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Diamond Buying Made Easier > Man Made Diamonds > Cultured Diamonds

Cultured Diamonds

In order to understand about more about cultured diamonds I looked up the definition of cultured in the dictionary. I came up with the following-
cul·tured (kl′chrd)
1.- Educated, polished, and refined; cultivated.
Showing good taste or manners.

I had to stop right there!... after reading that I started to imagine a "cultured diamond" that was all dressed up, in a tuxedo, at a dinner party that was being held prior to heading off for a night at the opera. The cultured diamond was sitting there sipping some vintage wine, carrying on cultured conversations, and the cultured diamond even knew which was the proper fork to use!

I had to read more of the definition-

2.- Artificially grown or synthesized.
Produced under artificial and controlled conditions.

Well now, this is something a bit closer to what I think of when I hear about cultured diamonds.

  OK, then what are cultured diamonds?   

Cultured diamonds are diamonds that are not mined from the earth but instead are made in a laboratory. These man made diamonds are diamonds that are 100% diamond, with the same optical, physical, and chemical properties of a natural diamond that comes from the earth.

There are a number of other terms used to describe these diamonds in addition to cultured diamonds.... such as lab grown diamonds, lab created diamond, manufactured diamonds, man made diamonds, and synthetic diamonds.

The companies that produce cultured diamonds like using this term. From a marketing standpoint, a term like synthetic is difficult to promote when you are using the word in association with a diamond.

A synthetic diamond sounds a bit cold and antiseptic... GIA likes to use the term synthetic diamond and it works with them and their products. For example, they issued a grading report specifically for cultured diamonds and it is called a Synthetic Diamond Grading Report.

Using the term cultured diamonds might give you a different feeling... a warmer, fuzzier feeling... it might even make you think about diamonds that are dressed up in a tuxedo!

  A few problems using the term cultured diamonds....   

A group of different jewelry associations filed a petition with the FTC (Federal Trade Association) to stop the use of the term cultured diamonds. The jewelry associations felt the term cultured diamonds was deceptive and didn't clearly communicate to the consumer that cultured diamonds were actually synthetic diamonds that are grown in a laboratory.

The FTC did not find that the term was confusing to the public and they did not rule to stop the use of the term cultured diamonds. The jewelry associations do direct their members not to use the term cultured diamonds and Germany has banned the use of cultured diamonds.

- Important Take Away Points -
Cultured Diamonds

#1- The term cultured diamonds is more of a marketing concept than a scientific term. The manufacturers are trying to consistently use a term that has a better "feel" to it than a colder term like synthetic diamonds.

#2- Cultured diamonds have the same brilliance, luster, fire, hardness, refractive index, and specific gravity as natural diamond.... in other words cultured diamonds have the same chemical, optical, and physical properties as a natural diamond that was mined from the earth.

#3- Anytime I talk about these type of diamonds (man made, synthetic, cultured diamonds, etc) I do need to remind people that some of the companies that make and or distribute Cubic Zirconias or some other diamond simulants will use these exact same terms (man made, synthetic, cultured, etc) in describing their products that are not diamonds.

They will try to convince you that what they are offering is actually diamond (or has many of the properties of diamond) but in reality it is not diamond....
please be careful. Always read all information very, very carefully.

This will only reinforce the idea that it is always a good idea that you have a diamond grading report from a well respected lab.

#4- The manufacturers also use the term cultured diamonds because it is a similar process to what happens with pearls. There are natural pearls that form without any the help from humans and there are cultured pearls that are formed after humans place a "seed" into the mollusk to get the process going.

They both have taken different routes to becoming pearls and you will need to consider their formation when determining a proper value. Just as with pearls where there will be a price difference between a natural pearl and a cultured pearl... there will also be a price difference between a blue natural diamond and a blue cultured diamond... actually a considerable price difference!

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