Lab Grown Diamonds vs Natural Diamonds
Lab grown diamonds are a recent phenomenon in the diamond world, with lab grown diamond engagement rings becoming increasingly popular. Instead of wearing diamonds that formed over millions of years, you can now choose whether your diamond is natural or man made. We’ve looked at lab grown diamonds and compared them to natural diamonds to see how they match up. Read on below in our lab grown diamonds vs natural diamonds exploration.
WHAT IS A LAB DIAMOND?
A lab diamond is a genuine diamond, just like a natural diamond, except they are grown in a lab and not in the Earth. They sparkle in much the same way as natural diamonds, have the same types of colour and clarity, and can be made in the same sizes and shapes. Likewise, lab grown Diamonds are just as durable as natural Diamonds.
Carbon is the key element in both natural and lab Diamonds with the only difference being that most natural diamonds contain small amounts of nitrogen. You will also find laser inscription and a unique fluorescence on every lab grown diamond.
Differences between Lab Grown Diamonds and Natural Diamonds
While the appearances of both diamonds are very similar, there are differences in their cost, rarity and sustainability.
Look of Lab Diamonds
When looking at high quality lab diamonds, you cannot see any physical difference between them and natural diamonds. Both can be colourless or near to it, while both can also be a variety of candy colours. They both also come in popular shapes including round, cushion, princess, oval, pear, marquise, emerald, radiant and asscher. The sparkle also remains the same, no matter which diamond you choose. The highest quality lab stones are identical in look to their natural rival, while lower clarity lab diamonds will have different inclusions than natural diamonds.
Value of Lab Diamonds
Lab diamonds do cost less than natural diamonds. This is because natural diamonds depend on the Earth, whereas we can create lab diamonds in a lab. Because lab diamonds are so new, their prices have changed in the last few years. Buying a synthetic diamond of a similar size cut, colour and clarity of a natural diamond can save you between 30-50% of the price of a natural diamond.
The long-term value of lab grown diamonds has yet to settle, so time will tell how valuable they will become.
Sustainability of Lab Diamonds
In recent years, the diamond industry has come under increased scrutiny over the damage it is doing to the planet in search of the purest diamonds.
Natural diamonds are mined from “kimberlite” rock, deep in the core of the Earth. To find the purest, most flawless 1ct diamond, it can take up to around 100,000 tons of rock to be dug up and searched to find it. Moving the Earth that much regularly isn’t a sustainable practice for the planet.
The creation of lab grown diamonds is much more sustainable. Depending on the size of the diamond and the method used, lab diamonds can take from a week right up to a few months to form.
There are two methods which scientists use to create a diamond, with both replicating the extreme heat of the Earth’s crust and using a diamond “seed”.
The first is the use of a High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) system, where the seed is placed alongside pure graphite carbon and exposed to temperatures of 1500 degrees, which is pressurised to around 1.5 million pounds per square inch in the chamber.
The most recent technique is Chemical Vapor Deposition. For this method, the seed is put in a sealed chamber containing carbon-rich gas, which is heated to 800 degrees celsius.
Why Choose Lab Grown Diamonds?
Many couples are turning to lab diamonds for various reasons. The cheaper price of lab diamonds is attractive to newly engaged couples, as weddings are quite expensive, never mind the buying of diamond engagement rings. As lab diamonds look identical to the naked eye when compared to natural diamonds, couples are happy to save that little extra money.
There are many couples who are more aware of the damage we are doing to our planet and seek sustainable solutions when buying anything. Because man made diamonds don’t have to be mined from the Earth, they feel assured that the planet is looked after a little better and the diamonds are free from conflict.
(Diamond Heaven uses only ethically sourced diamonds across our natural diamond range).
Not that natural diamonds aren’t still a popular choice, they are still the stone of choice for many couples. Whether it’s a family tradition or you love the mystique of something so rare and valuable, real diamonds will continue to be available alongside synthetic diamonds to give consumers a choice.