The debate about lab-grown diamonds vs. real or natural diamonds has increased over the years. While man-made diamonds can save you money and may seem like a viable choice for an engagement ring, it comes with some skepticism, and they can take the shine off your romantic gesture compared to proposing with mined diamonds. If you love the idea of purchasing a diamond because of its value, dependability and attractiveness, then it pays to know the difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real?
The first thing you should understand is that lab-grown diamonds are “real” but are vastly different to cubic zirconia. Lab diamonds are made of carbon, the same element as real diamonds, while cubic zirconia contains zirconium dioxide and has zero carbon content. Scientists grow diamonds under specific conditions in a laboratory. The result is man-made diamonds with the same physical and chemical properties as the precious stones found naturally in the earth. However, because they can be grown quickly and in large quantities, lab-grown diamonds are not rare and are, therefore, less expensive than mined diamonds and less valuable.
The Difference Between Laboratory and Mined Diamonds
The biggest difference between a lab-grown and natural diamond is how they are created. Mined diamonds are made in nature over billions of years. They are found deep in the earth’s crust and formed as a result of intense heat and pressure. This unique diamond creating process becomes evident when volcanoes erupt and bring the stones closer to the earth’s surface, where they are mined.
Alternatively, lab-grown diamonds are exactly as their name indicates. They are grown in a laboratory setting. These gems are crafted within a few weeks compared to the lengthy process of natural diamonds. Scientists use cutting-edge technology and strict environmental controls to recreate the process and produce almost identical diamonds to the naturally mined stones. However, you should note that while lab-made diamonds contain carbon, they do lack a tiny amount of nitrogen that is found in their naturally mined counterparts.
There are two processes for making lab diamonds. The high-pressure, high-temperature method requires planting a small diamond seed in pure carbon and placing it in an oven under extreme heat and pressure. The carbon bonds to the seed in layers resulting in a rough diamond that is then cut and polished into its brilliant shiny form. A more modern process of growing diamonds is the Chemical Vapor Deposition method. This process still uses a diamond seed; however, it is sealed in a hot chamber filled with carbon-rich gas. Lasers or microwaves ionize the gas so it can bond to the seed and grow a diamond.
Reasons to Purchase Natural Diamonds
The best lab-grown diamonds cannot compare to the rare, authentic and naturally-made stones. Out of the two, natural diamonds are a better investment as they retain their value over time. Lab diamonds are created in a laboratory or factory. The technology is new, fancy, and expensive. But as the process becomes more streamlined, man-made diamonds become inexpensive. That means in the future lab-grown diamonds might be cheap, which means the value of the ones purchased today will also plummet. This development means lab stones can also flood the jewelry market, and supply will always be high, unlike natural diamonds, of which there is a finite amount in the world, making them more valuable.
Mined diamonds have allure and intrigue that is lacking in lab-grown stones. There is something so special and unique about creating a stunning custom ring or proposing with a diamond that comes from the earth rather than being mass-produced in a generic laboratory. Most women want to know that the sparkle on their finger is special and that there is not another stone like it nor will there ever be. Passing on naturally-mined precious gems through the generations also holds more significance, mystery and glamor.
Some people assume that because man-made diamonds are grown in a laboratory, they must be better for the environment. However, this claim lacks evidence, and in fact, laboratories require a large amount of energy to create diamonds. There is a requirement for constant power, harmful gasses and the potential release of by-products into the environment. On the other hand, mined diamonds are a natural resource that has minimal impact on the environment and can readily be recycled through a jewelry business or passed on to a family member.
There is Something Special About Mined Diamonds
Lab diamonds are a cheaper alternative and are graded and certified to the same standard as natural stones. However, mined diamonds feature a rare quality from being crafted deep below the earth’s surface that makes them more intriguing, alluring and precious. They have a remarkable historic charm and are also available from jewelers in various designs, shapes and sizes. A natural diamond is a perfect stone to represent your love.
Choose a Jeweler Who Understands a Natural Diamond’s True Beauty
At J Pratt Designs, we’re committed to providing our customers with excellent service and quality jewelry. We provide exceptional diamond brokering service, including taking the time to guide you through the buying process and supplying certification, so you can confidently select the ideal natural stone for your jewelry.
Whether you require a custom design, jewelry appraisal, or professional advice, contact our knowledgeable team for an appointment. With our outstanding service, we are sure to meet your requirements and exceed your expectations.