Professional Jeweler Archive: 'Nova' Covers Familiar Ground

April 2000


'Nova' Covers Familiar Ground

The PBS show “Nova” aired its much-anticipated “The Diamond Deception” on Feb. 1, offering a detailed history of diamond synthesis. The show took viewers back to the 1950s, when General Electric first successfully produced synthetic diamonds.

The program also reviewed Russia’s recent progress in removing inclusions and improving color in synthetic diamonds. “Nova” also covered Russia’s 1999 agreement with Florida-based Gemesis to market synthetics to consumers on a wide basis for the first time.

The show illustrated De Beers’ efforts to keep up with synthetic detection. However, “Nova” producers concluded De Beers eventually will lose the game because Russian scientists now produce synthetics that completely mirror conditions in nature that cause diamond formation. “Nova” asserts detection will become impossible because the atomic structure of synthetics will be identical to natural diamonds.

The show ended with a look at De Beers’ new strategy of branding diamonds from its own supply in a final effort to reassure consumers that its diamonds are all natural.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications