Back to IGS | FAQ | Contact

Do Synthetic Diamonds Belong in Fine Jewllery?

This gem dealer says NO!


Nice video, no disagreements here :grinning:

1 Like

Yes … At the K-mart and Walmart jewelry counter! ;)))))

1 Like

The public getting ripped off with fake gems is a time-honored tradition that dates back millennia. In recent history, a Japanese guy by the name of Mikimoto made a fortune with fake pearls and got sued. Now, in the US, that type of “pearl” needs to be qualified as a “cultured pearl”. Ironically, the big nuclei and bulk of his phony “pearls” were produced by the millions in the US-Mid-West, driving many US mussel species to the brink of extinction (and some beyond). Nowadays, as expected, the Chinese own that industry too with their cheap freshwater mussel cultivation (instead of at least using real oysters for a few months like Mikimoto).

Also, fairly recent (2012) in the US:
16 CFR 23.22 - Disclosure of treatments to gemstones.

Laws be darned: Today, robbing consumers at the register or virtual shopping cart with gem-fakes has almost become “normal – just don’t steal those same fakes five minutes later outside in the parking lot at gun-point.
I suspect that it is just a matter of time before gets a C&D letter. However, I’m just not sure if that would be a huge windfall or disaster for gemologists. I’m guessing the former?

Best wishes, John


John, I used to sell on eBay, my monthly fees would range from $35k-$50k USD (MONTHLY). Between 1999 and 2009 I accumulated about 92k feedback, in 12 years I have added about 4k (a pittance)

To give you an idea of scale, I was selling 14k jewellery with natural stones and diamonds, average price was about $700 USD (gold was still sub $1000 USD)

At the time, commission was very small once you broke $200 (2% I think), so that gives you an idea of scale.

In the late 2000s, the market became FLOODED with fakes! I was contacting eBay almost daily and they gave ZERO SHITS, so I will tell you, THIS LINE " just don’t steal those same fakes five minutes later outside in the parking lot at gun-point." hits SO CLOSE TO HOME!


Once you select synthetic diamonds, then there is no longer Fine Jewels in the
Fine Jewelry.


I’m stealing that one!

The writer who tells the story of Mikimoto has his information incorrect. Mikimoto and the court case…Mikimoto won. the courts found that cultured pearls were real… The fact the oysters were manipulated by inserting a nucleus was no different than a crab’s claw or a parasite as a nucleus irritated the oyster to produced Nacre build up. Fake pearls are glass, plastic …like Majorca pearls that are fake (glass). In fact Majorca never states they are real. It is a company. Although the Chinese are producing cultured pearls, one can distinguish fantastic from poor quality pearls by nacre thickness, color, hue, size, luster… You cannot compare cultured pearls to manufactured fake diamonds i.e. Cubic zirconia . Maybe is a fake pearl.

Please get the facts straight.

1 Like

Dear T2kascikova:
Mikimoto and his fake pearls barely survived the “Paris trial” way back when as still evident today by the laws set forth by the US Federal Trade Commission (
Natural pearls are made by oysters and other mollusks.
Cultured pearls also are grown by mollusks, but with human intervention: an irritant introduced into the shells causes a pearl to grow.
Imitation pearls are man-made with glass, plastic, or organic materials.

Your ads should not use the word pearl - by itself - unless the advertised product consists only of natural pearls. If the product contains cultured pearls, the word “cultured” or “cultivated” - or a synonym - should immediately precede the word pearl.
A statement that discloses only the type of cultured pearl you’re selling - for example, freshwater, South Sea or Akoya pearls – will not suffice. Instead, say that the pearls are cultured: cultured freshwater pearls, South Sea cultured pearls or Akoya cultured pearls. If the product contains imitation pearls, use the word “artificial,” “imitation,” “simulated,” or a synonym immediately preceding the word pearl.
My facts are straight. Perhaps your grasp of the English language is slipping a little?

Anything synthetic cannot be considered, named or sold as Jewelry. It’s a theft & a case of police.
Synthetic gems including diamonds are as bad than useless plastic junk & belong to the garbage bin.
My two (real) cents

Well you are entitled to your opinion but I might point out that the global “costume jewelry” market which you believe to be not jewellery at all was valued at US$32.9 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$59.7 billion by 2027 according to Allied Market Research. Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for costume jewelry far exceeds diamond jewelry. We are also watching the synthetic diamond market with great interest. Here at Luxuria we’ve always believed that customers will buy what suits their taste, budget and philosophy.

You go your way, I go mine. (Bob Dylan)

Costume Jewellery is by definition, NOT fine jewellery.

Regarding market value: Toilet paper is a multi billion dollar business too, but it’s not fine jewellery.

Regarding customers, I believe that part of my job is to educate my clients.

For example, I make a lot of emerald engagement rings, but the first thing I say is ‘You know emeralds need a lot of special care and handling and aren’t necessarily suitable for everyone…’

I then go on to ask about what they do for a living and explain what they can and can’t do with it and I explain that we are probably going to have to re polish the stone in 15-20 years.

All the things I said in the video are true, I mostly made that video so when people ask about synthetics, I can just send them a link to that blog post and say ‘sorry, I don’t do synthetics’

Kind regards

I agree with you completely. I recently received some known & identified lab created rubies. When researching what their value was, I was floored. Went to “GemsNGems” & found that I could get ten of the same size stones for under $100.00. People hear the terms Blood Dimond or Conflict Stones & shy away from them, even though they are real. Some jewelers have taken advantage of them by selling lab created stones & saying these are “Ethically Sourced” & people are jumping all over them. All they hear is Ethically Sourced, not here is a $5.00 stone being sold to them for $500.00.
In the long run. Synthetics hurt everyone in the gemstone trade.

1 Like

“In the long run. Synthetics hurt everyone in the gemstone trade.”


That is why I am so against them!

If we have someone pay $10k for a fake diamond ring, and in five years they can’t sell it for $500, of course they are not going to continue to buy jewellery!

I say all the time that ‘I turn people into jewellery buyers’, how can they have faith in a product like fake diamonds?

Indeed, North-American customers are getting screwed daily at every turn.
How do we help them after the fact? In the US, they can possibly take this matter most affordably to their local small claims court. It can’t award more than $6,500. If you have a case you think is worth more than $6,500, you can still file it. However, you then lose any amount over $6,500.

The last address of Asian dirt-bag- “certifications” might be found using the WaybackMachine at Naturally, if this turns out to be another “service” in Asia, any court judgment they receive is likely to be ignored – but should still be a tax deduction for US victims. While some excellent Asian certification- reputations exist (e.g. 8th Dimension Gems at, I’ve stopped buying any supposedly certified ebay, Amazon or etsy gems from Asia.
Best wishes, John

1 Like