AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

The American Gem Trade Association announced that, starting at Tucson next year, exhibitors will not be allowed to sell lab-grown diamonds or colored gemstones at the AGTA GemFair.

National Jeweler received a news release on AGTA’s decision via email Wednesday morning. The release also was posted on the AGTA website, though it had been removed by Wednesday evening.

AGTA CEO John W. Ford Sr. said the news release was “pulled by error,” and would be reposted today.

According to the release, AGTA’s new rule bans the display of loose gemstones or jewelry “comprising non-natural gemstones, ones that are man-made, synthetic, or lab grown.”

AGTA said its dealers can still sell lab-grown gems if they are disclosed, but only natural gems can be made available for purchase at GemFair.

The association said it enacted the ban to “thwart potential confusion,” confusion it sees happening in the lab-grown diamond industry and fears will affect the colored gemstone industry, even though lab-grown colored stones have been around for more than a century.

When asked what led to the belief that confusion was occurring, or could occur, in the colored gemstone market, Ford said in an email to National Jeweler, “Look no further than the chaos created by synthetics in the diamond industry … Our action is also in response to considerable concerns voiced by AGTA membership in relation to the adverse effects that synthetics could also potentially cause in the colored gemstone industry.”

While the AGTA’s decision has made headlines, it does not seem poised to have a big impact on AGTA GemFair exhibitors, few of whom sell lab-grown gemstones anyway.

In his email, Ford said out of the 260 exhibitors of loose or set gemstones at the 2024 AGTA GemFair Tucson, only two list that they sell synthetic gemstones in the AGTA Source Directory.

“Since sending out over (260) 2025 AGTA GemFair Tucson renewals, we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from the vast majority of our exhibitors, greatly outweighing any negative responses,” he said.

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In its news release, AGTA also noted that lab-grown gemstones lack the value inherent to natural gemstones, which are rare and sometimes inimitable.

“AGTA felt that it needed to be crystal clear to buyers that when they attend an AGTA show, they know that they are only shopping mined natural gems from the earth,” said Kimberly Collins, AGTA board president and owner of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems.

“AGTA dealers pride themselves in sourcing superior gems that are rare, beautiful, and natural.”

AGTA also notes that “synthetic gems are not minerals.”

The association said it recognizes two definitions of the word “mineral”—that of the British Geological Survey, defining a mineral as “a naturally occurring substance with distinctive chemical and physical properties, composition, and atomic structure” and that of the U.S. Geological Survey, which defines a mineral as a “naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties.”

“The definitions are essentially the same, but the keyword in both that is important is use of the word ‘natural,’” said AGTA board member John Bradshaw.

“It’s important to indicate that synthetic gems are not considered minerals, because minerals are natural, and synthetics are not.”

Source: Nationaljeweler

UK synthetic diamond firm told ads cannot describe diamonds as ‘real’

Ads for synthetic diamond jewellery have been banned after the UK company behind them, Skydiamond, did not make it clear they were not real.

Even though the strapline of the newspaper advert was the “world’s first and only diamond made entirely from the sky” and a social media ad said “love is… a diamond gift made from the sky”, there were complaints from the National Diamond Association.

The advertising regulator upheld the complaints and concluded that the ads were misleading and said they could not appear again in the same form, including on the company’s website without, better explanation.

Skydiamond, the trading name for The Sky Mining Company Ltd, was told by the Advertising Standards Authority not to use the terms “diamonds”, “diamonds made entirely from the sky” and “Skydiamond”, and not to describe its synthetic products “without a clear and prominent qualifier”.

The firm was told by the ASA that it must use terms such as ‘synthetic’, ‘laboratory-grown’ or ‘laboratory-created’, “or another way of clearly and prominently conveying the same meaning to consumers” and were not to use the claim “real diamonds” to describe synthetic diamonds.

Sky Mining said both the ads and extensive information and graphics on its website set out that their diamonds were manufactured in a laboratory, with detailed information on the production process on its website.

The company said the very brand was built on the premise that their diamonds did not come from the earth and do not have the negative environmental impacts associated with diamond mining, with all components required sourced from the sky: atmospheric carbon dioxide (as a source of carbon), rainwater (as a source of hydrogen) and renewable energy from solar and wind power.

As explained on the company’s website, Skydiamonds are made from carbon dioxide and hydrogen extracted and produced using proven industrial processes and combined to form methane in a biological process, with methane fed into chemical vapour deposition machines in which diamonds developed at a high temperature over 14 days.

