Diamond Facts And Myths: Common Misconceptions About the Diamond Industry

Natural Diamond Council, the authoritative resource on natural diamonds, has released its 2023 analytical report entitled, Diamond Facts: Addressing myths and misconceptions about the diamond industry. Through this report, the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) has set out to address misinformation about both natural diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds.


The Natural Diamond Council has released a report, Diamond Facts, to address common misconceptions about both natural and laboratory-grown diamonds. The report provides evidence-based information to dispel these myths and provide factual information about the diamond industry. Here are some highlights and their supporting facts from the report:

  • Laboratory-grown diamonds can be detected from natural diamonds.
    All laboratory-grown diamonds can be detected using professional verification instruments. They exhibit specific growth-related features and patterns due to being mass-produced in just a few weeks, unlike natural diamonds that take billions of years to form under the earth’s surface.
  • Not all laboratory-grown diamonds are sustainable.
    Although laboratory-grown diamonds replicate the natural diamond creation process, they require a massive amount of electricity, mostly from the national grid, to be produced. Over 60% of laboratory-grown diamonds are mass-produced in China and India, where grid electricity results from coal. The manufacturing process of laboratory-grown diamonds can require temperatures similar to 20% of the temperature of the Sun’s surface.
  • The process of natural diamond formation means that they are inherently rare. They are a finite natural resource.
    Natural diamond formation takes place over millions, sometimes billions, of years, and occurs in limited zones of the earth’s mantle at extreme temperatures and pressures. Global natural diamond recovery peaked in 2005 and has decreased by over 30% in the last 16 years. The annual recovery of 1 carat diamonds is equivalent in volume to an exercise ball.
  • Laboratory-grown diamonds have experienced significant price depreciation in recent years.
    From 2016 to 2023, the average price of a 1.5 carat laboratory-grown diamond has decreased by over 74%. On the other hand, natural diamond prices have also fluctuated, but on average, they have risen by 3% per annum over the last 35 years.
  • Ethical sourcing is a priority for the natural diamond industry.
    Under the Kimberley Process, trading of rough diamonds is strictly regulated to ensure they are conflict-free. The Responsible Jewellery Council warrants responsible sourcing through third-party audited certifications. Brands, retailers, and jewelers are increasingly implementing ethical sourcing protocols and policies bringing transparency to their supply chains.
  • Natural diamonds help protect biodiversity over an area equivalent to New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Las Vegas combined. This is close to four times the land used by NDC member companies for natural diamond recovery, globally.
    De Beers Group, a leading diamond company, is partnering with Kelp Blue to explore kelp’s potential to store carbon while improving marine health. The Diamond Route is a network established by De Beers Group to protect critical wildlife habitats in South Africa and Botswana.
  • Natural Diamonds benefit the countries from which they originate. The natural diamond industry supports the livelihood of 10 million people worldwide.
    Up to 80% of rough diamond value remains with local communities in the form of local purchasing, employment benefits, social programs, investment in infrastructure, as well as taxes, royalties, and dividends paid from the industry to respective governments. For NDC members, 85% of all procurement is local. In Canada, the natural diamond industry contributes to 24% of total GDP in the Northwest Territories, with $17 billion going toward NWT businesses and $7.5 billion to Indigenous-owned NWT businesses.