top-of-the-line clear and beautifully cut cubic zirconias would cost only a few hundred dollars a carat.  But 99% of the CZ rings you will find on Etsy and elsewhere are worth nowhere near that much---more like $1-$5 per package of 10.  At riogrande.com, which is the jewelry supplier to jewelers world-wide, they have an 8mm cushion-cut CZ for $7.46.  So that so-called "patented" cushion cut CZ ring on Etsy, selling for about $100, isn't outrageously overpriced, but it is definitely nothing more than a CZ ring that you could find anywhere.

So please do your own research!  Buyer BEWARE!!