It says for every carat of Skydiamond produced, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 99.79% compared to mined diamonds, and that compared to growing diamonds in a laboratory, mined diamonds produce 4,383 times more waste, use 2.14 times the energy and 6.8 times as much water.

The ASA acknowledged that further information on the Sky Mining manufacturing process appeared on About Us pages of the website among other pages.

“However, in the absence of a clearly worded and prominent qualification such as ‘synthetic’, ‘laboratory-created’ or ‘laboratory-grown’, or another way of clearly and prominently communicating the same meaning, we considered it was still ambiguous as to whether the diamonds were synthetic or not,” the regulator said.

Source: proactiveinvestors

Synthetic Diamond Market to Rise USD 16.4 Billion in 2023 to USD 29.9 Billion by 2032

Synthetic Diamonds Market Overview

The research documents by MRFR indicate that the “Synthetic Diamonds Market Research Report Information by Application, Product, Region, Type, and Manufacturing Process – Forecast Till 2032”, the Synthetic Diamonds market is predicted to grow substantially over the assessment timeframe from 2022 to 2032 at a healthy CAGR of around 7.80%.

The reports even share predictions regarding the market’s growing revenue share, which will likely reach USD 29.9 Billion by the end of 2032. As per the reports, the market was worth nearly USD 15.2 Billion in 2022.

The primary market factors accelerating market expansion include rising demand from the semiconductor and electronics sectors as well as increased demand for computer chips and other microchips used in many other types of electronics.

The increase in demand for synthetic diamonds from the semiconductor and electronics industries is the primary factor behind the growth of the global market for synthetic diamonds. The increase in disposable money among the general population benefits the market.

Trade Groups Sign Deal on Lab-Grown Diamonds

The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) have agreed to collaborate to protect consumer confidence around synthetic diamonds.

The organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) calling for the pair to develop standards, operating principles and terminology for lab-grown diamonds, they said Monday. IGDA president Joanna Park-Tonks will sit on CIBJO’s laboratory-grown diamond committee, which has created a “Laboratory-Grown Diamond Guideline” governing standards for trading and handling synthetic stones.

The honest and accurate presentation of sustainability issues is a current focus for CIBJO’s laboratory-grown committee and was an element during the discussions between CIBJO and IGDA, the organizations said.

“We have had open lines of communication for some time already, and IGDA did participate in the public review before we released the ‘Laboratory-Grown Diamond Guidance’ document in 2021,” said CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri. “Over the past several years, the laboratory-grown diamonds sector has grown into a large and a prominent part of our industry, and we all have a vested interest in each other’s success.”

The signing took place on Sunday during the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) Summit in Birmingham, UK.


Lightbox Starts Selling Engagement Rings with Lab-Grown Diamonds

De Beers’ Lightbox lab-grown diamond brand is trialing sales of engagement rings, marking a major shift for the company, which previously insisted synthetic stones were not a product for important milestones.

The retailer is publicizing lab-grown diamond engagement rings on its home page, promising a “stress-free and risk-free” shopping experience. “Our cutting-edge technology ensures each of our lab-grown diamonds are quality guaranteed,” the site reads, with the marketing line: “Because great chemistry deserves great chemistry.”

A link takes viewers to a page listing 16 items featuring regular Lightbox lab-grown diamonds, or stones from the brand’s Finest line, which have higher color and clarity. The standard collection usually sells for $800 per carat plus the cost of the setting, while Finest retails at $1,500 per carat. The selection includes white, pink and blue stones, with prices ranging from $500 for a three-stone ring to $5,000 for 2 carats.

Lightbox was unavailable for comment on Sunday, but told Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) and JCK it was running “a small in-market test of consumer preferences in the lab-grown diamond engagement ring segment.”

When De Beers launched Lightbox in 2018, Bruce Cleaver, the miner’s CEO at the time, presented lab-grown as a product that “may not be forever, but is perfect for right now,” claimed there was “no real emotional value in lab-grown diamonds, because they’re not unique,” and said the stones did not warrant grading. It later debuted the Finest line, introduced stones larger than 1 carat, and started declaring the cut quality, color and clarity of its stones.


IGI Sees Largest a Lab-Grown Diamond

India-based Ethereal Green Diamond has created and sold the largest polished lab-grown diamond in history, according to the International Gemological Institute (IGI), which graded it.

