Diamonds embody timeless elegance, infusing engagement rings, and wedding bands with unparalleled beauty and sophistication. However, the jewelry industry is undergoing a transformative shift driven by emerging trends that are captivating the hearts of consumers worldwide.
Synthetic diamonds are a landmark change in the industry, with these stones now making up 10% of all diamond engagement ring sales in the U.S. But are lab-grown diamonds better than their natural equivalents?
In this guide, we’ll discuss lab-grown diamonds, how they are created, and their advantages over their mined counterparts.
What are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
Standard diamonds are grown from carbon and billions of years of exposure to high temperatures and pressures. These conditions eventually lead to the sparkly stones mined from deep beneath the surface of the Earth. Today’s worldwide reserves are estimated at 1.2 billion carats, meaning diamonds are finite.
In the present era, scientific advancements have reached a remarkable stage where diamonds can be created without the need for heavy machinery to excavate the Earth. Laboratories now possess the ability to flawlessly replicate the conditions under which natural diamonds are formed. This breakthrough not only revolutionizes the diamond industry but also minimizes the environmental impact traditionally associated with diamond mining.
Since lab-grown diamonds are indistinguishable from natural diamonds, even professional jewelers cannot tell the difference without subjecting the stone to in-depth tests. In short, they look, weigh, and sparkle the same.
But are lab-grown diamonds worth it? Absolutely because whether made in a laboratory in two weeks or mined, the stone's crystalline structure is the same.
Today, China is the world’s leading producer of engineered diamonds. They utilize two ways of growing these diamonds: High-Pressure, High-Temperature (HPHT), and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
These techniques consist of the following:
The finished diamond will be cut, shaped, and polished to create a finished diamond. Moreover, manufacturers can apply further heat treatments to create any color diamond. Each type of treatment corresponds to a specific color.
For example, boron can be used to make blue diamonds, whereas nickel can create green diamonds.
Each technique has pros and cons, but both lead to the perfect replication of a mined diamond. Today, the industry is finely poised, with CVD diamonds making up 51.4% of the total lab-grown diamond market.
6 Reasons Why Lab-Grown Diamonds are Better
Lab-grown diamonds have transformed the face of the jewelry industry globally. If you’re wondering, “Should I buy lab-grown diamonds for an engagement ring?” the answer is yes because they offer the same radiance and quality as a natural diamond.
Additionally, lab-grown diamonds have other advantages, making them a sustainable, ethical choice. With that in mind, here are some of the top reasons lab-grown diamonds are a superior option for consumers.
1. Identical to Diamonds
Many people ask, “Should I get a lab-created diamond when it isn’t the real thing?”
But it is the real thing. This is why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) altered its official definition of a diamond to account for synthetic diamonds. Nothing else changed within that definition, including requiring a stone to have a highly specific crystalline carbon chemical structure.
Chemically, a lab-grown diamond is the same. Moreover, it’s impossible to look at a natural and synthetic diamond and tell the difference if they are both cut and polished to a high quality. Even the most experienced jeweler in the world cannot tell the difference without ordering a test or tracing the number lasered onto the synthetic stone.
There is no difference in how the diamond looks, sparkles, and scatters light.
2. Better Price
Are lab-created diamonds worth it if you are on a budget? The answer is yes!
This is why so many people initially turn to cultured diamonds. Diamonds are expensive, and while there are significant markups, much of the cost comes from the tremendous investment required to establish and maintain a diamond mining operation.
Some of the expenses that are inevitably passed to the customer include:
All of these costs are reflected in the engagement rings you find from local jewelers.
The difference with a lab-grown diamond is that they can be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of mining one. If you opt for a CVD-grown diamond, it will be even more inexpensive. So, how much can you expect to save on a lab-grown diamond vs. a mined diamond?
Based on figures from the International Gem Society, lab-grown diamonds are up to 50% cheaper than mined diamonds.
3. Ethical Considerations
Have you ever contemplated the origins of your diamond?
In today's world, consumers are becoming more curious about the journey of the stones adorning their family heirlooms. Regrettably, the history of diamonds is marred by bloodshed. Even in the present day, numerous carats of diamonds originate from underdeveloped nations, where multinational mining operations exploit appalling working conditions.
While the prominence of the infamous "conflict diamond" has significantly diminished since its peak at 4% of the world’s diamonds in 2006, the existing definitions used to classify such diamonds are inadequate.
For example, the Kimberley Process only considers a stone a conflict diamond if a rebel group used it to raise funds to overthrow a legitimate government of the world. It covers no other circumstances, meaning countless diamonds will inevitably slip through the cracks.
Another pressing problem is that tracking the origins of diamonds only began in the modern era. Older diamonds have no history, meaning they could have been mined by a child living in an oppressive dictatorship. There is no way of knowing if this is the case.
This isn’t something that most people want to think about. And that’s why lab-grown diamonds are such a viable alternative. Every lab that grows diamonds is certified, and most stones have a laser-etched number that enables anyone to trace a specific diamond back to its origins.
If you prioritize conflict-free jewelry, lab-grown diamonds emerge as an outstanding choice.
4. Environmental Benefits
Like every type of mining, diamond mining is exceptionally harmful to the environment. Even though technology has allowed mining conglomerates to limit some of their impacts, this practice will never be eco-friendly.
