Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Natural Diamonds vs. Lab Grown Diamonds: Pawnbrokers Weigh in on their Real Value

The diamond industry has indeed seen some pushback against lab-grown diamonds from certain segments, including some traditional jewelry retailers.

Lab-grown diamonds, or more popularly called synthetic diamonds by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), are chemically and optically identical to mined diamonds but are produced in controlled environments rather than mined from the earth. The GIA is renowned all around the world because jewelries with real diamonds usually come with GIA certificates.

While many jewelers recognize that lab-grown diamonds are more sustainable and more environmentally friendly, there are also several drawbacks associated with them. One of the significant cons of lab-grown diamonds is the perceived value compared to natural diamonds. Some consumers still view natural diamonds as having higher value and prestige due to their rarity and natural formation process over millions of years. This perception can lead to lab-grown diamonds being valued lower in the resale market, affecting their perceived investment value.

There could also be concerns about consumer confusion or misinformation regarding lab-grown diamonds. With the rise of lab grown diamonds, pawnbrokers are worried that customers will not be able to fully grasp the differences between lab-grown and mined diamonds, leading to potential dissatisfaction or disputes over the authenticity and value of jewelry.

For this reason, the Chamber of Pawnbrokers of the Philippines Inc. (CPPI) is still partial to natural diamonds which they say offer several advantages that contribute to their enduring popularity and appeal.

Formed deep within the Earth over millions of years, natural diamonds are exceptionally rare geological formations created under intense heat and pressure deep within the Earth's mantle. Their scarcity contributes to their perceived value and desirability, making them symbols of luxury, status, and romance.  The CPPI says natural diamonds have a proven track record of retaining their value over time, with some rare and exceptional diamonds appreciating significantly in value.  CPPI adds that investors often view natural diamonds as tangible assets with long-term investment potential, something that cannot be said of lab diamonds which are often not accepted in pawnshops allied with CPPI.

CPPI President Jean Henri Lhuillier explains: “We at CPPI recognize that lab-grown diamonds provide an alternative option. But we also want the general public to know that many of our member pawnbrokers here in the Philippines do not accept lab diamonds- as opposed to natural diamonds. Natural diamonds offer a combination of rarity, beauty, cultural significance and emotional appeal and remain a cherished choice for many seeking unparalleled elegance and sophistication. That is why we advise those looking for valuable investments to go for natural diamonds when making a purchase as their value endures over the course of time”.

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