By Ashley Davis
New York--National Public Radio just aired “Lab-Grown Diamonds Come Into Their Own,” a piece in which it interviewed diamond industry experts on the growth of the lab-grown diamond market.

In the radio feature and article, written by Nell Greenfieldboyce for “All Things Considered,” NPR noted the advances in diamond-growing technology in recent years, quoting the International Gemological Institute’s David Weinstein as saying that while lab-grown diamonds used to mostly be yellow or brown, they are now “astonishingly white.”

NPR also spoke with Yarden Tsach, of WD Lab Grown Diamonds (formerly Washington Diamonds) near Washington, D.C. Tsach said that lab-grown diamonds can be created in approximately eight weeks.

“The market is huge, we cannot satisfy the demands,” Tsach told NPR.

NPR noted in its story and on-air report that lab-grown diamonds can retail for as much as 30 percent less than a regular diamond, and also cited the 2016 research report from Morgan Stanley, which said that while lab-grown stones make up about 1 percent of the current diamond supply, that figure could rise to between 7 and 15 percent in coming years.
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This could be aided by major retailers like Barneys embracing lab-grown diamonds; the upscale retailer introduced a collection featuring synthetics in October “as a high-tech, eco-friendly alternative to mined gems,” NPR noted.

The story went on to highlight the potential issues that lab-grown diamonds could create, such as the infiltration of undisclosed synthetics in the market, mentioning the recent discussions were held on this topic at the U.S. Jewelry Council’s recent meeting in New York City.

NPR highlighted the fact that, particularly for small diamonds, it is typically too costly to test the thousands of stones that manufacturers handle, leaving the possibility of undisclosed synthetic diamonds slipping into the natural supply pipeline and creating an issue for the industry.
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NPR’s report also included insights from Tom Moses, the chief laboratory and research officer at the Gemological Institute of America.

At the GIA, their equipment takes two seconds, and eight cents, to test whether a diamond is real or synthetic, he said.

Moses also said that the GIA doesn’t have any bias regarding synthetics. “It’s not our job to determine what’s the right kind of diamond for an individual,” he told NPR.

He noted, however, that it’s important for customers to be clear on exactly what they are buying, meaning whether it is a lab-grown or a natural diamond.

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