Named Shiphra, the emerald-cut, 50.25-carat, type IIa stone has G color, VS2 clarity, and an “excellent” score for cut, polish and symmetry, IGI said Thursday. It measures 22.95 x 18.45 x 11.57 millimeters. It’s the world’s first polished lab-grown diamond above 50 carats, IGI claimed.

Ethereal grew the 150-carat rough using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method over a period of eight months. It cut the stone in Surat, India, and will display the polished at its JCK Las Vegas booth. Swiss brand Shiphra Jewelry has bought it and lent its name to the piece.

“This gemstone is a paradigm-shifting breakthrough, surpassing 50 carats while exemplifying preeminent standards of sophistication and quality,” said Tehmasp Printer, president and managing director of IGI India.

The record comes shortly after IGI graded its largest lab-grown diamond to date: A 35-carat CVD stone that Maitri Lab Grown Diamonds produced. Last month, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) said it had examined a 34.59-carat diamond that Ethereal synthesized using the same method.


Adam O’Grady Becomes Lightbox’s First COO

Adam O’Grady

Lightbox has promoted Adam O’Grady to the newly created role of chief operating officer, effective March 27.

The executive will lead all aspects of supply chain and manufacturing activity for the De Beers-owned lab-grown diamond company, it said last week. These include diamond synthesis and jewelry manufacturing, cutting and polishing, and research and development.

O’Grady has been general manager of the Lightbox lab since 2019. In addition to his new responsibilities, he will continue to oversee operations and engineering at the company’s advanced manufacturing lab in Gresham, Oregon, where he is based.

“He is a transformational leader with deep knowledge of the lab-grown diamond category,” said Lightbox CEO Antoine Borde.

Prior to joining Lightbox, O’Grady spent his two-decade professional career at Element Six, De Beers’ industrial super-materials and synthetic-diamond business. He served in a series of general management and senior project roles in South Africa, China and the UK. In 2019, he oversaw the design and construction of Lightbox’s $94 million manufacturing lab in Gresham, which opened in October 2020.


Mined diamond compared to laboratory grown diamond

Mined Diamond and laboratory grown diamond

Diamonds have long been a symbol of love, luxury, and status. However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest in the production of laboratory-grown diamonds as a more ethical and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds. In this article, we will explore the differences between a mined diamond and a laboratory-grown diamond.

Mined Diamonds:

Mined diamonds are formed naturally over millions of years deep beneath the earth’s surface. These diamonds are found in mines, usually in remote locations, and are extracted using heavy machinery and explosives. The mining process is often associated with negative environmental and social impacts, such as habitat destruction, water pollution, and exploitation of workers.

Mined diamonds are valued for their rarity and unique characteristics. The quality of a diamond is determined by the 4Cs – cut, clarity, carat weight, and colour. The more perfect a diamond is in each of these categories, the more valuable it is considered to be.

Laboratory-grown Diamonds:

Laboratory-grown diamonds are created using advanced technological processes that mimic the natural formation of diamonds. These diamonds are produced in a laboratory environment, where conditions are controlled and monitored to ensure consistent quality and purity.

The process of creating a laboratory-grown diamond involves using a small diamond seed, which is placed in a chamber and exposed to extreme heat and pressure. Over a period of weeks, carbon atoms are deposited onto the seed, gradually building up the crystal structure of the diamond.

The resulting laboratory-grown diamond is physically and chemically identical to a mined diamond, and can be graded using the same 4Cs criteria.

Differences between Mined Diamonds and Laboratory-grown Diamonds:

Mined diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds have very similar chemical properties, as they are both made of pure carbon atoms arranged in a crystalline structure. However, there are some subtle differences in the impurities and defects that can be present in each type of diamond.

Mined diamonds can contain trace elements such as nitrogen, boron, and hydrogen, which can affect the diamond’s colour and other properties. Laboratory-grown diamonds can also contain these impurities, but they can be controlled more precisely during the growth process to produce diamonds with specific colours and properties.

One key difference between mined and laboratory-grown diamonds is the presence of defects in the crystal structure. Mined diamonds can contain defects such as vacancies, dislocations, and impurity atoms, which can affect the diamond’s hardness and other physical properties. Laboratory-grown diamonds are typically more pure and have fewer defects, which can make them more consistent in their properties and easier to work with for industrial and scientific applications.

