Letter To The New York Times Spotlights Differences Between Synthetics And Diamonds

There was an excellent letter this week from Diamond Producers Association CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr in the prestigious New York Times describing the difference between synthetic stones and diamonds and pointing out the huge difference in how they are produced and environmental and governmental concerns faced by the diamond trade.

More than this, the letter points out that you cannot compare the real thing to a replica; that The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) says that ‘diamond’ should always imply ‘natural diamond’ and that synthetics cannot be called ‘diamonds’ nor ‘gemstones’; and also talks about the lack of information provided by the synthetics manufacturers about origin and supply chains as compared with the efforts of the diamond trade.

The full letter is as follows:

“Diamonds have fascinated generations with their natural origin, beauty, durability and value: finite, billion-year old gemstones. More than just chemicals, diamonds involve preciousness, authenticity and heritage. Just as one cannot compare an original painting to a reproduction, one cannot compare a diamond to a manufactured replica.

“The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has specified that ‘diamond’ should always imply ‘natural diamond’ and that synthetics cannot be called ‘diamonds’ nor ‘gemstones.’ The diamond industry is subject to strict environmental scrutiny and governmental regulations, whereas synthetics are manufactured in factories using large amounts of fossil-fuel generated power.

“Also, the diamond industry prioritizes transparency, with many mining companies including De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto, and Dominion Diamonds featuring responsible provenance as a core trait. Synthetic manufacturers provide scant information about product origins or supply chain. Times and technology certainly change, but the inherent allure of a diamond does not.”