So I was having a conversation with some people that work in a jewellery shop, that insure jewellery/mining operations and they were getting excited about various rings under discussion. Now owing to having testicles, an abundance of cynicism and far too long considering materials for what tasks they could be used to accomplish (hazard of the trade I guess) I have never considered diamonds and gold to be all that interesting, and that is before I consider the diamond industry and how it is run by a bunch of complete and total arseholes. http://freakonomics.com/podcast/dia...best-friend-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/ So an offhand comment of mine "I can't want for when the artificial diamond business comes in and destroys that*"... one could feel the temperature in the room drop and the disgust rise. These days it seems I have to work hard to achieve such things so I was glad I can still do that unintentionally/naturally, however it was completely unexpected so it was time for further research. Online says not a lot other than companies are rushing to make testing machines to tell with, and it apparently does take machines rather than someone with a loupe. Now as most of the diamond market is mostly the result of advertising (the notion of a diamond ring and its cultural significance with all the words like eternity is very new as these things go) I can see them being worried but I was curious as to the consumer/cultural significance. *price wise it is cheaper these days to do it artificially than pay retail, however it probably is more lucrative to chase the industrial side of things so that seems to be the main focus. Short version. Artificial diamonds (actual carbon diamond, no moissanite or cubic zirconia) are as mechanically and optically good as anything you dig out the ground, if not better, probably cheaper than retail (not sure about wholesale, which is significantly less) and may well come with the benefit of not being mined by slaves and sold by a cartel. With all that though would you be happy with an artificial diamond for your jewellery or those you are buying it for?