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The Truth About Mined Diamonds

Why are natural diamonds so expensive? Why are they considered so valuable? We take a hard look at the myths surrounding natural, mined diamonds and get to the bottom of what makes them so expensive.

The Prestwick Place was founded by two lovers, frustrated with the diamond industry. We set out to find an alternative option in a market where none had previously existed. This path led us to the Moissanite and the Lab-Grown diamond. The Moissanite, which in fact has a higher refractive index (sparkle) than the diamond, costs 1/3 of the price of natural mined diamonds while a Lab-Diamond (which is a real diamond) is free from all conflict, diamond mining and is almost 40% more cost effective than a diamond mined from the earth.

Hours, weeks and months of personal education led us here, so let us summarise our findings and give you a look at just how important it is to understand the truth about natural diamonds and why we are so passionate about our Moissanite and Lab-Grown Diamonds..


Why are natural diamonds so overpriced?

It's simple: market demand. For centuries, diamonds have been a sign of power, wealth and status. 
“A Diamond Is Forever.” You’ve heard it. You’ve believed it. We’ve all fallen for the creative genius of excellent advertising. As it turns out diamond engagement rings weren’t common until 20th century 'diamond advertising campaigns'.
Unfortunately, despite what you might have heard, diamonds don’t carry intrinsic value and they often come from places where the environment and workers are abused.
It is true that diamonds were once a rare stones however, diamonds haven't been considered 'rare' since 1870 when enormous deposits of diamonds were discovered in Kimberley, South Africa. These mines and deposits were so huge that soon after their discovery, the financiers behind these South African mines realised the diamond market would become worthless if the accessibility to these stones wasn't maintained. Thus, in 1888, the price of diamonds became monopolised.
By limiting the supply of diamonds that make it from mine to market each year, this monopoly ensured that there were not enough stones to go around for everyone who was planning on saying “I do.”

It's important to understand that the diamond is still a wonderful stone however, clever marketing and advertising behind this monopoly have skewed their natural worth.
In an industry with so little information given in the lead up to a proposal, it really helps to shed some light on the jewellery industry. 

MYTH #1: Diamonds are expensive because they’re so rare?
Diamonds are not particularly rare. In comparison to other gemstones, diamonds are the most common precious stone found. 

Generally, the cost per carat (or weight of a gemstone) is based upon a stone’s rarity; the rarer the stone, the more expensive. Therefore, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are much rarer and, in turn, far more expensive than diamonds.


MYTH #2: The bigger the diamond, the more it costs?
While this is not entirely wrong, it’s not entirely right, either. The size or carat weight of a diamond is only one factor in calculating the value of the diamond.

Known as the “Four C’s,” carat, clarity, colour and cut, collectively inform the price of a diamond. No single characteristic outweighs another; they all contribute and influence the final retail value. For example, you can have a whopping 10-carat diamond, but, if it’s clarity is low, it does not guarantee the huge stone will be worth more than a smaller sized diamond with perfect clarity.


And so, why Lab-Grown Diamond?

Lab grown diamonds are simply, real diamonds.

Lab grown diamonds are composed of crystallised carbon just like natural diamonds so the two have the same appearance and the same physical, chemical and optical characteristics.

Lab-grown diamonds are created using extreme pressure and heat inside a machine rather than the bowels of the Earth. Lab grown diamonds are identical to earth mined diamonds in every way, except that they are grown in a lab. They have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as mined diamonds however, they are free from all forms of conflict, they doo not impose ecological harm and damage to our environment and they do not require any diamond mining.

For those that have always wanted a diamond yet, are conscious of their natural environmental destruction and their monopolised, overpriced market value, a Lab-Grown Diamond may the perfect option fo you. 


Futhermore, why Moissanite? 

Moissanite is a gemstone born from the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  He initially thought that he had discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide.

Natural Moissanite is incredibly rare, so Moissanite available today is laboratory-created. After many years of trial and error, the particles Moissan discovered were successfully synthesised to produce what is now one of the world’s most scintillating gemstones.

Moissanite are very high up on Mohs scale for hardness. Moissanite have a score of 9.25 and are the second hardest stone known to man, second to the diamondwhich comes in at 10. 

Moissanite is so similar in appearance to diamonds that they make excellent substitutes. In most cases, no one would even know the difference unless you told them.

One final way that Moissanite trumps natural diamonds is that they are ethical and sustainable and have minimal impact on the environment. This isn’t to say that other stones aren’t sustainable, it’s just that natural diamonds have come under fire in recent decades due to unethical practices in the industry.

With the release of movies like Blood Diamond, which shows the dark underbelly of the diamond industry, many couples are moving towards more ethical options. If you’re concerned about buying a conflict diamond or the huge devastation that diamond mining has on the planet, a Moissanite or Lab-Diamond might be a more suitable option for you.



Ultimately, the most important factor in your decision on Moissanite / Lab-Diamond vs Mined Diamond — even more so than cost — will be whether you’d just prefer to have a mined diamond or a lab-grown stone.

Some consumers prefer diamond for tradition, prestige, or natural origin. Others prefer moissanite and lab-grown diamond for sustainability or ethical reasons, or simply because they can get the aesthetic they desire for less. This is a personal choice with no wrong answers. If you’d prefer a natural diamond, you should buy a natural diamond. If you’d prefer a moissanite, buy a moissanite. If you prefer a diamond but want to maintain your sustainability and ethical responsibilities, you should opt for a lab-grown diamond. 


One thing is certain, we urge you to please listen to your heart and choose only the option that suits you. 


With Love, 

The Prestwick Place Artisans