Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Straight Up or On The Rocks?

Many people prefer their tequila "straight-up" by the shot, but researchers in Mexico have just added a whole new reason to try it "on the rocks".

From the old-time alchemists to modern day tech wizards, there has long been a thirst for turning "lead into gold" and anything at all into something as precious as a diamond.

The first notable success was at General Electric on December 16th, 1954 when the late
H. Tracy Hall became the first scientist to produce diamond from carbon. His process made synthetic industrial diamond commercially viable in large quantities.

But what about
synthetic gem diamonds? To make a long and quite technical story short, synthetic gem diamonds have been around since the early 1970's.

There are two main methods of making diamonds in a lab - high temperature high pressure (HTHP) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). In a nutshell, HTHP produces single crystals and CVD produces polycrystalline films.

While each method of synthesis presents challenges in production and use, the good news is that thus far the technology to separate synthetics from their natural diamond counterparts has kept current.

Now, let's cut to the "chaser".

To the best of my knowledge, natural diamonds are a non-renewable resource. Although there are still more diamonds to find in the ground, ironically Mother Earth has given up her business of producing any "new" ones.

So, what do you suppose will happen to comparative diamond values in the future?