Surfs Up!

Posted on Saturday, February 8th, 2014 at 12:26 pm by David

Surfs Up! Wave of Synthetic Diamonds to Crash on American Shores

          In our day to day lives, trust plays a major roll. You trust the produce you buy at the grocery store has been properly handled, and is safe to consume. You trust your physician is competent in his or her field and dispensing sound medical advice. Similarly, trust is necessarily a major component of the jewelry industry. When you’re deciding where to procure your next piece of jewelry, whether it be a simple gift or a future family heirloom, we at Sanders Jewelers urge you to seek out someone you trust. Not only someone you trust personally, but someone you trust professionally. Many jewelers are honest themselves, and truly believe they know what they’re selling you. However, many jewelers don’t have the background, access, or the experience to be truly knowledgeable about the products they’re providing. At Sanders Jewelers, Owner/Certified Master Bench Jeweler Rick Sanders and his staff are dedicated to continuing education and training, affording them confidence in their profession that you can trust. Rick and company are consistently attending shows, conferences and classes to make sure they are up on the latest techniques, technologies and trends in the gemstone industry.

           cultured_diamonds.jpgIn the coming year, a wave of synthetic lab grown diamonds is expected to hit American shores. Through a patented chemical deposition process, South Carolina based Scio Diamond Technology Corporation gained the capability to synthetically manufacture diamonds nearly indistinguishable from organic earth mined diamonds. After perfecting the process, they have recently entered a joint venture with two undisclosed partners. This new relationship affords Scio Diamond access to Chinese manufacturing facilities, allowing them to significantly increase their output. Early estimates indicate that Scio will be able to manufacture nearly half a million carats per year. At first glance this figure may sound frightening, but to put it in context consider recent average annual global diamond production has hovered around 125 million carats[1]. In the past, much of Scio’s production has been focused around industrial needs, but recently there has been a shift towards gem quality stones. Although Scio will label the diamonds they’re selling as synthetic, Scio Diamond CEO Mike McMahon admits, “There is nothing we can do to make sure that companies down the line mark them as lab-grown.[2]” This quote highlights the fear of industry professionals, who worry that these diamonds will slip unbeknownst onto the ring fingers of unsuspecting retail diamond clients. Can you be sure that somewhere in the supply chain between the mine (or factory) all the way to the retail buyer that a breach of trust hasn’t occurred? That somewhere in the supply chain, lab grown diamonds haven’t been sold as organic diamonds? The way one of our closest diamond suppliers puts it, “the industry relies on trust from top to bottom. We’ve been dealing with the same core group of vendors for 15-20 years because we know they can be trusted.” Circumstances where consumers should exercise additional caution are those where the seller of the item may not be readily contacted. Examples of this type of situation include purchasing jewelry while traveling internationally, from a jewelry shop in a tourist destination, and especially vacation cruise ports of call. Additionally, a telltale sign of synthetic diamonds that consumers can easily watch for is price. Be suspicious if the price seems too good to be true. Unbelievable prices may be unbelievable because they are based on misrepresentation. Only shop with people you trust both personally and professionally.  At Sanders Jewelers, we pride ourselves on the lifelong relationships we forge with our clients. You’re family with us! If you suspect your diamond may not be organic, we encourage you to stop by the store so we can take a look. We’re eager to apply our training and expertise for you!