When purchasing jewelry, deciding whether to get lab-grown vs natural diamonds is essential. Despite their resemblance, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when choosing the ideal type of stone. These factors are crucial if you are on a strict budget and wish to maximize your investment.
As a relatively new concept, lab-grown diamonds are surrounded by some myths. This article thoroughly examines the distinctions between lab-grown and natural diamonds to debunk popular fallacies to help you differentiate between the two stones and their benefits and drawbacks. Let us get started.
What are Natural Diamonds ?
Natural diamonds, also known as “real diamonds,” are sourced from nature. These diamonds developed deep inside the earth billions of years ago and were brought to the surface by volcanic activity.
Even though numerous of these rocks exist, only a few contain enough diamonds to be extracted for commercial jewelry purposes. This makes natural diamonds uncommon, so rare that even a tiny piece commands an extravagant price.
What are Lab-grown Diamonds?
Artificial diamonds are now possible thanks to technological advancements. Natural diamonds are created in high-temperature, high-pressure environments reproduced in the gem-quality diamond manufacturing process. On the other hand, a lab-grown diamond is created using a process known as high pressure, high temperature (HPHT).
Chemical Vapor Deposition is an alternative method for creating synthetic diamonds. By utilizing a carbon-rich atmosphere, it separates molecules into hydrogen and carbon atoms. The atoms are combined with diamond seeds to form a square-shaped crystal.
Ultimate Differences Between Lab-grown vs. Natural Diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds are indistinguishable to the naked eye. You won’t be able to identify the difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds simply by looking at them unless your jeweler explains the distinction. Here are some factors to consider in determining their differences:
How They Are Made
The vast majority of diamonds currently available were formed deep inside the Earth’s mantle. Here, carbon is subjected to billions of years of high heat and pressure, changing its structure to form a diamond.
In contrast, laboratory-grown diamonds are precisely what their name implies: diamonds created in a laboratory. You begin with an extremely thin slice of diamond that already has the diamond’s crystalline structure. The diamond “seed” is either natural or synthetically produced pure carbon.
Natural diamonds are expensive due to their rarity. It is believed that there is a limited supply of this gemstone and that each is generated under distinct natural conditions; accordingly, the qualities utilized to grade the precious stone will likewise be unique. The effort and energy that goes into mining and polishing the stones, as well as the relatively questionable origins, control, and marketing of the diamond market, also contribute to the high price of diamonds.
In comparison, lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than natural diamonds since they are not subject to the same supply chain network.
Lab-grown diamonds are composed of carbon, the same material found naturally in diamonds. They are the hardest material on the planet (a ten on the Mohs scale), making them as difficult to cut as natural diamonds.
When you buy something, a large percentage of its value is lost. The difference in resale value between lab-grown and natural diamonds is considerably greater than the price difference. According to the expert jewelers from Jewelry stores in Vail, while natural diamonds generally preserve around 50% of their original value, lab-grown diamonds are practically impossible to market without accepting a significantly lower price.
We must also evaluate how natural and lab-grown diamond prices change over time. With the price of lab-grown diamonds declining and natural diamonds traditionally climbing, your synthetic diamond will likely be worth less than a natural diamond of equivalent grade, even before the resale value is considered.
Natural diamonds are not inherently unethical. Some individuals may have ethical and environmental concerns regarding mining natural diamonds. However, it is reasonable to conclude that lab-made diamonds are more sustainable in the long run than those mined from the earth.
This is a contentious issue. The Federal Trade Commission has warned several jewelers for making false claims about their jewelry being environmentally friendly or sustainable.
According to a report by the Diamond Producers Association, natural diamonds are more environmentally friendly than lab-grown ones due to the carbon-intensive nature of their manufacturing process.
Until now, there isn’t a common understanding of whether lab-grown diamonds are more eco-friendly than mined diamonds.
With the introduction of lab-grown diamonds to the market, consumers are increasingly interested in identifying the difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds. However, if you are on the verge of selecting one as a gift or an investment, consider the information mentioned above to help you make informed purchasing decisions.