Lab Grown Diamonds: What Are They and Are They a Worthy Investment?

lab grown diamonds photo by tahlia doyle

If you follow jewelry news you must have heard about lab-grown diamonds. Have you been curious to know more about them? Here is what you need to know:

How They Are Made

Lab-grown diamonds are a remarkable scientific achievement. As you may be aware, natural diamonds result when carbon is exposed to extreme heat and pressure over millions, if not billions, of years. Growing diamonds in a lab reduces the process to just a few weeks.

Two methods for producing lab-grown diamonds are high pressure, high temperature (HPHT), and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). 

In the HPHT procedure, a small diamond “seed” is inserted into a piece of carbon. Using a press, carbon is compressed to approximately 1.5 million pounds per square inch.

At the same time, it is heated to temperatures above 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. High pressure and intense temperatures lead the carbon to melt, forming a diamond around the original diamond “seed.”

The CVD procedure involves placing a diamond “seed” in a sealed chamber. The chamber is pumped with carbon-rich gas and heated to over 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The gases solidify on the “seed,” transforming it into a diamond. 

Creating a lab-produced diamond can take anything from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the size. Regardless, it takes much less time than it does to create a real diamond within the soil.

Lab-grown vs. Natural Diamond. How Do They Differ?

So, what are the similarities and differences between laboratory-grown and natural diamonds? 

The critical thing to remember is that both lab-grown and natural diamonds are real diamonds. Lab-created diamonds are visually and physically identical to natural diamonds.

They share the same chemical makeup. The main distinctions are based on the manufacturing methods.

Being man-made offers lab-grown diamonds an advantage in terms of consistency. Nature is imperfect, and mined diamonds can vary widely in grade.

In most cases, the stones that make it to your local jewelry store are the very best. 

While lab created diamonds vary slightly, it is far easier to produce high-quality diamonds consistently.

Lab-grown diamonds are less expensive to produce due to the relatively simple process and lower labor costs. This is reflected in the price of laboratory-generated diamonds. 

The lower price is one of the major things that draws people to them so if budget is your primary consideration, the lab might be an excellent choice.

A lower price also makes higher carat sizes more accessible. Someone with the budget for a one-carat natural diamond may come in and realize they can afford a two-carat lab-grown diamond. 

Though there is a trade-off in terms of a lab diamond’s value over time, most people don’t seem to mind as long as they can afford a larger ring at the moment. 

The major distinction between natural diamonds and lab-created diamonds is that natural diamonds, due to their scarcity, gain value with time. Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are easy to generate and copy, lowering their resale value. 

If you’re someone who wants their diamond jewelry to become an heirloom, something you can pass down for generations, you may want to consider a natural diamond. A natural diamond will be more valuable to put towards that future investment.

On the other hand, if you want a larger diamond ring that will look good on your finger, you should go for the lab-grown diamond. 

Regardless of the type of diamond you choose to purchase, you can be confident that it will be a lovely gem that you will cherish for a long time. 

You should note that while lab-grown diamonds tend to be cheaper and less valuable than their natural counterparts, both are made of carbon. As a result, both stones are equally durable. They are both the hardest materials on the planet—a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale—and are resistant to chipping and damage.

eternity chandelier koket jewelry inspired lighting

Can You Call a Lab-grown Diamond “Synthetic”?

No, you can’t. According to a 2018 revision to the Federal Trade Commission’s jewelry marketing guidelines, which removed the word “natural” from its definition of a diamond, you can’t use the term synthetic to describe lab-grown diamonds because they are made of pure carbon, the same material as natural diamonds. 

They are both classified as diamonds because they share the same chemical composition.

How Easy Is It to Tell Lab-created from Natural Diamond?

To an untrained eye, you can’t tell the difference between the two. In fact, most jewelers wouldn’t know the difference if there weren’t an inscription on the girdle of the diamond that identifies it as lab-created.

So, if you are on the fence about buying a lab-created diamond ring, thinking that people can tell that it’s not natural, no one can tell unless you let them know about it. 

Which One Should You Buy? Lab-grown or Natural Diamond?

There is no right or wrong answer. The choice is entirely up to you. Now that you have the facts, you can consider your options and make an informed decision. 

When purchasing a diamond, evaluate your priorities. Is the budget the most important issue to you? Do you want to maximize carat size? You should opt for a lab-grown diamond.

Do you prefer the romantic symbolism of a rare diamond growing in the ground for a billion years? A natural diamond might be a great choice. 

These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before making the purchase. Remember that the most important thing is to select a diamond you (and your loved ones) will always treasure.

Whether you are buying a lab-grown or natural diamond, always take your time to find a reputable store to buy from. Don’t just buy from any store. 

Find a reputable store that stocks high-quality and genuine diamond rings. Before you make the purchase, go through online reviews; from the reviews, you will know whether the store you are looking to buy from is genuine and you can trust it. 

Feature Image by Tahlia Doyle

More to Love!