I had a client call me about a custom made engagement ring setting. He told me that he and his girlfriend had decided to go with a man made diamond, in order to save some money on the ring.
The technology does exist, but right now it's only cost effective when producting man made yellow diamonds.
(Check out this article from Wired Magazine about the new technology for making flawless man made diamonds, it's really cool!)
Anyway, when I inquired further he told me that they were getting a Nexus Diamond and it cost about $125 for approximately a 1ct stone. Obviously this seemed too good to be true so I looked into and I was upset to find that the Diamond Nexus Lab website is quite misleading. They aren't selling man made diamonds, they are selling diamond simulants, which is a fancy way of saying they are selling a stone that has similar optical qualities to a diamond, but it's a not a diamond.
For anyone that can't afford a diamond engagement ring, diamond simulants are a great option. Cubic Zirconia is a very well known diamond simulant and more recently Moissanite has hit the jewelry market and it's a really great diamond simulant. It has more brilliance and fire than a diamond, and it is the second hardest naturally occuring substance on Earth.
For more about Moissanite click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moissanite
Diamond Nexus Lab, the first problem is it says diamond in their name and they aren't selling diamonds! Elsewhere on the website they do say simulant, but in my research I found a lot of postings on the web where people believed they were buying a man made diamond from Diamond Nexus. I was really apalled by the response to this FAQ from the Diamond Nexus Website:
Q: Why are Diamond Nexus stones so much less expensive than other manufactured diamonds?A: We offer our products at the most reasonable prices we can. Unfortunately, we can’t explain other companies’ pricing because we don’t have any information about their internal costs or structure.
THEY'RE CHEAPER BECAUSE THEY AREN'T DIAMONDS!
It's websites like this that are misleading that give the jewelry industry a bad name. There is absolutely nothing wrong with their simulants. They are good diamond simulants, but I think they make it unclear that they are selling a stone that is completely different from a diamond.
So, be careful!