France: stop saying “laboratory diamond”!

France has made up its mind about the fate of laboratory-produced artificial diamonds, at least as far as semantics are concerned. The French Ministry of the Economy and Finance has announced that, from now on, only the names “diamant de synthèse” or “synthétique” will be authorized for retailers on French soil.


While the war for the recognition and legitimacy of synthetic diamonds is far from over, the French government has whistled for the end of the battle of words.


In the interests of transparency and consumer safety, France has decided to ban the use of the term “laboratory-created diamonds” in favor of “synthetic diamonds”. This simplification, however, is far from unanimous among industry professionals.


A choice of clarification based on “cultured” stones


For nearly five years, synthetic diamonds have been sweeping the jewellery market, threatening the supremacy of natural diamonds. At the end of 2023, LVMH announced its first line of synthetic diamonds at its FRED jeweler.


Before it, a number of companies such as De Beers and Courbet have challenged the status quo.


But the quarrel is not just textual, it’s also existential.


In the collective unconscious, natural diamonds enjoy a legitimacy that is thousands of years old (2.5 billion years), to the point of conferring on them an exclusive, status-enhancing power, but they are increasingly competing with an alternative storytelling deployed by synthetic diamonds, based on ethics, sustainability and accessibility.


The latter, created by American chemist Tracy Hall in 1954, has long been regarded with disdain by the profession. However, only the heating method differs, with, on the one hand, a transformation phenomenon operated by Mother Nature and, on the other, by the hand of man.


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Featured photo : ©FRED/LVMH

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Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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