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A new report, entitled Diamond Facts: Addressing the myths and misconceptions about the diamond industry,” seeks to discount a number of myths, while reconfirming other beliefs, about natural and laboratory-grown diamonds. The report has been issued by the Natural Diamond Council (NDC), established by the world’s largest rough diamond mining companies with the express purpose of promoting diamonds of natural origin.

“The objective of this analysis is to bring together reliable third-party data in to one document that provides all in the industry a singular source of reference to be able address these myths,” wrote NDC chief executive David Kellie, in a letter to recipients of the report.

But he was careful to point out that NDC’s intention is not to disparage non-natural goods. “Laboratory Grown Diamonds have and will continue to have a legitimate place in the jewelry industry,” he wrote. “It’s not for us at the NDC to hypothesize where this will be – consumer behavior and market dynamics will determine this for us all. Our reason for including these myths in this analysis is because consumer research clearly shows a misunderstanding in some areas and we, the industry, owe it to consumers to provide them with the facts that demonstrate the reality. “

Consumers should b allowed make their own decisions that best reflect their own personal values, Kellie stressed.

The DiamondSure, a portable desktop diamond verification instrument for loose and mounted stones, designed to separate diamonds from laboratory-grown diamonds, developed by the De Beers Group.


The report rejects the notion that it is not always possible to pick out laboratory-grown goods from their natural counterparts.

“Claims that it is impossible to distinguish between a synthetic, laboratory-grown diamond and a natural diamond are false,” it states. “Since diamond crystals grow differently in nature from in a laboratory, their grain patterns, like those in wood, are different.”

There are a range of indicators – not all of them apparent to the naked eye, which immediately point to a diamond being laboratory grown or natural. The absence of nitrogen atoms, which is typical of colorless laboratory-grown stones is one of them, because nitrogen is a detectable in up to 99 percent of natural stones.

Changes to impurities in natural diamonds produced by extended times underground can lead to very different responses to ultraviolet light. These studies have been applied to the development of screening and detection instruments that can be used to reliably detect all laboratory-grown diamonds, the NDC study notes.

Diamond Verification Instruments are an integral part of the prevention of mixing of synthetic diamonds and natural diamonds. NDC established its ASSURE program in 2019, which is meant to assesses the relative performance of diamond verification instruments available on the market.


The report attacks a tendency in recently years to declare all laboratory-grown goods as being sustainable.

Laboratory-grown diamonds may not always be as sustainable as some claim. The manufacturing process which lasts a few weeks is energy intensive, requiring temperatures similar to 20 percent of that of the Sun’s surface. Furthermore, the report states, more than 60 percent of laboratory-grown diamonds are mass-produced in China and India, where 63 percent and 74 percent of grid electricity results from coal.

“So, what is the exact carbon footprint of a laboratory-grown diamond?” the report asks, noting that few laboratory-grown diamond companies disclose or verify such data, transparently. Indeed, there is apparently and no agreed upon figure.”

The actual figure depends on multiple conditions, including the method of production, region and the methodology used to calculate the footprint.

The NDC report is skeptical about claims about laboratory diamonds being more sustainable, except in cases where renewable energy has been employed in their manufacture. 

The actual figure depends on multiple conditions, including the method of production, region and the methodology used to calculate the footprint.

It is believed that that the average emissions per polished carat produced by the CVD process can vary from 260 kilograms of C02 to 612 kilograms.

What changes the equation is when renewable energy is used. Then research estimates the average emissions per polished carat can be as low as 17 kilograms.