The July 23 Business article “Same luster — from a lab” failed to note the significant difference between diamonds and synthetics. Synthetics are mass-produced in factories, made in a matter of weeks and primarily used for industrial purposes. None of these qualities is commonly associated with the rarity, beauty and luxury that embody a diamond. As the article acknowledged, many have raised concerns about the long-term value of synthetics because, as a manufactured product, their potential supply is unlimited. Furthermore, synthetics are not eco-friendly, as they require enormous amounts of energy to produce, often in regions where clean energy is rare.
Diamonds are of the earth, made billions of years ago, as old as the stars. They are an authentic, scarce product in an increasingly artificial world. Just as you cannot compare an original painting to a reproduction, you cannot compare a diamond to a synthetic. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission, “it is unfair or deceptive” to use the word “gemstone” to describe a laboratory-grown stone.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Antwerp, Belgium
The writer is chief executive of the Diamond Producers Association.