SWFL jeweler on lab-grown diamonds’ increasing popularity

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Imagine a big diamond on your finger for a third of the typical cost. Lab-grown diamonds are becoming popular, especially among the younger generations. But can you tell the difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds?

Looking at the selection of diamonds at Hannoush Jewelers in the Edison Mall, you can’t tell the difference at all. It sparkles just the same. Even jewelers have to put them in a machine to tell the difference between lab-grown and natural.

Hannoush Jewelers showed WINK how they test the diamonds to tell the difference. In the machine, the lab-grown diamond comes up as red, and the natural diamond as blue.

Christina Sivert, diamond consultant and assistant manager at Hannoush Jewelers, says lab-grown diamonds have become very popular within the last couple of years. She thinks it could be from social media spreading the word about a more affordable option that can get you a bigger ring for less money. Sivert says lab-grown is 25% to 30% cheaper.

“If somebody comes in and says, ‘I want a one-carat, and this is my budget,’ then I typically steer them more to the lab-grown because I can’t get them what they want in a natural diamond, or I can but it’s not going to be of good quality and clarity,” Sivert said. “And that’s the last thing somebody wants to do is look at their ring and see, you know, some imperfections in the diamond.”

WINK asked several people in downtown Fort Myers what they thought.

“I’d prefer the real diamond; there is nothing like the real thing,” said Diane Goode.

“I would prefer the real diamond,” said Anna Scimeca.

“If the lab looked the same and was the same quality, about… yeah, I would probably go for that,” said Sophia Wengel.

“Real diamond that’s smaller,” said Ashley Menigoz.

“At first thought, the bigger diamond,” said Kaveon Dux. “But it depends on, like, the quality of it, number one, and also: Is a lab-grown diamond as special as maybe an authentic diamond for my potential fiancée?”

Sivert says younger generations seem to be more open to the idea.

“If they want a large stone, good quality and clarity, they might have to go lab if [natural is] not in their budget,” Sivert said.

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