In terms of their chemical composition, both mined and laboratory-grown diamonds are made of pure carbon, with each carbon atom bonded to four neighboring carbon atoms in a tetrahedral arrangement. This gives diamonds their unique hardness and other physical properties, as well as their optical properties such as high refractive index and dispersion.

Overall, while there are some subtle differences in the impurities and defects that can be present in mined and laboratory-grown diamonds, they are both essentially the same material in terms of their chemical properties.

One of the key differences between mined diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds is their origin. Mined diamonds are natural, formed over millions of years in the earth’s mantle. Laboratory-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are created using advanced technological processes in a laboratory.

Another difference is the environmental and social impact of the two types of diamonds. Mined diamonds are often associated with negative environmental and social impacts, such as habitat destruction, water pollution, and exploitation of workers. Laboratory-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are generally considered to be more sustainable and ethical, as they do not involve the same level of environmental destruction or human exploitation.

Finally, there is a difference in price between mined diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds. Mined diamonds are generally more expensive, due to their rarity and the high costs associated with mining and extraction. Laboratory-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are often less expensive, as they can be produced in larger quantities and do not require the same level of mining and extraction.


Mined diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds both have their pros and cons. While mined diamonds are valued for their rarity and unique characteristics, they are often associated with negative environmental and social impacts. Laboratory-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are more sustainable and ethical, but may be less valuable due to their artificial origin. Ultimately, the choice between a mined diamond and a laboratory-grown diamond comes down to personal values and priorities.

Source: Certin Diamond Insurance company

Will Laboratory grown diamonds take over the market ?

As of 2021 the laboratory-grown diamond trade market was estimated to be worth around $1.9 billion, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan.

This market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, with some estimates suggesting that it could reach a value of over $15 billion by 2035.

laboratory-grown diamond trade has been growing steadily in recent years. There are several factors driving this growth.

Price: Laboratory-grown diamonds are typically less expensive than natural diamonds, which makes them an attractive option for consumers who are looking for high-quality jewelry at a more affordable price.

Ethical concerns: Some consumers are hesitant to purchase natural diamonds due to concerns about ethical issues such as conflict diamonds. Laboratory-grown diamonds are considered to be a more ethical alternative, as they are produced in a controlled environment and do not have the same potential ethical issues as natural diamonds.

Environmental concerns: The process of mining natural diamonds can have a significant environmental impact. Laboratory-grown diamonds are generally considered to be more environmentally friendly, as they do not require mining.

Advancements in technology: The technology used to produce laboratory-grown diamonds has improved significantly in recent years, making it easier and more cost-effective to produce high-quality diamonds.
All of these factors have contributed to the growth of the laboratory-grown diamond trade, and it is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

The answer is not yet: It is worth noting that natural diamonds still hold a significant share of the diamond market, and it remains to be seen how much of an impact laboratory-grown diamonds will have on the industry as a whole over the next decade.

Source: Michael Cohen DCLA

What is the difference between a natural mined diamond and a laboratory grown diamond?

Laboratory grown rough diamond type 2A carbon crystal.

The main difference between a natural mined diamond and a laboratory grown diamond is their origin. Natural diamonds are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle under extreme heat and pressure over millions of years, while laboratory grown diamonds are created in a controlled environment in a laboratory setting.
Some other differences between natural mined diamonds and laboratory grown diamonds include:

  1. Cost: Laboratory grown diamonds are generally less expensive than natural mined diamonds, as they don’t require expensive mining and extraction processes.
  2. Clarity: Laboratory grown diamonds are generally more consistent in terms of their clarity, as they are grown under controlled conditions. Natural mined diamonds can have inclusions or blemishes, which can affect their clarity and value.
  3. Size and Colour: Laboratory grown diamonds can be grown to larger sizes and in a wider range of colours, which may not be as easily available in natural mined diamonds.
  4. Environmental impact: The environmental impact of laboratory grown diamonds is generally considered to be lower than that of natural mined diamonds, as mining can have a significant impact on the environment.
  5. Rarity and Value: Natural mined diamonds are still considered more rare and valuable than laboratory grown diamonds, due to their long history and cultural significance.
    Ultimately, whether someone chooses a natural mined diamond or a laboratory grown diamond may depend on their personal preferences and priorities, such as environmental concerns, budget, or the desire for a natural, unique stone.

It is worth noting that both natural mined diamonds and laboratory grown diamonds are chemically and physically identical, and both can be certified and graded by independent gemmological laboratories based on the same criteria.

Source: Roy Cohen DCLA