Some of the reasons why diamond mining causes so much damage include the following:
Is lab-grown diamond good for the environment? They are far better for the planet because the entire operation occurs within a laboratory. While large amounts of energy are required to create these diamonds, many laboratories get their energy from renewables and other green energy sources.
Moreover, lab-grown diamonds take less energy to create from start to finish. It’s why these diamonds are classified as 100% vegan-friendly, meaning these stones are something that you can feel great about wearing. This is another reason why lab-grown diamonds are an excellent choice.
5. Lab-Grown Diamonds Can Reach Even Better Quality
Some lab-grown diamonds can be separated from mined diamonds by coming across a stone that surpasses the natural grade. Some retailers even sell synthetic diamonds that achieve greater purity diamonds.
The only way a lab-grown diamond can reach these levels of quality is because it’s never exposed to the dirt and debris underground. It also allows for natural imperfections to be eliminated.
Some of the ways that lab-grown diamonds can reach an even higher level of quality include:
Not every synthetic diamond will be graded higher than every mined diamond, but the best-cultured diamond will always hold a higher clarity rating than the best natural diamond.
Through the invention of the synthetic diamond production process, the industry has removed many of the pain points of natural diamonds and pushed the boundaries of quality.
6. Vivid Colored Diamonds
All diamonds are split into colorless/white and fancy categories within the diamond industry.
Fancy diamonds encompass a spectrum of captivating colors, ranging from vibrant pinks to striking yellows. These natural gems are exceptionally scarce in their untamed state, demanding optimal conditions for their formation. Moreover, the colors exhibited by these diamonds often appear dull and imperfect. When a mined diamond does display an intense and vivid color, its value can soar to millions of dollars, surpassing the financial reach of most individuals.
On the other hand, lab-grown diamond production has enabled the industry to create fancy diamonds at will for the first time. By using targeted heat treatments following the formation of a new diamond, practically any color can be created.
These heat treatments add minimal time to the production timeline, allowing for clear, vivid, and perfect color throughout the stone. Over time, these colors will never fade and still retain their value as time goes on.
In other words, you can customize your diamond for the first time without breaking the bank.
Should I buy a lab-grown diamond for my fiancé?
Yes! Why buy lab-grown diamonds for your partner, you ask?
When prioritizing quality above all else, choosing a lab-grown diamond for your engagement ring is a wise decision. The cost savings on the stone allow you to invest in a stunning band crafted from solid Sterling silver or exquisite 18K rose gold.
In essence, by allocating your budget wisely and not overspending on the stone alone, you gain the freedom to create a custom piece that will undoubtedly leave your partner in awe.
Are lab-grown diamonds worth the investment?
So, are lab-created diamonds worth it?
Yes! Lab-grown diamonds offer exceptional value for your investment. Compared to their mined counterparts, lab-grown diamonds are typically more affordable while maintaining the same quality and characteristics. With lab-grown diamonds, you can acquire a larger and more visually stunning stone within your budget. The cost savings can be redirected towards other aspects of your jewelry, such as a beautifully designed setting or additional gemstones, allowing you to create a truly unique and personalized piece.
Additionally, lab-grown diamonds provide peace of mind and assurance. Each lab-grown diamond comes with a certification that guarantees its authenticity and quality. These certifications provide detailed information about the diamond's characteristics, including the cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. This transparency allows you to make an informed decision and have confidence in the value and quality of your purchase.
Should I get a lab-created diamond customized?
Customizing a lab-grown diamond offers a range of benefits that make it a compelling choice for buyers seeking a truly unique and personalized piece of jewelry. One key advantage is the ability to fully customize the diamond according to your specifications. Whether you desire a specific shape, cut, color, or carat weight, customization allows you to create a diamond that perfectly matches your vision. While there may be an additional cost associated with this service, many laboratories and retailers offer the option to place custom orders, ensuring you can bring your dream design to life.
Moreover, customization extends beyond creating a diamond from scratch. In some cases, you can upgrade an existing lab-grown diamond. This flexibility allows you to enhance the characteristics of your current stone, such as improving the cut or increasing the carat weight, to better align with your preferences. However, it's important to note that certain conditions apply, such as retaining the original documentation and ensuring the diamond is in exceptional condition.
Can my partner tell if a diamond is lab-created?
No, even the best jeweler in the world cannot tell the difference between a natural and manmade stone just by looking at it.
There are telltale signs within the chemical structure of a lab-grown diamond that can reveal the truth, but these in-depth tests are expensive to order. The difficulty in telling the difference is that synthetic diamonds hold the same natural qualities as mined diamonds.
Find Ethical, Sustainable, and Exquisite Engagement Rings at Gema&Co
Lab-grown diamonds are remarkable stones that replicate the exceptional quality found in mined diamonds, resulting in breathtaking jewelry that captures beauty and elegance.
While diamond engagement rings continue to symbolize wealth, beauty, and love, purchasing lab diamonds allows you to align your values with your purchase. Ethical, sustainable, and affordable lab-grown diamonds offer a guilt-free option that you can feel good about. Opting for these diamonds contributes to a more responsible and environmentally conscious industry.
At Gema&Co, we specialize in crafting exquisite symbols of love and commitment. With our wide selection of engagement rings, you can profoundly express your affection and devotion to your partner. Browse our engagement ring collection now to find the perfect piece that embodies your love and reflects your shared values.