A widely held belief is that the worth of lab-created diamonds must be equal to the current value of natural diamonds or they are not "genuine." Worth, too, is the sentimental value the gem inspires without concern for its actual physical chemistry and origin, all else being equal. Alternatively, worth is related to a market shift toward lab-created diamonds due to increased negative opinion on "blood" or "conflict" diamonds, and the value seen in helping end human suffering, and the environmental destruction attached to the mining of these natural gems.
Monetary Value of Lab-Created Diamonds
Monetary value for lab-created stones is hard to define because they are so new on the scene. Lab-created diamonds are a pretty sure thing; not a treasure hunt as is mining real diamonds, so the lab-created stones inherently involve less risk, and pass through much fewer middlemen on their way to market. They are priced much lower than their natural equivalents
Lab-created diamonds of today are not cubic zirconium, Moissanite or Russian Brilliants (high-grade CZ), they are diamonds in all but exact physical chemistry. In fact, creating a flawless (FL), colorless (D) grade diamond simulant, which would require a diamond expert to have highly specialized equipment to detect as not having been mined, is more of a certainty than is actually mining one of that grade from the earth.
Real Diamond Worth in Question
Gary La Court, who authored "Man Made Diamonds: A Buyer's Guide" referred in his guide to Cecil Adams, award-winning newspaper columnist of "The Straight Dope" who, in one of his articles, insists that real diamond worth (translating to price) "is a con, pure and simple". He reported that most diamond mining has been under the control of the De Beers cartel that used price fixing to drive up the price of diamonds by only allowing a certain amount into the market every year. Adams also stated in his article that nearly every third natural diamond sold in the United States today is treated to enhance its quality and artificially increase its value.
Some recipients might be so pleased and overwhelmed that the origin of the diamond is inconsequential to them. Others could feel insulted by being given a lab-created diamond and would question the true sincerity of the gift giver when the questioned origin of the diamond is revealed.
As long as both parties have shared their feelings on diamond origins, and learned whether those matters of diamond origin matter, then go forth with confidence. That is the sentimental value part; that an open discussion led to the right choice, and if the right choice is the lab-created stone, its gift, as a gesture of love, will be forever worthy as a symbol of bonding in both parties' eyes.
Worth of Human Kindness
"Human-rights campaigners," PRNewswire reports, "welcome Hollywood's focus on these issues [of conflict and blood diamond mining] and say it will help shed more light on the politics and practices of the diamond mining industry."
A lab-created diamond's worth is measured by a reduction in the slavery of people of some nations who serve the De Beers cartel. Recently, socially responsible (so-named by Diamond Nexus Labs) actors and celebrities have been vocal about their choice to wear only diamond simulants in public.
Worth to Our Environment
Many countries with lax laws allow open-pit, strip and chemical extraction types of diamond mining. The result is a dead landscape so poisoned it cannot be restored. Therefore, a lab-created diamond's environmentally friendly footprint upon the land measures a lab-created diamond's worth.