Why A Private Jeweler?

As you know, I’m a private jeweler who does business worldwide. Recently, I’ve been working with a colleague in the UK, Steve Osbourn, who deals primarily in antique jewelry. He also heads up the Talking Antiques blog, and recently profiled me in their latest update.

Please take a look at the article and the blog and let me know what you think.

Click here to link to the Talking Antiques Blog.

DeBeers Accepts The Inevitable, Starts Selling Lab-Grown Diamonds

So the elephant in the room started roaring its trunk.

De Beers has just announced they are in the lab grown business, after years of trying to discredit and disparage them by calling lab-grown diamonds “artificial”. This announcement came out Tuesday. I wonder what’s behind this switch in selling philosophy. For instance, I am very curious why they have set the lab grown diamond price to $800.00 per carat? Why so low??? Doesn’t it seem like they are up to something?

Let’s wait see. As of now, they are not selling Bridal, which seems to me like the biggest potential market for lab grown diamonds.

You know I LOVE Diamonds from either the mine or lab grown from a tube, especially since you cannot tell the difference.

CVD and mined diamonds are identical, and the only way to tell the difference is by sending them to a lab. And you know how a lab determines the difference? The CVD diamonds are generally “too perfect” compared to mined diamonds.

Tomorrow I will be in Las Vegas for the largest diamond and jewelry convention. New jewelry and old and antiques.

I look forward to telling you more about the convention later.


Lab-Grown Diamonds Make The Big Leagues

A lab-grown diamond company has partnered up with Warren Buffett-owned jewelry retailer Borsheims to unveil the largest lab grown PINK diamond in the world. This 3.99 carat, Fancy Orange Pink, VS2 clarity diamond will be sold along with other lab grown PINK Diamonds that range from 1 to 3 carats.

It’s interesting to see how respected billionaire businessman Warren Buffett has embraced lab-grown diamonds, especially since the mined diamond industry is fighting so hard and working with retailers to keep the public from buying Lab Grown Diamonds.

For example, this happened to me: I called the headquarters of a major warehouse store and spoke to the Assistant Jewelry Buyer to talk about supplying lab grown diamonds. I explained who I am and pitched a multi-designer line of bridal engagement rings, featuring Lab Grown Diamonds. Before I could finish, she dismissively yelled in to phone, “WE DON’T SELL THAT STUFF”. I calmly asked if she knew about Lab Grown Diamonds? She again yelled into the phone. “YES I DO. I JUST CAME BACK FROM ISRAEL AND I KNOW ALL ABOUT THOSE FAKE DIAMONDS ,” and then she hung up on me.

Wow, sure looks like some one is in the pockets of the mined diamond industry.

What do you all think?

Pink Synthetic 520.jpg

My Thoughts On The Future of Lab Grown Diamonds (Part 2 — “Synthetic” vs. “Lab Grown” Diamonds)

Continuing from my previous post, I wanted to share why I think that the term the GIA uses, “synthetic diamond”, is inaccurate, and why the GIA is incorrectly positioning lab grown diamonds.

The CVD Lab creates the perfect environment, a “Hot House” if you will, to grow a diamond, mimicking the process of how a mined diamond grows deep in the earth. But in the lab, a diamond takes 16 weeks to grow; in the earth, a diamond can take literally millions of years to grow.

For CVDs, the lab introduces a “perfect” diamond crystal or seed to start the diamond. Then, they add all the ingredients necessary to make a diamond and “bake” it, and Mother Nature takes over the growing process,. The seed starts to grow into a larger diamond crystal. Just like Mother Nature, the Lab has no control over the color or clarity of the growing crystal, just like there’s no control in the creation of a mined diamond in the ground. The end result is a real diamond, just like if it were found in the ground, with the same chemical and gemological properties as a diamond mined out of the ground. The lab grown diamond is just made much, much, faster.

SO, going by GIA’s guidelines, if you grew tomatoes or Orchid plants in a “hot house”, GIA would label them synthetic [from my previous post, the term “synthetic” is defined as made by chemical synthesis to imitate a natural product], just like they label the lab grown diamond synthetic. As we all know, a hot house tomato isn’t a synthetic imitation. It is identical to a tomato grown in the ground. It was just produced in a different way. And sometimes hot house tomatoes taste better and are of higher quality than store bought, just like lab grown diamonds compared to some mined diamonds.

So why would the GIA continue to mislabel “lab grown” diamonds as “synthetic”?

When I dug further, I discovered that the majority of GIA’s funding comes from companies that mine diamonds and dealers of mined diamonds. And mined diamond companies do not like the lab grown diamond companies infringing on their business.

In my next post, I’ll discuss where I think the future of lab grown diamonds is heading. By the way, the future may be here already.

