Barely better than clubs

The diamond industry (think De Beers) would have you believe that synthetic, laboratory-created diamonds are somehow inferior to those dug out of a mine. Actually, there’s not very much special about any diamonds regardless of provenance:

Don’t believe a word of the hype from the diamond industry about how “natural” gems are somehow “better” than synthetic gems. They’re lying — and, what’s more, they’ve been living a lie for generations. You see, there are parts of the world where diamonds are common or garden items. If it were allowed (it’s not), I could take you for a walk in the so-called Sperrgebiet — “Forbidden Area” — in Namibia, and literally pick up diamonds off the sand as we walk. I know. I’ve done it on an escorted tour, near Oranjemund. (Of course, the area has long been stripped of most of its best diamonds, at enormous profit to the local diamond industry but giving virtually nothing back to the local population or the country.)

But there is a difference, right?

Put two identical gems next to one another, one natural and the other synthetic, and you probably won’t be able to tell them apart unless you examine them microscopically. (Indeed, the synthetic gem may well be “superior” to the natural one, in that it’ll probably contain fewer impurities.)

What price mystique? Ask the poor shlub who spent student-loan-level fundage on a solitaire for his ladylove.


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