Are lab grown diamonds fake diamonds?
Greenhouse grown tomatoes are generally not called “synthetic” or “fake” by anyone, and humans created via IVF only by some in the UK. Yet the diamond mining industry is spending millions of dollars each year to get people to call lab created diamonds fake diamonds.
Clearly what is considered ‘natural’ is a political issue in commerce and society. Depending on who is presently the most powerful industry lobby, vastly different meanings of ‘natural’ can be found across industries, including the exact opposite meanings. Different societal perspectives lead to different attitudes as well.
By further example, consider that ‘natural’ is used in the meat industry to describe any meat that has not been post processed. The animal may well have grown under as unnatural circumstances as imaginable, including stiff treatments while alive. As long as there was no post processing on the carved meat, the meat receives the commercial benefit of being sellable as ‘natural’. This is convenient for the industrial meat producers.
In the diamond industry, many earth-extracted diamonds undergo post processing to obtain more valuable color. Yet such diamonds are still called ‘natural’. This is convenient for the industrial mining producers. On the other hand, the mining industry has lobbied aggressively with the FTC to assert that diamonds grown in a greenhouse from natural seeds shall not be called ‘natural’.
In 2013, De Beers even lobbied with the FTC to redefine the actual scientific dictionary definition of the noun ‘diamond’ to signify material produced by them only as opposed to the crystal structure defined by science. The FTC showed good common sense in rejecting that – obviously ridiculous – request.
Smart buyers beware.