For the first part of this post, in which I discuss why I think there’s so much resistance to Lab Grown Diamonds, click this link: http://bit.ly/2gqOlvX

My Thoughts On The Future Of Lab Grown Diamonds (Part 1 — Why There Is So Much Resistance)

Hi everybody, I want to finish talking about CVD diamonds or Lab Grown diamonds that are emerging in the marketplace, and make my case for why lab grown diamonds are equal in quality to mined diamonds.

As I’ve learned more about lab grown diamonds, I can unequivocally say that the gemological properties of lab grown diamonds are identical to those of mined diamonds out of the ground. But not everyone shares my opinion.

The big resistance to Lab Grown Diamonds becoming accepted seems to come from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the premier non-profit laboratory that grades and analyzes diamonds. When someone wants to certify a diamond’s shape, color, and quality, they need to get a diamond certificate — GIA is the most commonly accepted organization to issue them. There are other organizations that grade diamonds and issue certificates, but GIA is the most generally accepted of them all.

GIA calls and labels lab grown diamonds “synthetic diamonds”. The term “synthetic” gives the impression that lab grown diamonds are made of something other than diamond material to imitate a natural product, and suggests that they are not the real thing. BUT in my world and from my research on Lab Grown Diamonds, a lab grown diamond is made from the gemologically identical material as a mined diamond.

I witnessed the process process myself in Singapore at IIA Technologies. By the naked eye, you cannot tell the difference, because there is no difference. Yet GIA refuses to change its terminology. The question is “Why?”

BTW — THE ONLY way to tell if a diamond is a lab grown is to send it to a lab, where they must undergo a series of steps to determine if a diamond is mined or lab grown, and even this process isn’t 100% accurate, because the two types of diamonds are virtually identical.

In my next post, I’ll get into the reasons why the term “synthetic diamond” is incorrect when it comes to Lab Grown Diamonds.


For my previous post on lab grown diamonds, click the link below.

Visiting the World’s Largest Lab Grown Diamond Factory In Singapore: http://bit.ly/2wW9SmH


Visiting The World’s Largest Diamond Growing Factory in Singapore — Overview — Part 1

I am excited to start telling you about my visit to the Largest Diamond Growing Laboratory in the world, IIa Technologies (www.2atechnologies.com), located in Singapore.

We flew from Los Angeles to Singapore via Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific (fantastic airline, BTW), and stayed at the sprawling Grand Hyatt Singapore near Orchard Street. My appointment was at 10 am. My assistant Stephen and I took a taxi from our hotel in downtown Singapore to the Western edge of the island. Since Singapore is a small island, the ride only took 20 minutes. The laboratory actually resembles a large factory and is located in an industrial part of the island that is newly developing. As we pulled up, I was very nervous and excited at the same time.

We were meeting with CEO Mr. Vishal Mehta and his Business Development executive Ms. Lin Lin, with whom Stephen made the arrangements.

We started with a discussion about the company and the diamond industry. Mr. Mehta started telling us the backstory of his company, IIa Technologies. Long story short is that Mr. Mehta’s mother started this lab growing factory. She was in the gold designing jewelry business, but thought that growing diamonds could be a big business.

They started a company that became IIa Technologies. Several years of investment and scientific research later, IIa Technologies produces more lab-grown diamonds than the rest of their competitors combined. I can’t wait to meet Mr. Mehta’s mother! Love a smart woman.

As we all know the diamond industry is changing very fast. Over the last few years, many lab growing companies have come and gone — either their costs were too high, or they didn’t know how to produce the diamonds. The rise of the lab grown diamond industry has come about in no small part because there is a limited supply of mined diamonds left in the earth. Most reports suggest there may be only a 20-year supply of mined diamonds left.

One of the largest mined diamond companies, De Beers Group, has been buying lab-growing companies and investing in companies that make handheld scans that can determine if a diamond is lab-grown or mined, just to stay relevant in the diamond game. There’s no denying it. The future of lab grown diamonds is HERE! It’s just amazing that it has been a BIG secret for years.

Then we got a surprise — we were allowed to visit the factory, which we learned that very few outsiders ever see. Lucky me! In the factory, everything is sealed to keep out dust and any free form flying particles out. Hair nets, Lab coats, and let’s not forget about the booties. The diamond growing process is fascinating, but we were asked not to discuss specifics, as the process is proprietary. Suffice it to say, diamond growing is fascinating — and impressive. I got chills seeing diamonds being grown in front of my eyes.

This lab in Singapore is where they grow the diamonds. Mr. Mehta’s brother runs the sister company “Pure Grown Diamonds” in the United States east coast, which is their primary selling office in the United States.

More to come, including my interview with the CEO of IIa Technologies, Mr. Vishal Mehta.



Interview with Jewelry Designer Claudia Endler on Lab-Grown Diamonds

I wanted to interview a jewelry designer who works with lab-grown diamonds and get their perspective. I chose colleague and friend Claudia Endler, an award winning jewelry designer (claudia@claudiaendler.com).

