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  • It's the biggest disrupter

  • the diamond industry has faced.

  • We're growing diamonds that are identical in every way

  • to a mined stone.

  • Lab-grown diamonds are the future of the industry.

  • Machines are now growing diamonds

  • in a matter of weeks for two thirds of the price.

  • But can they replace the magic of a mined stone?

  • These stones were created by nature.

  • Thousands of year ago, lab-created diamonds

  • could never take the place of the real thing.

  • Could they cause the 82 billion dollar

  • diamond jewelry industry to lose its sparkle?

  • You must travel back in time

  • one billion years to witness its birth.

  • Sophisticated ads have been making the case

  • for diamonds for decades.

  • De Beers, the world's biggest rough diamond producer

  • by value, linked diamonds with romance in the late 1940s

  • and dreamt up the idea of a diamond engagement ring

  • as an essential display of love.

  • The diamond engagement ring.

  • How else could two months' salary last forever?

  • Diamonds are purchased emotionally.

  • People, in previous times, adorned gods with them.

  • So called Queen of Diamonds, Alisa Moussaieff,

  • sells gems to the rich and the royal the world over

  • and has done for over half a century.

  • For her, there's more to a diamond

  • than its chemical structure.

  • The energy is in the stone itself.

  • The moment you hold it in your hand, you would feel it.

  • It speaks to you.

  • The real diamonds have got that energy,

  • which can never be recreated.

  • While sales of lab-grown diamonds

  • are about 2% of the industry,

  • the market is growing by over 15% a year.

  • They've actually been around for more than 60 years,

  • but recently, the process and the product

  • have been refined.

  • California-based Diamond Foundry

  • can create a one carat diamond in two weeks.

  • The process begins by taking a seed crystal.

  • Right here, you can actually see a seed itself.

  • This contains the atomic blueprint

  • that actually makes a diamond a diamond.

  • The reactors are then filled with a mixture

  • of carbon, cane and gasses

  • and those gasses are electrically separated.

  • So, the carbon atoms themselves bond

  • with the surface of the seed.

  • Any gemologist in the world

  • will put one of our stones under a grading lamp

  • and grade it exactly the same as a mined stone.

  • Though the difference can be detected

  • using specialized equipment in a lab,

  • the US Federal Trade Commission, in July 2018,

  • expanded its definition of a diamond

  • to include lab-grown stones.

  • But Mrs. Moussaieff doesn't feel threatened.

  • Lab-created diamonds may affect the lower part

  • of the market, but it will never affect the real gems.

  • There will be no disruption.

  • The very expensive diamonds are still bought

  • for investment purposes,

  • an investment which holds its value.

  • Now buyers can pick up a lab-grown diamond

  • for a third less than a mined stone

  • and as technology improves, prices will drop further.

  • Big mined stones are valuable because they are rare.

  • But diamond mining has been linked to conflict,

  • human rights abuses and state corruption.

  • Lab-grown diamonds provide an ethically sourced alternative.

  • We're giving customers the option of

  • a product that is 100% traceable and origin guaranteed.

  • That just hasn't been possible

  • in the diamond industry before.

  • But until top designers decide to work

  • with lab-grown stones, their potential will be limited

  • within the luxury market.

  • I would not call a lab-created diamond jewelry, really.

  • I would consider it an ornament.

  • An ornament can be made of silk,

  • it can be made of steel

  • and it can be made as a lab-created diamond.

  • Lab-grown diamonds need the glamour

  • and romance associated with mined diamonds

  • if they're going to survive.

  • Mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds

  • can coexist peacefully in the market.

  • We hope that lab-grown diamonds growth in the industry

  • will be a call to action for the entire industry

  • to clean up their practices.

  • It's a direction the diamond market

  • is already heading.

  • As of January 2019, Tiffany & Co,

  • the biggest jeweler in the world by sales,

  • will disclose the origin of all of its diamonds.

  • It could force a new wave of transparency

  • across the jewelry world.

  • But, for the makers of lab-grown diamonds,

  • the jewelry world is only the beginning.

  • Diamonds can be used in everything from

  • cutting and grinding to quantum computing,

  • which can drive the true future of computing.

  • It's not the end of the diamond industry,

  • it's the beginning.

It's the biggest disrupter

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B1 US diamond lab grown mined industry jewelry

Are lab-grown diamonds the future? | The Economist

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    joey joey posted on 2021/06/08
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