Talking about a real diamond. Do you know the song ‘Diamonds are forever’ sung by Shirley Bassey? The title song of the James Bond movie with the same name? The story is about a large network of diamond smugglers and has to be stopped because when they continue the market of diamonds can collapse. In the movie, James Bond smuggles also fake diamonds to set the enemy on the wrong path. And nobody sees that the diamonds are fake. Can you see the difference and when you cannot, why should you buy the real ones? Fake or real diamonds, that is the question of today’s blog post.
That is what De Beers Company, the largest diamonds mining company in the world (situated in South Africa) asks themselves to, and therefore after 130 years of dealing with the real diamond stuff, there start to sell synthetic diamonds. This is no less than an earthquake in real diamond land.
De Beers diamonds
The firm De Beers owns the mining- and selling rights of nearly all the diamonds in Africa. They are so powerful that when the Covid-19 pandemic was on and the diamonds were not sold anymore, he stopped the diamond auctions, to control the price of the diamonds. 8% of the total South African workers live from digging for diamonds and stopping that work means a disaster for a lot of people. But the Beers is high and mighty and can afford to do this.
From the start of De Beers company in 1888 until now they controlled about 80-85% of all the rough diamond mining and distribution in the world. They operate in 36 countries. Although they were forced to dismantle a part of the company due to laws to prevent a complete monopoly in certain sectors, De Beers still sells about 30% of all the rough diamonds in the world.
Cecil Rhodes rented water pumps to diamond miners during another diamond rush in 1869. During that rush ‘the Star of South Africa’ diamond was found near the Orange River in South Africa (North of Capetown). That diamond was large (83.5 carats) and valuable. All his profits were invested in buying small plots of land, where he thought were diamonds to mine.
Together with a lot of rich (the Rothschild’s and J.P. Morgan) and powerful people he started De Beers company in 1888.
Nothing, but the real diamond?
Every real diamond is unique, never duplicated and one of a kind. It is formed about 150 to 200 kilometers (93 to 124 miles) below the earth’s surface. And formed a few years back, like 3 billion years ago (3.000.000 years). It has to be mined and you never know what you will find: a large piece or a tiny piece of a real diamond? And what color? What clarity? You need your luck to find the right real diamond that will make you very rich!
While the costs are so high to find and cut a real diamond people try to find a way to make fake ones. That took some long and extensive research and a whole bunch of scientists to find the right way to make diamonds. But they succeeded.
Copy, paste a diamond?
Nowadays men can make a complete copy of the natural or real diamond, with the same crystal lattice structure, the same color range as the real diamond. The great difference is that natural diamonds are over 3 billion years old.
The fake or synthetic ones are made of carbon, that is put under very high pressure and temperature. In a lab with these possibilities, they can make a diamond crystal. Another, more complicated way is to take a small core of a diamond crystal and through chemical vapor deposition, its core grows layer by layer.
Making a synthetic gemstone is a pricey process. But a synthetic diamond is about 20 to 40% less expensive than a natural real diamond. The actual price depends on the color, the size, and the quality of the synthetic variety.
A fake or real diamond, that is the question?
The big question is of course… is the diamond in my piece of jewelry that I got from my loved one a natural real diamond or a synthetic one?
First of all, you might ask yourself whether you want to know this? The gemstone is given with love and received with love. And is this a question that you should bother about? But if you do… you cannot see without specialized tools or equipment whether your gem is synthetic or natural because it is an exact duplicate from the real diamond.
The only way to find out is by asking the seller for a grading report, which can prove the origin and the quality of it. In my experience, you have to take care of diamonds that are exactly 1 carat. The size of the synthetic ones is mostly 1 carat. Because the labs of synthetic diamonds make the products what people want, and that is a diamond of 1 carat.
Some scientists think that a synthetic diamond is the same as a natural diamond since the structure, glance, and composition are the same. Maybe so but there are about 3.3 billion years of age difference.
I wish that every in April born lady gets a piece of jewelry with her birthstone for the big day. And all the others too, of course. Please let me know when this happens and I party along with you.
There is so much to say about diamonds and all the other gemstones, that exist on our planet. Gemstones, that make you happy, that make you feel beautiful and give your confidence. All these gemstones have their own history, their own funny and more serious history, and their own beauty. If you are interested in knowing a bit more about the birthstone of April, but also about all the other birthstones and well-known gemstones, I have something for you!
FlorenceJewelshop published a practical PDF where you can find all the great stories about gemstones. And… it is free of charge. You just have to let me know where I can send it to.
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