Claudia is one of the chosen few jewelry designers for Diamond Foundry, a California-based diamond growing laboratory. Diamond Foundry is also the company that has among its investors, Leonardo De Caprio. She has been working with lab-grown diamonds for a few years, and I was interested in what she thought of them.

Me: What do you think of lab-grown diamonds?

Claudia: I like lab-grown diamonds as much as mined diamonds. Beauty is beauty! There are several great things about the lab grown diamonds. The lab grown diamonds are the same material as a diamond mined from the ground — they’re just grown in a Lab. There is very little to no ecological footprint in making lab-grown diamonds. No legal or ethical issues, no ground pollution, no conflicts, and this product is renewable!

Me: Do you think lab grown diamonds will change the diamond industry?

Claudia: I am sure they will. I think customers will divide into two buying groups. The group who wants the rare, out-of-the-ground diamond, and the group who want clean, renewable, conflict-free diamonds.

Me: How do you as a jewelry designer feel about the lab-grown diamonds in your jewelry creations?

Claudia : I feel that lab-grown diamonds will give jewelry designers like me a better platform with their designs, like painting with diamonds, white or colored. We all know the pinks, blues and yellows are very expensive, whereas the lab-grown diamonds, white or colored, are more affordable and easier to acquire. To be able to work with more affordable colored diamonds is very exciting. I can be more creative in my designs, and my clients benefit from being able to buy and wear pieces that have more white and colored lab-grown diamonds than if those same pieces only had mined diamonds.

Me: Do you feel that lab-grown diamonds take away from Claudia Endler designs?

Claudia : No, not at all! As I say, beauty is beauty. A lab-grown diamond IS a diamond! The only difference is that the stone came out of the laboratory not the ground. I am very proud that I was chosen to work with the Diamond Foundry using their Lab Grown Diamonds.

This was just a snapshot of my conversation with an Award Winning jewelry designer and her feelings about lab grown diamonds.

Let me know what concerns or thoughts you have about wearing lab-grown diamonds as jewelry.

If you have any questions for Claudia Endler, you can write me at geralddavid.bauman@gmail.com, or go straight to claudia@claudiaendler.com.

How will lab grown diamonds be priced? Interview with Lauren McCawley, Part 3

This is part 3 of my interview with high-end Jewelry PR Executive Lauren McCawley (https://www.instagram.com/socabelle/).

You can find part 1 of my interview here: http://bit.ly/2hz4VZO
You can find part 2 of my interview here: http://bit.ly/2hpHhhM

Lauren: I feel that lab grown diamonds will come down in pricing over time, and the price of mined diamonds will continue to go up. I don’t feel that that lab grown diamonds will affect the mined diamond pricing.

Gerald. Yes, Lauren. I feel the same way about pricing.

Lauren: Jewelry designers will design more fabulous jewelry with lab grown diamonds, so their clients will become used to being fashionable with lab grown diamonds, at a lower cost than with mined diamonds. And, by the way, diamonds, lab grown or mined, are still diamonds!! Mined diamond prices may continue to go up because their availability is finite. Many experts predict the earth’s diamond supply could be depleted within twenty years. When that happens, mined diamonds will become even more rare as a result, but lab grown diamonds can be produced indefinitely.

Readers, I’d love to know if you would consider buying a lab grown diamond? Let me know what you think! You can reach me at my private email address: GeraldDavid.Bauman@gmail.com.

As always,


Appeal of Lab Grown Diamonds — Interview with Lauren McCawley, Part 2

This is part 2 of my interview with high-end Jewelry PR executive Lauren McCawley (https://www.instagram.com/socabelle/), who sat down with me to share her thoughts on the appeal of lab grown diamonds.

You can find part 1 of my interview with Lauren here: http://bit.ly/2hz4VZO

Lauren: The younger consumers look at life very differently from the rest of the population. They are more concerned about being “green”, eco-friendly, and much more into renewable products. And the younger buyers are more price conscious, so the lab grown diamond fits more of their wants and needs than a mined diamond.

Gerald: I feel you are right about the younger diamond buying crowd being more open to lab grown diamonds. I feel that once the elephant leaves the room and more of the public is aware of lab grown diamonds, diamond buyers will split into two categories – the rare mined diamonds, and the green, renewable, lab grown diamonds. To me, it is just like what happened in the pearl market with the introduction of cultured
pearls. The natural pearl buyer is different from the cultured pearl buyer, and will pay 1000% more per strand of natural pearls than for a strand of cultured pearls. Rare is rare, and some people will pay to own rare.

Readers, do lab grown diamonds (also known as CVD Diamonds) appeal to you? If so, why, or why not?

Please email me your thoughts to my private email address: GeraldDavid.Bauman@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Stay tuned for part 3!