Are Cultured Diamonds "Real?"

What is your definition of "real?" Take the example of organic-grown produce vs. mass produced vegetables and grains. Organic produce is pesticide-free and grown under natural conditions. Mass produced vegetables and grain are exposed to pesticides and other crop- destroyers. Yet, they are both "real" fruits, grains and vegetables.

Cultured diamonds are similar to cultured pearls; these pearls are not taken from sea oysters, but the oysters are grown and harvested in man-made "oyster farms." This practice is much less expensive than jewelry companies who hires oyster divers to collect oysters directly from the salt water beds. Thus, cultured pearls are every bit as genuine as sea oysters.

Diamonds cannot be cultured in the true sense of the word, as pearls are. There is no such thing as a "diamond farm." Among diamonds, the equivalent of oyster farms is gemological laboratories that produce man-made diamonds called cubic zirconium, or CZ. The debate about whether these man-made diamonds are "real" diamonds continues.

What Are Cultured Diamonds?

Cultured diamonds are created in gemology laboratories rather than being mined. The huge diamond strike of 1985 at the Argyle mine in Perth, Australia, revealed a king's ransom in diamonds of all colors and shapes, one of the richest diamond strikes in history. It took literally eons to create these diamonds from lumps of black carbon into white, yellow, blue, pink, and black diamonds. Cultured diamonds are also formed in labs from carbon, the same as "natural" diamonds. Only a gemologist can tell the difference between a natural diamond and a cubic zirconium cultured diamond. CZ diamonds are of superb quality and loveliness; yet many believe they are not "real" diamonds because they were laboratory-created rather than naturally formed and mined.

It is interesting to note that naturally mined diamonds are so very expensive to defray the cost of mining, cutting into carat weights and polishing. Cultured diamonds sell for only a fraction of the cost of mined diamonds since all the expenses of mined diamonds are eliminated.

Cultured diamonds are created in gemologic laboratories under the same condition as mined diamonds. The process of producing diamonds of all colors from carbon-based coal is essentially the same as that of mined diamonds expect in a more rapid manner. What took nature eons to create can now be created within months in a laboratory. To some buyers, this process creates artificial, cultured diamonds instead of the "real thing." CZ cultured diamonds are just as "real" as cultured pearls. Your choice of mined or cultured diamonds is entirely a matter of your preference and price range.