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A Guide To Lab-Grown Diamonds

Recent years have been crazy with innovations happening in almost every industry. Now, these innovations have started to become increasingly popular with such as affordable alternatives to naturally mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are just as beautiful as natural stones and are made from the exact same elements but for some, they are less precious due to them being less rare. In actual fact, diamonds are not rare in the slightest they are extremely common. In this article, we will guide you on understanding lab-grown diamonds.

What Is A Lab-Grown Diamond?

Laboratory-grown diamonds are exactly what they say on the tin. Also known as synthetic diamonds, they are the same as natural diamonds but the process itself is sped up and is done in a factory or a laboratory rather than being grown naturally. In the past 10 years, gems are being mass-produced meaning that they don’t hold the same emotional value as natural ones. This is why many people would prefer to purchase vintage engagement rings or a an engagement ring with a natural diamond included. The other thing to consider is that you won’t be able to tell the difference unless under a microscope. Lab-grown diamonds are considered to be genuine as they are made with the same chemical composition as natural diamonds.

How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?

Amazingly, we can now create diamonds in a lab and it is wise to see more people becoming more interested in them. It is only natural to wonder how a lab-grown diamond is made. There is a variety of methods to create lab-grown diamonds, but two set out from the rest.

Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD)

Chemical Vapour Deposition is an innovative method to create lab-grown diamonds by placing a heat resistant material such as a high-quality diamond in a vacuum chamber. This chamber contains all the gasses or carbon materials that are needed to create a diamond. The material is then heated up to 700-900° degrees celsius that encourages crystals to form on the original diamond. This resonates like rain. It falls on the core seed material. 

High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT)

This is very similar but the seed material is put under extreme heat and pressure to create the same effect as CVD.

The complete piece is then cut and polished. There is no limit to the size of the diamond and it will of course have a lot fewer inclusions in it due to them not being in a controlled environment.



Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Cheaper?

Natural diamonds take much longer to grow and mine meaning that there will of course be extra costs when mining for diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are extremely cost-efficient and depending on the size, colour and clarity they can be around 30% to 50% cheaper than natural diamonds.

When you are looking to invest in diamonds, it is certainly weir to purchase natural diamonds. This is not due to them being worse quality, they are just a lot less rare than natural stones and are less sought after meaning they have a decreasing long term value. This is also due to them being created with mass production.

Do I still Have To Look At The 4C’s?

Although lab-grown diamonds are made in a controlled environment, it doesn’t mean that they will be flawless. Natural and lab-grown diamonds both grow with imperfections, also known as inclusions. IT is vital that with any diamond or jewel, you study the 4 C’s as this will influence the price dramatically.  

Can You Tell the Difference With Lab-Grown And Natural Diamonds?

In short, yes. It is extremely difficult to tell the difference from a natural stone as they are basically identical. An expert jeweller with special equipment on the other hand will be able to tell the difference by looking at the nature of the inclusions in the diamond.

Another method in which you will be able to tell is to ask your jeweller for a grading report. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) supplies official reports with every diamond created so that everything is as transparent as possible.

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds More Ethical?

This is the big question isn’t it, are lab-grown diamonds more ethical than natural diamonds? Well, for us to understand this we must take into consideration not just how the workers are treated but also the environmental damage and the energy used to create both.

Research suggests that lab-grown diamonds use around 511 kg of renewable energy whereas a natural diamond uses around 160 kg of natural diamond. It is vital to understand that this report was from a large mining company so this could be less true. On top of that, natural diamonds cause much more damage to the environment.

When measuring carbon footprint, it all depends on the machines used, the energy used, extraction methods as well and where the diamond is produced. Overall, natural diamonds cause much more destruction than lab-grown diamonds and there are much cleaner methods in creating lab-grown diamonds.