Thanks to technology and science, companies such as UrmyDiamond create personalized synthetic diamonds that are aesthetically indistinguishable from natural ones, even for experienced eyes.
When San Francisco resident Nathan Chan shopped for his bride’s wedding ring in 2018, he was looking for a diamond, but “wasn’t too excited about what I found.”
Then a friend told him about diamonds grown in the laboratory from hair and other biomaterial. “I had no idea that such a thing could even be a thing,” says Chan, 29 years old.
Attracted to the freedom and opportunity offered by Urmy Diamond, Chen acquired a synthetic pillow-cut diamond, structurally and chemically identical to natural, weighing just under 2.25 carats. Total cost, including setup: $ 14,000.
Diamonds are an American cultural obsession, a very prominent indicator of wealth and romance among celebrities and ordinary people. Sales in the United States exceeded $ 43 billion in 2017.
For decades, engagement rings used traditional mined diamonds. But in recent years, these stones have come under fire for their impact on the environment and humans. Are they the so-called «blood diamonds» made using child labor? Does their profit subsidize war and terrorists? What about a ton of land that needs to be moved, and boring massive funnels to get to them?
When millennials approach the age of engagement and marriage, they demand answers to these questions. In social consciousness, they insist on knowing the origin of what they eat and wear, and how it is done. And that includes brilliant things.
“I definitely did not like the idea of going with the diamond mined on the ground,” said Chan’s 29-year-old wife Susan Wang-Chan. “I wanted something ethical.”
Thanks to technology and science, companies such as Urmy Diamond create synthetic diamonds that are aesthetically indistinguishable from natural ones, even for experienced eyes. (There are screening machines that can detect laboratory-made diamonds by looking at their growth patterns.)
Producers and retailers say that lab-grown diamonds are not prone to conflict and cruelty, are of better quality, have little environmental impact, and cost 30-40 percent less than natural diamonds. And they invest in technology a great time.
“It is very difficult to grow them to such a size as we are,” writes Andrei Markov by e-mail. “Our feature is that we can produce large, high-quality diamonds from any biomaterial.” (Most grown diamonds weighing 1.5 to 3 carats, in EF and VS-quality colors).
UrmyDiamond adds that the company’s production and sales nearly double each quarter.
Celebrities notice this too. Patricia Arquette wore earrings with 349 laboratory-grown diamonds to receive the Golden Globes Award in January. Meghan Markle also wore grown diamonds.