As man uses up more and more of Earth’s non-renewable resources, the value of those items will continue to rise and some of them may, in the not too distant future, become totally out of the financial reach of the average person. The diamond set in a ring of gold, the traditional American setting for an engagement ring may eventually become an investment only for the very wealthy.
Demand for diamonds is increasing while the supply of natural diamonds is decreasing. It’s just basic supply and demand.
Diamond mines, gold mines, and stores of Earth’s precious gems are not unlimited. Mining of any metal takes its toll on the environment as well as human life. Conflict diamonds – named for the fact that they finance violence in some parts of the world – are difficult to identify and are also referred to as blood diamonds, war diamonds, or similar undesirable names. As supplies of Earth’s treasures are depleted, their cost will rise.
Recycled Reclaimed Man- Made Metals and Stones
Lab created diamonds, which are also known as engineered or cultured diamonds, are grown in laboratories in a controlled environment. The process is designed to duplicate the conditions under which earth-formed diamonds develop beneath the Earth’s surface. Man-made diamonds are made of carbon atoms arranged in a structure similar to natural diamonds and have the same appearance and chemical properties.
Lab grown diamonds of high quality can be an excellent investment, and are usually more affordable than natural diamonds of similar size and quality. It takes a professional with specialized equipment to distinguish a man-made diamond from a naturally formed diamond.
In addition to man-made diamonds, some very beautiful and high quality jewelry can be found made with recycled and refined precious metals. Gold, platinum, and silver can be refined back into their pure elements yielding the same quality and value as freshly mined metals.
Just as we are finding ways to re-use and re-cycle glass, plastic and paper, there are ways to do the same with diamonds and precious metals, and in many cases, the finished product never gives a hint of its past life or the fact that it got it’s start in a laboratory instead of miles below the Earth’s surface.
Diamond Certification and Rating
Before purchasing any diamond, you should review the grading report, sometimes call a diamond certificate. The certificate is a report prepared by a group of gemologists to provide information about the diamond that only a well trained eye can determine. A diamond certificate should be issued by an independent laboratory such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL). These labs provide non-biased opinions of the quality and condition of diamonds including clarity, color, and size.
Man-made diamonds are also graded by the GIA and AGSL and any reputable jeweler should be able to provide you a report prior to your purchase.
The Future of Fine Jewelry and Precious Metals
Man-made diamonds and reclaimed gold and other precious metals are very possibly the future of fine jewelry, engagement and wedding rings. Does that increase the value of what you already own? There are reputable companies that will evaluate your jewelry and purchase at today’s market value or assist in upgrading the stones or metal you currently own. Companies such as Blue Nile, James Allen and Brilliant Earth offer an abundance of information easily available online.