Exploring the Differences between Lab Diamonds and Natural Diamonds

Exploring the Differences between Lab Diamonds and Natural Diamonds

Buying an engagement ring can be an overwhelming process, particularly if you are planning to propose to your significant other sometime soon. 

While lab grown diamonds and naturally mined diamonds share a lot in common with one another, there are some distinct differences between the two. The key difference is that natural diamonds are formed over millions of years deep down in the earth’s crust under extreme high temperature and pressure, while lab-created diamonds are man-made and created in a laboratory. 

This article will explore the differences between lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds.

Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real Diamonds?

Yes. Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds, they are made of 100% carbon just like natural diamonds and are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes to choose from. Putting the two types together, you will find it can be hard to identify a natural diamond from a lab grown one, unless you are a trained gemologist. Like naturally-mined diamonds, each lab grown diamond also has inclusions, thus making each gem unique and beautiful.

How are Lab Grown Diamonds Different to Natural Diamonds?

While lab diamonds and natural diamonds share a lot in common, there are some subtle differences between the two. We’ve identified a few ways that lab grown diamonds are different to natural diamonds.

How They’re Made

Lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds differ in how they’re made

A natural diamond can take anywhere from one to 3.3 billion years to form. The diamond-making process involves pure carbon being exposed to both high pressure and high temperature, deep within the Earth, this helps explain why they are so hard wearing and durable.

The combination of extreme conditions and non-carbon material means that diamonds will trap inclusions in the stone whilst forming in the earth or in a lab. The size and placement of inclusions can play a major factor in the clarity grade and value of the diamond. You should investigate each natural and lab grown stone to make sure you are getting a high-quality diamond. 

Lab grown diamonds take significantly less time to make, in comparison to the production of mining diamonds. There are two methods that are used to create lab grown diamonds, High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). These methods simulate the same conditions that happen when natural diamonds form in the earth. 


What makes lab grown diamonds appealing for engagement rings is the price difference for these stones. 

Couples who are planning to get engaged have the option to purchase a much bigger carat weight when choosing a lab grown diamond at a more affordable price. With lab grown diamonds being easier to mass produce in a shorter space of time, the cost price for them is lower than mining diamonds by a considerable amount.

Naturally mined diamonds are rarer than their lab grown counterparts, particularly in bigger carat weights as they are in finite supply. The limited supply of natural diamonds means that they are far more valuable than lab grown diamonds over time and cost so much more to start with.

Environmental and Social Impact

The diamond mining industry has worked extremely hard to transform its reputation over the past two decades for how they source and identify each diamond from mine to consumer. 

The introduction of the United Nations’ Kimberley Process in 2013 introduced the sale of diamonds from only non-conflict areas, in order to combat the issues we have seen over the years in mining towns. The Kimberley Process aims to identify each diamond in the mine and provide paperwork for each one showing it is a conflict-free diamond. This work is improving the general mining working conditions, whilst benefiting local communities in building important infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals and creating further funding and investment in local villages to give back to these communities. 

Natural diamonds and lab diamonds both leave a significant ecological footprint from their production. Producing lab grown diamonds requires a big energy output and heat, as well as water to replicate the same conditions in the earth to create a diamond, but leave the earth untouched so many customers prefer lab diamonds for this sustainable reason.

Let Our Experts Help You Find the Perfect Piece of Diamond Jewellery from Diamond Heaven

Diamond Heaven has been offering high-quality lab grown and natural diamond engagement rings for nearly two decades. All diamonds come with certification and your reassured guarantee that all diamonds have been sourced through the Kimberley Process as Diamond Heaven are proud members of the NAJ that hold these standards. Whether you visit us online or in-store, our teams across the UK will make sure you have your perfect ring when the time comes to ask that all-important question. 

Getting engaged soon? Or looking to treat yourself? Book an appointment at our nearest Diamond Heaven showroom today. Our experts can guide you through the process to find you and your partner the perfect lab grown diamond ring or piece of jewellery you know they will treasure forever.

Unable to afford your piece of lab grown jewellery in one payment? With our 0% finance option, you can spread the cost of your jewellery for up to six months with a minimum 10% deposit.