The first synthetic diamonds were produced by General Electric in 1954. A synthetic diamond is basically a rock that has the durability, refractive index and hardness of a natural diamond – but it is made by man. A synthetic diamond should not be
confused with stimulant diamonds, such as glass, cubic zirconia, or moissanite.
Although the technology for synthetic diamonds came into play in 1954, no synthetic diamonds were ever seen on the market until the 1990’s. This was due to the fact that it took many years for General Electric to produce a synthetic diamond that could compare with the quality of a natural diamond – and when they figured out how to do it, they found that it cost more to produce a synthetic diamond than it did to mine and cut natural diamonds.
Finally, a small company by the name of Gemesis Corporation figured out a way to produce synthetic diamonds that were of the same quality as natural diamonds, at a cheaper price. Today, Gemesis produces synthetic white diamonds, and colored diamonds as well. These diamonds sell for about 1/3 of the cost of a natural diamond, but there is a shortage of them, and they are hard to find. In fact, it seems that synthetic diamonds are rarer than natural diamonds!
When you walk into a jewelry store and see all the diamonds in all of the various settings that are for sale, it is difficult to realize that diamonds are indeed rare. Most people don’t even stop to consider how that diamond came to be sitting in that jeweler’s case! There is quite a bit of work that is done
before a diamond is ready to sell to the general public!
For every one million diamonds that are mined, only one will be found that is a quality one caret diamond. In order to find a two caret diamond, about five million diamonds must be mined. More than two hundred tons of ore must be mined to find one small diamond, and even then, more than 80% of the diamonds that are mined are only good for industrial use, such as diamond drill bits.
So, the next time you visit your local jewelry store, ask to see the one carat diamonds. You should look at this diamond with new appreciation – knowing that it truly is one in a million!