For a long time, one of the main issues for gemologists was the certification of lab-grown diamonds. Now, when it has become a no-brainer, we’re facing the question of distinction between as-grown and treated.
While the post-growth treatment disclosure in mined diamonds is absolutely obligatory, lab-grown diamond reports still don’t mention the color enhancement. Gemological laboratories have the means of detecting treatment not only in mined diamonds, but in the lab-grown ones as well. However, the certificates still don’t reflect whether a diamond was enhanced or not. Why the double-standards?
Most CVD-diamond manufacturers speak against the disclosure of post-growth treatment because their technology doesn’t allow them to produce near-colorless gemstones without it. Absolute majority of CVD-grown diamonds have a strong brownish tint in their ‘as grown’ form. Their main argument is that treatment is just another step of the diamond-growing process.
A treated mined diamond will cost significantly less than a non-treated one with the same 4C’s. Thus, by arguing against the color enhancement disclosure in lab-grown diamonds, most CVD-growers try to maintain the pricing of treated diamonds at the level of the as-grown.
However, to grow a non-treated high quality colorless diamond costs a lot more than to grow a low quality brownish diamond and then enhance it. Creating a perfect crystal structure without dislocations involves more time and energy, which means the higher production cost. Besides, research and development of applied growing technologies can only be done by a limited number of scientists and it requires significant funding for salaries and trial runs.
Federal Trade Commission, CIBJO and JVC are in agreement that post-growth treatment is not an essential part of the growing process, and therefore should be disclosed in the certificate.
While treatment doesn’t change the overall chemical makeup of the diamond, it might negatively affect some of its properties, such as density. Moreover, the self-cost for as-grown and treated diamonds differ drastically.
We at LaBrilliante strongly believe that full transparency is necessary for consumer confidence. And if a diamond is a symbol of confidence, then it should reflect it. Lab-grown and mined are both diamonds, therefore we should apply the same rules to both of them.